“I think that to write well and convincingly, one must be somewhat poisoned by emotion. Dislike, displeasure, resentment fault-finding, imagination, passionate remonstrance, a sense of injustice–they all make fine fuel.” – Edna Ferber
FYI Writing is very hard, and no, I'm not just figuring it all out now, I thought it better to say aloud to get it off my chest. I don't think anyone chooses to write, if it's in you, it takes you and there is nothing you can do about it, so shut up and do as the voices say.
I blurred the last line of the story, I have friends reading this blog, you know?)
I have two main reasons for writing this blog, firstly...
While I think it is pitiful that this is my first post of the New Year, I do have a good reason, and that reason is obviously writing related. In my previous post This Woman's Work I spoke about completing Nanowrimo. The good news is I think so far I've been able to keep the discipline it enforced, by writing consistently and swallowing back the excuses I've got a lot done, hence no blog posts. I finished the Freak Shows!!!
Do you remember when I said I didn't really enjoy writing the last 15,000 words of it? Yeah, well, I printed the novel out and after a lot of reading and note taking (consistency, characterization, and dropped threads) I'd say it was those last 15k that needed the most work.
so many hours of work, late nights and early mornings. Yes, I even write on my LoveFilm letters.)
Oddly enough, although it has been a very long week, I'm looking forward to getting back on the computer with my notepad beside me to make the story even better. I've given myself a two week deadline to complete this process, it's taken me a little over a week to do the first half which was reading it like a teacher and making extensive notes (asking and answering questions like 'Why is this scene necessary? Would Kit really react this way?) It has been really enlightening to find the answers and study them, and read them over. It was a great feeling to see it all falling into place, character motivations, formed connections and the desperation that breeded unthinkable acts all tying to each other.
I don't know if that's a bad sign, to actually enjoy the hard work of going through the story with a fine tooth comb, though, truly, I don't think it was the hard work I enjoyed. It was the realisation that I had come out the other side, reached the final page after sticking with it every hour I had to work on refining and colouring it some, you know? To make it pop.
I don't know if I'm the only one who does this, but with some of my stories, I notice it has a colour. It sounds weird, but when I picture Freak Shows, I see a tint of colours, like bokeh and camera flare from the sun every time I imagine the world and the people. There are a lot of yellows, blues and greens.
Also, it might surprise you to know that although I have over 12 pages of notes, the major parts of Freak Shows won't be changed.
So colourful =D )
Are you still talking? This leads me to the second reason I wanted to blog, and that’s the old writer's trap we fall into. I've had this chat with Jenn (Doody) my part-time, whenever she can and isn't swamped with school work editor; we were talking about methods of writing and the pressure to follow advice from others. I often find myself trolling the internet trying to find every bit of advice I can about how to make stronger characters, better plots, sharper dialogue or how to edit, and while I do get some ideas, sometimes I feel drained and overwhelmed afterward, like, wow, am I getting this all wrong? Is my way wrong?
It's like going on a diet or deciding to exercise, there will be millions of dieticians, physicians and celebrities telling you how to go about it, but they're not there with you when you go for that run or have water over soda. All the actual work is up to you.
My strategy for editing is to review the story when it's finished as a reader (as unbiased as I can manage) the characters, plot, pace and then make note of the forgotten subplots, characters, descriptions. Lastly, I check the spelling, grammar and active over passive voice. It's all been a learning experience for me, one that I prefer.
Yikes, so much red, right?)
So what's your point? If you're a writer, you need to know how important it is to find YOUR way of doing things. Write from the end to the beginning, start with the middle and work your way out, start character bios or write blindly and see who develops and grows from your spontaneous fingers, do what works. And, when you've finally finished it, edit it how you want, too. Are you going to hack the story into bits and tear things out, rewrite whole chapters, or do you need to just reorder scenes? Do not feel pressured into rubbishing your story because you've read an interview of a best-selling author saying to throw half of it out after you write it, and don't go and change your gentle character into an arse kicking leather wearing bad ass just because a writer or a reviewer on amazon says so.
No one can truly teach you how to tell a good story, all they can do is show you the way how they did, you're the one who has to connect with the story you're telling and the characters you're writing.)
Stay true your characters, vow to be forever loyal to them, even if they don't make it to the end of the book and it pains you, do what they would want, respect their wishes. So, from writer to writer, you should probably almost always ignore the advice of another writer, especially when they contradict themselves, like I've just done. LOL - Unless, this actually works for you, take the advice of a writer if what they're saying resonates, if it doesn't say 'no, thank you' and move on.
The End In closing, yay. I gave myself a deadline after Nano to finish it by Feb 14th; I finished it Feb 15th at 5:18am. Let's take a moment to celebrate my being a little closer to sending out Queries.
I have 5 days left exactly, to edit it again. I plan to read it over one more time as a story and then send it out to my friends, for a review and hopefully their enjoyment. Once they have given me their honest feedback, it’s off to be scrutinized, turned upside down and maybe even represented.
I play with photoshop sometimes and got this colourful cover playing with paint, apply image and textured backgrounds.)
I hope once I finish Freak Shows and then begin the art of writing a brilliant Query Letter, I'll have more time to blog about my adventures. I'm hoping for at least 4 a month. But don't hold me to it, I can be a little inconsistent unless it includes procrastinating, that I can breeze through.
Title Info. Etta James
See you later,