It's question day! (Actually, this was supposed to be last week on Thursday, but I forgot, so we're just going to ignore my forgetfulness. :P ) Got a question? Post in the comments (of this website please) and I will answer. :)
P.S. Those of you do not feel the need to check the news in the ABOUT section, I recommend you do so this time. This is news that you're not going to want to continue reading my blog without looking at.
I don't know about you guys, but when it comes to me, there is a delicate balance between how much I develop my story idea, and how much (if at all) I write. A balance I have yet to discover. Either I find this balance, or I complete a book with sheer force of will. Either way, the end is the same.
Let me tell you what happens when I develop too much/too little.
a) I Know All!: I spend a long time thinking about it and figuring out what would make the best story. Mostly in the beginning. The rest is a really clear general idea. And then I write little to nothing in it, and eventually get bored and move on to "more interesting" ideas. For example, I have a story idea titled From the Wild Places (do you italicize when talking about a book that hasn't been published yet? Oh well). I spent a lot of time developing it, but I only wrote one sentence in it. Sigh.
b) Let's Wing It!: I develop as I write. I don't let myself think about it unless I'm writing. Surprisingly, I write a good lot in it, but I still get bored and can't (yet) stop myself from moving on. For example, I have an untitled and recent idea that I have written more than twenty pages in, but for the past few weeks, I have been unable to bring myself to write anymore in it. Again, sigh.
One of these days, I will get over that hurdle, but it is not this day. Until then, I will keep trying. Only way to reach my goal mentioned in the previous blog post, so check that out if you haven't already. ;)
Hey, do you guys have this same problem? Did you get over it? Tell me how in the comments! :D
No, I'm not talking about how I didn't write this yesterday like you were expecting me to (I really did have a headache, for those of you who looked at the news). I'm talking about my writing process which is truly pathetic, but I have been unsuccessful in breaking away from it. I blame you guys.
Just teasing! ;) I love you guys.
Anyway, back to my writing process. Let me show you how unproductive it is.
Day 1) WOO-HOO!!!!!: I suddenly remember this story idea I had and think it's the best thing ever/I have a really cool dream that I think would make a great story/the world inspired me and I have a good story idea in mind. What do I do? I begin thinking about it of course! I think, and I develop, an maybe if the idea is lucky, I start writing in it. Even if I don't, I am still pumped about this idea! It's on my mind all through the day, and I go to sleep with it in my thoughts.
Day 2) Woo-Hoo!!!: The story idea is still on my mind, and maybe I'll do a little project on it, like a drawing, or I'll write down what I developed (most likely), or once I did a family tree, or I'll fill out a character chart, etc. But I just don't care about it the way I did on the first day. Maybe I'll actually start writing it anyway (probably not :/ ). The idea is still on my mind the whole day, and I still go to bed thinking about it.
Day 3) Woo-hoo!: I think about it all day. I go to sleep thinking about it. I mostly keep thinking about it because I have nothing else to think about. I'm not doing any developing. I'm not writing anything down.
Day 4) woo-hoo: It's still in my mind, but I spend from the moment I wake to the moment I sleep trying to come up with another idea, bored with the one I have.
For shame, I know. I should try harder, I know. One of these days I will finish. I refuse to die without being published.
What's your process like? What do you think of mine? Comment!
Does anyone else think that writing collaboration is weird? I mean, I've been asked to collab with three different people on three different occasions and we worked on plot and characters and everything, but never actually started.
How do you start a collab story? How do you know who writes what? And how do you make it seamless so that the only way a reader knows it was written by more than one writer is that there's more than one author name on the cover? I don't get it. How do collabs work?
Let me know in the comments, because I want to understand.
Yes, I know this blog post is short and not in my usual format, but hey, it's bound to happen every once in awhile.
If you're a writer, it's unlikely that you're a terrorist. But your Google search history probably tells a different story. Gotta write a good story that people would actually want to read, and that takes research.
Research like . . .
1. Torture Methods: Maybe your villain is into that kind of thing and your character/character's loved one is captured by them. Of course you want to find the worst and most painful torture method.
2. Bomb Building for Dummies: It is essential for this part of the story that one character or another builds a bomb. Except you don't know how, and you can't fake it because no one would publish it, or no one would find it believable. What do you do? Well hello, Google, miss me?
3. Psychological Repercussions of This or That Traumatic Event: Your character has been through Purgatory and you want to make sure you've got their new mentality right. Not as big a deal as building a bomb or torture, but you know, still suspicious.
