Saturday, 28 May 2011

A Little Introspection Does A Writer Good...

Well it does for me.

Every three or four years I find myself getting to a sticking point in my writing and that's when I find a little in-depth analysis useful.

The last time I did this I decided I needed to learn to use description more effectively, and also try plotting a little more on my longer length stuff- even though that wasn't the natural writing process that I began with. 

When I decided that I wanted to write a novel-back in 1999- I had an idea, a few characters and occasional plot points along the way, plus the ending. (I'd set out not to have a happy ending, in fact it wasn't even going to be a romance).

I put a lot of time in and got to 40,000 words. At this stage I'd reach the end point of my original idea and it had turned into a romance. I realised that there was still a lot more story to write, but I also understood that I still had a lot to learn about the skills I needed to make the novel work.

So I set it aside and promised myself I would come back to it, then I joined my local writers group.

A few years on, more books in my chosen genre read, more experienced and able to write better I looked at that first novel again, but I just couldn't get back into it. So I started new projects instead, including another novel.
(That's where the plotting and description targets came in.)

So now I'm at another of those decision points.

I think I've just about got the description issue more or less sorted from my last set of targets. Plotting- much better but could still do with work.

Now I need to work on my characters more. I've learnt that I can't write to any extended length with just one viewpoint character- so multiple person VP is my preference for novel length.

As I mentioned on an earlier post I had flat character issues. I also realised that I'm writing stories more from a male viewpoint, whether it's a short story or longer pieces.
Admittedly I grew up with older brothers, and my own children are all male too so perhaps that explains it.

So one of my targets this time is to use more female viewpoint characters in shorter stories. And I need to work on rounding out my flat characters.

Finally, persevere.

I think that's enough targets to work on for now.

4 comments:

Lady Renate said...

Good luck! I'm sure you'll get there. You sound very dedicated. :D

CarolB said...

I don't think any writer ever stops learning or pushing their writing boundaries, Lady Renate. I can only hope that all my efforts are eventually successful. If not, at least it won't be because I didn't try. :)

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Sounds like you're progressing well with your writing plans, Carol. Could you not turn that original book into a novella or 50,000 story for People's Friend Pocket Books or equivalent? That might give you something shorter to complete.

CarolB said...

Thanks for the suggestion Rosemary. I eventually worked out the remaing plot of that original novel and it won't work at the shorter length. But I do have a couple of ideas that would be ideal for the a Pocket novel, so I'm going to start with them.