Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Writer Growing Pains

Now it's J6.3 home with a fever & vomiting. My life is a joy. We're hoping (yet again) that it's not the flu.

As for writing, it's been frustratingly slow-going lately. I'm moving along on the SciFi novel but it all seems kind of blah.

I've been working out the world for a fantasy novel or series (preliminary naming is Nightingale) in my head for about a month now and that's finally starting to gel a bit, but I'm trying to do the plotting thing for this one as opposed to pantsing it like I usually do. Plus, I'm not ready to start yet another project when I already have a few in the works. I want to plot the entire thing out this time, do the synopsis ahead of time, the whole bit. Even being an unpublished writer, I feel that I've grown as a writer over the last year, and I'm trying to keep stretching myself. I'd feel better about tackling a career as a writer if I knew I could accomplish my writing using a process and not just winging it every time. My logical math/science mind prefers that although the crafty side likes creating as I go. But from what I've read from other plot-happy writers, there's still room for writing off the beaten path and spur-of-the-moment plot developments even if you're writing according to your plan. The story always changes your plans, kind of like the first engagement in a battle it seems. Hmm, writing is the same as waging war? I can see that. :)

The other thing I'm going to try to improve: Giving my good characters more faults. Oh, they're not all perfect goody-goodies anymore, but I think I still do tend to make them "all people I'd want to be friends with" as one of my critique partners put it. Now, I'm not going to take it to the extremes that he suggested because I don't think that would be true to their inner characters, but I can certainly make them more "real" and believable. Now I just have to execute that somehow. Sigh.

What is something you think you could improve in your writing, your work habits or just life in general?


  1. Deliberate, consistent practice with the aim of improving is the hardest thing for me to sustain. I've got two "serious" hobbies, both of which have lain fallow this summer. Between increasingly draining work and general everything else, it can be very hard to pull together the concentration and focus to push past the inevitable plateaus in ability and all to easy to slide back down the hill.

  2. I completely agree. Those hobbies that would usually recharge us are typically the first things to get shoved aside because of outside frustrations and exhaustion. When the entirety of your day/week/month is one big stress-fest, it's tough to put the effort into even doing your hobby or craft let alone concentrate on improving it. Most days lately I'm proud of myself for even getting my word quota in and never mind stretching my abilities.