4. How Much for a Hitman?: You need to know because this is how your story is. Maybe your MC is a hitman, or is hiring one. In any case, it's good to know much an average hitman costs. Doesn't mean it look good on your Google search history though.
5. Weapons: If you don't know what you're doing with a gun, then your character won't either. How can your story be good if the character who's supposed to be an expert in the way of guns isn't? This also applies to swords, daggers, crossbows, and other types of weapons.
In short, this probably looks like the Google search history of a terrorist. I guess that makes writers the terrorists of fictional worlds. ;)
Got a thought? Share it, and comment! :)
It's getting kind of close to NaNoWrimo, so those who like to outline have begun, and those who don't are singing Hakuna Matata and doing what it is they do in October. And then there are those who still haven't decided if they're a plotter or a panster (for those of you who do not yet know these phrases, a plotter is a person who outlines, and a panster is a person who doesn't and flies by the seat of their pants). Like me :)
There are pros and cons to outlining (as there is to everything of course) and I'm gonna go over all the ones I can think of so you can decide to be a plotter and get cracking on that before it's too late. Of course, if you decide to be a panster, enjoy the rest of your October and come back Monday! ;)
1. Follow the Yellow Brick Road!: One thing's for sure, your budding novel is less likely to be a mess of random ideas, and there will not be as many major plot holes. With an outline, you've got a clear path to follow, and you don't have to worry about not knowing what to write for this or that part.
2. Got Some Meat on its Bones: Your idea will be fleshed out and developed (at least mostly), so it'll be easier for you to describe in detail everything in your story. The better you know your story, the more words you can put down, the closer you are to winning. :)
1. No Spontaneous Combustion, Aw: Sometimes outlines can be a little too rigid. Sometimes, you just can't add something spontaneously without completely moving away from your outline. And perhaps your story would be better with that spontaneous addition, but you just don't want to abandon your outline.
2. 🎵Today I Don't Want to Do Anything🎵: Outlines take work, and maybe you don't want to do that kind of work right now. Maybe you want a calm before the storm scenario where during October you relax, and deal with NaNoWrimo stress during NaNoWrimo. (Or maybe you're just too busy to outline. :P )
Hope you enjoyed this post and it helped you make your decision. And that those of who who already decided found it at least a little bit funny. Comment what you think! :)
Everyone says that the hardest part to writing is starting.
You can't help but stare at that blank page/screen, trying desperately to come up with the perfect first sentence. You think you've got it, you start typing it . . .
You delete it.
Over and over this happens. You know that it doesn't have to be perfect, you know it can be crappy, it's only the first draft after all, but you just can't bring yourself to write something bad. How can you? This idea is great, it deserves nothing but the best writing from you. But right then you just don't have the best writing in you. There are just too many ways to start.
So what are you to do? Well, you could . . .
1.) Bask in the Radiance of the Greats: You could Google inspirational writing quotes until the words fill you up so much that it's impossible for you not to start. So caught up in the advice of the great successful writers that you just have to be like them, and suddenly, you're on a roll.
2.) Stick to the Endless Cycle: You don't do anything but sit there, think, start typing, delete. Repeat. Over and over and over. Eventually, you know you'll find the perfect sentence.
3.) Walk Away: You didn't really feel like writing anyway . . .
Hey, guys, sorry for the short post. Hope you enjoyed anyway though. :)
Like always, comment your thoughts! Don't hesitate to tell me what I missed.
There you are, going about your business, cleaning your house or emptying your computer of the clutter that's been growing and slowing it down, when you come across an old story you wrote years ago. In the back of your mind, bells are ringing, warning you of its absolute awfulness, but you ignore them and start reading anyway. You remember being in love with this story and thinking it's the best thing ever.
But that is the farthest thing from true. This story could not be in any way worse than it already is. You cringe so hard through the whole thing, it's a miracle you didn't shatter.
If you are thinking you don't have any story like that, you are sorely mistaken. We all have them. We will always have the demons. And they always try to eat us whole and live. Don't worry, they usually don't succeed. ;)
Of course, like all beasts, there are ways to defeat them and claim utter victory over your terrible young writing. You can:
a) Feel the Buuurrrnnn!!!: Obviously, you could burn it. That way no one in the world will ever be able to read such terrible writing from you ever. Can't go wrong that way. You could just pretend it never happened, and you will never have to worry about it again. And you lived happily ever after. The end.
b) The Storage Unit of Shame: You don't quite want to burn it. It's terrible, yes, but you remember having such fond memories of it and feeling so proud of it when you wrote it that you just can't bring yourself to destroy it. So instead you put it in a better hiding spot and hope that you never find it again. Out of sight, out of mind. Hopefully.
c) Must . . . Fix . . .: With a bit, okay a lot of editing, this story could be great, so you set to work. How can anyone call you a bad writer if this story is edited to greatness? Why waste all the work you put into it by burning it? No, you're just not the kind of person to let bad writing remain bad.
d) *Sly Smile*: This writing is really bad. Your current writing is really good, but not quite as good as something published. So what do you do? You post it on a writing website that you're a member of to make your current writing so much better by comparison. More likes for you, yay!
