Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Writing Fears and Challenges

Hey there, everyone! I was just thinking about some of my greatest challenges and fears as a writer. I thought I would post a couple and invite you to do the same in the comments section.

1. The fear of not making my male characters masculine enough. In many books by women authors (especially romances) I find that the male characters think, act and talk a lot like women. I don't know whether this is really because of faulty writing, however, or just because I'm sexist and I think men should seem different. Because they are from Mars.

2. The beginning. I think all writers struggle with this. On the one hand you have to set the scene without boring the reader with details, but on the other hand action that takes place in a vacuum is confusing and boring as well. I really don't care who is stalking Esmerelda as she approaches her car if I don't know who Esmerelda is, where she is, what she is doing there or where she is going next. Putting her in imminent danger on the first page makes me feel manipulated. On the other hand, too much detail is boring too. (For an excellent example of this, see my "Prologue" below.)

3. Keeping strong physical (or emotional) action from seeming overdone. Sometimes I find that when I'm describing a busy scene, it comes out looking silly on the page. I find it helps to read these sections out loud and to try cutting about half of the original description. It's easier to add more if needed than to keep shaving little bits off. Unlike carpentry.

4. Feeling foolish when I see my prose. Sometimes even after I've done several edits, the whole thing still just seems invalid. I have come to realize that this is a side effect of looking at my own writing on a computer screen rather than seeing it in print. Other books seem to have an authenticity about them because they are actually books! Imagining the text of my favorite novel as it would appear in a Word Document helps a lot.

1 comment:

Donetta said...

Every battle has a foe. Your enemy would to stop your success. It means his demise.