Foetal Writer – My list of baby steps.

fashion faux pas

This is my writing. (Photo credit: Judy **) But I’m working on it 🙂

It’s not all joy and expansive prose when you’re new at this writing schnizzle. Sometimes it just plain sucks. I’ve made a list of all the things I’m good at and all the things I’m struggling with. These are the things where I need to engage the force and shut up and just get on with it!

Good At:-

1. Procrastination. I’m sure that draw needs re-organising, the cat needs feeding and if really in a rut, I may even talk to the husband.

2. Using the words:- Turned, saw, look, looked, began, begin/s, started, while (and whilst, I like to mix things up y’know?), was, had, told, knew and heard.  – I opened Scrivener to see how many words I had in my search list and trust me, – this wasn’t all of them.

3. Editing, because I can’t get past Chapter twenty-two.

4. Fear of finishing (hmm linked to number three above) and the ensuing fear of failure to sell any books because I’ll have to talk to lots of people and be nice and let’s face it the reason I write is because I’m a bit of a depressed loner.

Baby Steps:-

1. Dialogue tags:- I forget the rules and no-one should use that many descriptions of the word said, often with an adverb. I counted seven in one particular piece of dialogue, they sounded like bad thespians rather than characters, she whispered quietly – err DOH!

2. Getting in and out of rooms. My characters seem to get stuck by some invisible force sometimes in doorways or in front of doors. It’s really difficult getting them in and out of blasted rooms.

3. Action:- Now this is the sticky bit. If an arrow pierces a shield the reader knows that it didn’t pierce the person in the next sentence because it’s in the shield. I do this a lot. I’ve taken to watching u-tube action sequences and listening to swordplay. I’m also learning a lot about archery so that I get it right. Especially, because you just know if you don’t know this stuff, someone is going to nicely point out you got it wrong, wrong, wrong….

4. Moving the story on, there’s a lot I need readers to know and whilst I am desperately trying to show not tell, I sometimes do a little too much back story… Mystery is my friend, readers are surprised not, Oh I knew that was going to happen five chapters ago. If they’re still there….

So these are my failures and my top faux pas. What did/do you struggle with?

Comments, as always, welcome.

Finding a Niche – Writing to read not writing for readers.

Niche Syndrome

Niche Syndrome (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I started writing again because no one was writing what I wanted to read. There are some amazing books that I really enjoyed but there were no books that really hit what I wanted and that’s why I picked up my creativity and got cracking again.

I was away for the holiday this weekend and I took my net-book and whilst thinking out some plotlines, I realised I was falling into a bit of a trap. The snare of thinking about the reader too much. I was trying to craft situations that I thought the readers would want to read and not remaining true to my original vision of the story.

It’s quite easy when you’re a newbie writer to do this because you are often second guessing what you think. Whilst it’s okay to think about plausibility and originality and to make sure your story is authentic, the minute you begin thinking about the end-user just take a moment.

Writing for other readers doesn’t work if it did then there would be a magic formula that all writers would follow that would result in endless bestsellers and residuals. Don’t believe the hype and all the books that promise just that.. Are savvy (if immoral) authors getting rich off your naïvety rather than any original novels they’ve written.

By thinking too long and hard about the reader and not the story, you’re sure to end up with a confused and stilted mess. The minute, I reset my expectations and began again, with what I wanted to read, the niche that no one else inhabits and the story that makes me light up in dark moments, my flow and my creativity raced back in.

Trust yourself and your story and your future readers will too.

So what do you think?

Comments, as always, welcome.

 

RULE OF LIFE – THE UNIVERSE WILL LAUGH AT YOUR PLAN!

English: Graphic depiction of number of posts ...

English: Graphic depiction of number of posts per year at the Best Page In the Universe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wrote last week that I was going to post a blog on Mon, Wed and Fri.  I failed miserably to live up to that statement. I managed the Monday and Wednesday and then posted a sneaky award post this morning (SAT). So why the abysmal lack of stamina in sticking to the self-imposed rules? After all in the last two months I’ve achieved at least three posts each week, even in a hectic schedule.

When it becomes forced, my drive to write and my authenticity goes off somewhere else. I arrive at completely blank and stay there. My mind is drier than a desert dwellers sandal. I could feel the pressure building as each blog date approached. I would get distracted at work as each evening fell. Oh, now I have to go home and blog! I had originally planned to have a couple of blog posts scheduled in advance, ergo, then I would have to just set the date for release. This would have avoided the stress of thinking, now I have to write something, anything, just to get the content out.

It wasn’t fun or enjoyable, it felt like work and not the good kind. I also felt guilty that I was breaking a promise I had made to post on certain days. I may not get a massive amount of likes on each post and the number of views are always a bit weird. I swear someone at WP HQ is just playing with me. I do get a lot of comments though and that’s where I get my kicks. Read anyone’s blog on any subject and then read the comments section. Often, it’s the best bit! That is where the action is, that’s where you get your engagement and interaction. I love you opinionated people, you rock.

I did a post recently, where two commentators had a debate in my comments section, with each other, I just watched (that sounds a bit creepy, sorry). I was so thrilled and kept checking to see who was going to say something next. It is part of what makes this exciting and enjoyable.

In closing, the universe (not for the first time) laughed at my plan, as did my creativity and authenticity. So posts will return to an as and when basis. I think we’ll both enjoy them more.

Comments as always welcome!