When writing there are so many difficulties that finding the good writing becoming lost amidst all the tangles of, well, crap writing. When do you put in more dialogue tags? When do you scrap your dialogue or refine it? When does your character start to act differently and is there enough in the situation to turn your character’s actions or did you happen to peg your character wrong from the beginning?
I’ve alluded to it before—how characters saunter in and hijack your plot completely. It is so easy to begin a story with your character in mind, knowing how you want them to be. As you write, however, you may notice your character altering in ways you didn’t anticipate. Hopefully this is happening because you are writing their natural reaction to circumstances. When this happens it’s good to take a step back from the work and find out if you need to revamp what you thought the character was supposed to be like, or change your story a little bit to fit the new character. Honestly, either way could work and you decide which will work better for you and for your writing.
I can write loads of substandard writing. I reread it and make myself gag at the poor quality. Those are the times that I’m simply pushing myself for the sake of writing. It’s what the experts tell you to do, but is it actually productive? Each person’s answer will be different because we are all motivated differently. I feel that it is counterproductive to me. There are days where I can push through a scene and I know it’s not great, but it also isn’t abysmal. Then there are days that are abysmal. Those days I don’t try to write. I do something else, I let my mind wander, I pay attention to news, or read a book. More quickly than I expect I’m struck with a rejuvenated literary muscle and my writing is better. My favorite form of writing is freewriting. It’s okay if what comes out is disjointed. It’s just whatever happens to be on my mind, that perhaps I didn’t even realize was on my mind. I also stay in touch with my own writer’s voice as much as possible. I don’t freewrite as often as I should, and I’m afraid my voice is an odd combination between Dickens and Dr. Suess. Whatever it is, it is my unique interpretation of writing and therefore my responsibility to hold onto and cherish. This semester I have both Literary Theory as well as an Advanced Fiction Writing class and the challenge will be to maintain my “voice” while also learning ways to improve my craft. Over the next few weeks, I anticipate a few posts with things that I learn intentionally or unintentionally from this class. I think I’ll tackle some dialogue material for later this week.
Well, here is a quirky little summation of a few things so far this week:
Started new classes, missing major textbook, coffee pot broke, got new coffeepot (like I can survive without coffee!), microwave groans occasionally (inhabited by a ghost perhaps?), and the dryer chirps as though there’s a bird stuck in it. I feel as though everything in my house is simply waiting for a wisp of air to fall apart before my eyes. So far though, I’m grateful it was just the coffeepot. How is everyone else’s week so far? Anything interesting, inspirational?
Well, it’s the middle of the week and the rest of the week’s adventures are yet to come! Tally-Ho!