I've found myself in a strange place in the last two weeks or so of struggling to find the beginning of scenes. For some reason, and I can't explain it as I've always been clear on this in the past, I have had the urge to do setups for upcoming scenes. I know two characters have to get together and discuss something and instead of just putting them together in that scene I wrote a paragraph that set up the scene, realized it needed another paragraph to advance it, and then another one, and suddenly, I was 300 words into the setup and the scene hadn't started.What all this finally (and God do I hope finally!) made me realize is that if it's boring to write, chances are it's boring to read. Thank you! I'll be here all week. G'night!
This post is brought to you by Writing Group, which has moved past the point of being annoying and right into amusing and entertaining.This is also a pet peeve of mine, so please feel free to dig out the plastic wrap as there will be much spittle. The Three S's Rule:There are things that happen to all of us on a daily basis that do no necessarily merit a mention or scene in your story. These things are taken as read that they happened. A character arrives at work and we understand that he woke, dressed (hopefully) and made the commute to work. Unless the commute to work advances the plot (like there's fearsome space monkeys on the bus) or the characterization in some way, leave it out. If nothing happens on that commute/walk/teleport, don't waste precious words on it.It's the laws of S's. The Shit, Shower, and Shave Rule.Characters poop. They shower. They shave. They dress. They cook, clean, and do a million other little chores that most of us don't give a second thought to while we do them or after they are done.I encourage you to write about the important things in your story and leave the three S's off the page.So, that's one of my peeves. What bugs you?
I joined this comm a few weeks ago and I wonder if anyone is still interested in discussing the writing of fic? (I find myself almost as obsessed with the writing as the fic and am hoping there are others with my affliction.)I've been stuck on a sequel to my first series for quite a while now and I think I've recently identified my main problem. I have a lot of ideas for it and know where I basically want it to end up. I even have a fair number of separate scenes written. The thing is, it seems that my basic plotline gets off track a bit. I think I have too many subplots and the main plot almost ends up taking a back seat to the subplots (although they all tie together as the story goes along -- and I love them so!). Has anyone out there had this problem? What did you do: struggle until you tamed the subplots? just keep going with it and write the Big Damn Treatise? tear out the distractors and throw them away or write them as their own fics? Any response/discussion would be so very appreciated.
The device of hurt/comfort has been around fandom since before the Internet, probably before zines. I think that in a lot of ways it's a dual payoff for the reader in that there's action and conflict, and then there's a platform for the characters to bond and grow closer together.Oddly enough for me, writing hurt/comfort is easy. What I really have a hard time writing is conflict for the characters, especially conflict that will hurt the characters emotionally or cause division between characters. I want things to be happy and good for the characters, and then I remind myself that if there's no conflict, there's no story.Which do you find easier to write: hurt/comfort or emotional/interpersonal conflicts? Do you have problems writing either?
1) If you take a break from a writing project it will take twice as much effort to come back to it than if you worked on it daily until it is complete.2) No matter how hard you try to limit the number of characters you introduce into an original work, they multiple like bunnies. Bunnies. I swear the characters are off shagging somewhere and multiplying.3) Midway through the project you will begin to doubt every word of the story--did I begin in the right place, is the pacing too slow, do I take too long to introduce key characters, is this shite? 4) You will begin to hate a 60,000 word story somewhere around 32,000 words. Will it ever end?5) The more focused and determined you are to write a scene, the more ways you can find to waste time before actually sitting down and writing the words. Oh, wait, need to check my eBay auctions, see if anything is selling.
I'm normally not into original characters in fanfic, either writing them or reading about them. I may use them a tool to propel the rest of the story forward, but not as a co-star (i.e., fully-developed character with as much importance in the story as one of the main characters). That is, until recently - I'm in the middle of writing a multi-part, pre-series story starring an OC who had a relationship with one of the crew. (Oh, man, when I write it that way, she sounds so Sue-ish.) So anyways, since I'm writing a story that I probably wouldn't read if I weren't me, I became curious about other people's takes on OCs.
Which Firefly character do you find hardest to write? I find myself struggling with River. Especially in post-BDM fic because I want to show that some progress has been made in terms of her mental health, but I don't think it's appropriate to show her as being fully healed either. And in pre-BDM fic, I find it sometimes hard to capture the 'she's-crazy-but-she-kinda-makes-sense' vibe that the show's writers did so well.
I'm not too hung up on feedback. If I write, it's because I have a story I want to tell. Feedback is lovely and all that, and there are times when it can really feed the muse, but overall, I have to say that I'd write regardless of whether I got feedback or not.That aside, I'd really like to encourage you guys to leave feedback for fellow writers. There are writers who are deeply immersed in fandom and through their writing we are all given a few moments of pure entertainment that we wouldn't otherwise have, especially in fandoms like Firefly and The Inside. If someone is writing a pairing that you like, but that pairing isn't exactly popular within the fandom, then you really should leave that person feedback whenever possible.Sadly, writers get frustrated after pouring their creativity into a story and never getting any validation for their time and effort. Feedback. It takes just a few words to tell someone they did an excellent job. Fandom isn't entirely free, and it shouldn't be. Feedback can be the difference between a flood of great stories and a very very dry season.
...which leads to a writing ramble: Found this short interview with Nora Roberts on my Borders newsletter, and this Q/A caught my attention: Q: I wanted to ask you about your writing process, because your writing comes across as fluid and effortless, and it seems as though you're "channeling the muse." Is this really the case? What is your writing and revision process like? NR: Well, first: There ain't no muse. If you sit around and wait to channel the muse, you can sit around and wait a long time. It's not effortless. If only. Well, if it was, then everyone would do it, and where would we be then? So I work really hard to make it as fluid as possible, as readable and entertaining as possible. I'll vomit out the first draft: bare-bones, get-the-story-down. I don't edit and fiddle as I go, because I don't know what's going to happen next. Once I get the discovery draft down, then I'll go back to page one, chapter one, and then I start worrying about how it sounds, where I've made mistakes, where I've gone right, what else I have to add, where's the texture, where's the emotion. I start fixing. And then, after I've done that all the way through again, I'll go back one more time, and that's when I'm really going to worry about the language. And the rhythm, and making sure that I haven't made a mistake, that I've tied up all the loose ends reasonably. It doesn't necessarily mean everything ties up for every reader, because some want it one way and some want it another, and you just have to be true to the story, so it's all plausible at the end of the day.
How many of you write with a partner or have written with a partner? What was the process like for you, both good and bad, and would you do it again?