And there you go, demon slayed and victory won.
What do you do with really bad old writing? Comment! :D
Let's be honest, whether or not you've actually completed your novel's first draft, you know it's terrible. Full of useless sentences that just get in the way, awful grammar, and bad spelling. Perhaps your paragraphs are too long because of pointless ramblings. Maybe your paragraphs are too short because you forgot to describe everything. Or you described everything, but it turned out all choppy and wince-worthy.
Point is, first drafts really suck.
And then there are those moments when you decide to reread an old first draft because you felt like it.
So there you are, rereading your horrendous and wishing you had burned the thing just so you wouldn't be reading it now, when something shocking happens. You double-take. Is that . . . ? Yes, it is.
Say hello again to the best paragraph you ever wrote.
Already you know that you are not ever again going to forget this precious gem of letters and words and sentences ever again. This paragraph has become your inspiration, your new reason to write. It's almost too good to be true.
Your reaction probably goes a little something like this:
1. Suspicion: You wrote this? It must have been someone else. You're good, but not that good. Come on, let's be real here.
2. The World Must See: Even if you didn't write it, everyone you know must read it and gasp in awe at its pure awesomeness.
3. The Realization: Everyone you show it to tells you that yes, you did write this amazing paragraph, and suddenly you remember writing it. Confidence builds within you. Welcome to your new best day ever.
Hey, guys, sorry it's so short today. Obviously I need a new best paragraph ever to inspire me. ;)
As always, comment your thoughts, because I want to hear them. :)
If you're not sure what I'm getting at in the title, let me clarify: Mary/Gary Sues.
Oh, don't you just hate it when you write an amazing plot, but then come to realize after a reread that your MC is flatter than the paper they're written on? You know that your plot is supposed to center around your MC, but there is such a thing as too much, or dare I say, written too poorly. I mean no offense by that; I've done it (more than once, I might add). Yes, we are all bad writers at one point.
. . . But that's off topic.
The point is, sometimes our characters don't want to be brave and able to deal with what you're trying to throw at them. But you force them to anyway, which leaves them flat. And, let's be honest, sometimes, it's not your characters, it's you. Sometimes you feel way too bad for your characters and it flattens them up.
You probably now expect me to tell you how you'd react to finding out you've got a Mary/Gary Sue. Well, ha! Not this time, I've decided to mix things up a bit. Huzzah! ;D
Here are some things you can do about this little hinderance:
a) Fill Out a Character Chart: This is really easy because there are character charts with many diverse questions all over the internet. I'm pretty sure there's even a website for it. I even have a chart that is super long, though I have yet to actually use it. Oops.
b) I Know a Game . . . : No seriously. It's quite simply name The Character Development Game. It's really easy, all you have to do is answer a question in your character's perspective. You can't really play by yourself, because it's not as much fun when you're asking the question yourself. To be more specific (and perhaps less confusing), one person asks a question, and then another person answers it in their character's perspective. After they finish answering, they ask another question for the next person (the question is separate from your character's response). The questions can be anything.
c) RP: RolePlaying might not be for everyone, but I do think that it's a good way to develop your characters because they're put in situations they might never be in otherwise. It forces you to develop parts of your character you never considered. Those parts may not be important to your story, but it does flesh out your character and make them seem more real. If you think out your character, your readers will be able to tell, even if you never mention the things you think about.
Wow, my first truly serious blog post. Comment what you think, and any other ways you develop your characters so I can give it a try. :)
A good chunk of you already know who I am, considering I sent you here, but for those of you people who found my blog by accident, let me introduce myself. My name is Madison Anderson and I was born and spent little more than half my life in Oregon (US for those of you who don't know and don't want to look it up), so it's no wonder I like the rain. I'm obsessed with Disney (bought myself a Woody doll and I'm so happy :) ) and books. I'm now into drawing, and whenever I get around to it I plan on selling my work. You can visit my art page (someday it'll be website) at https://www.facebook.com/randomart17/?ref=bookmarks