Wednesday, November 9, 2011

RTW: Ultimately, Torture & Death

I interrupt my regularly scheduled Nano broadcast for Road Trip Wednesday, a blog carnival hosted by YA Highway! This week's topic:

"What are your writing and publishing superpowers (drafting? beta-reading? writing queries? plotting? character creation? etc.) -- and what's your kryptonite?"

  • Story Ideas are easier for me to come by than dust in the desert. When civilians ask authors where they get their ideas, or authors complain that they "can't come up with anything to write," I am completely dumbfounded. I get ideas in passing from dreams, books, movies, television, the news, dialogue from passing strangers - just to name a few. Life bursts with ideas - how could you not stumble upon at least one idea a day?
  • Characters are my bread and water (with butter on top ;). Almost all of my stories are exclusively character-driven, meaning I come up with the main characters and basic premise first and then work out the plot when I absolutely have to. (More on plot below...) Most characters are born their own unique person straight from the get-go, and as such flow from my fingertips with ease and pleasure. I always enjoy the new discoveries I make about them every time I sit down to write!
  • Beginnings, i.e. the First/Third (for me), are my easiest words to write, where you introduce the main characters and set up the premise and world. And it is a rare day when I don't put down a rather brilliant First Sentence right off the bat.
  • And speaking of which, Knowing Where to Start has become a specialty of mine, I'm happy to say. Now when published authors recommend to "cut your first chapter," I'm like, "Already done before it was written!" XD
  • Lastly, Encouragement is a natural way of life for me. I love to encourage others in their writing (and in their lives), and love to send emails and tweets with lots of !!! and XD in them! :)

  • Plot is the first half of why I have yet to be published. If I had my druthers I would simply follow my characters around all day and not worry about them doing anything particularly exciting or adventurous, because they are just so fascinating all by themselves! But people insist on a plot for some reason, and when I can't come up with anything good enough my books tend to die a tragic death and I move on to something seemingly better. Started books? Probably over 100. Finished books? Under 10.
  • Middles, i.e. the Second/Third of a story, are the endless death valley that spans between the beginning and the end for me. I'll get hopelessly confused by my fractured plot and lose focus and direction and the characters will take back over and start worrying about holidays instead of finding the climactic end and... *sigh* I am happy to say I am learning to work through the dreaded middle, but I don't foresee them becoming a superpower any time soon.
  • Editing - the other reason I have yet to publish. A first draft is difficult to write, but I've done it. But go back and edit? *shiver* I have yet to do a successful novel edit. Heck I haven't even done a full second-draft edit! And it's mainly because my plot was so weak that it needs a complete re-do and I just don't want to go there. But I'm collecting my tips and tricks and reference books, and once I finish Project V (by December 31st or I die a painful death inflicted by my own hand), that will change (or, again, torture and ultimately self-inflicted death).

So those are mine! What parts of writing are you good and bad at?


  1. Oh, that murky middle! That's my kryptonite too!

  2. I love that you listed encouragement as a superpower. I think that's one of mine too :)

    And I'm with you and Alison. Those middles are such jerks. They never cooperate...

  3. Don't you hate how the premise doesn't come with a ready-made plot too?

    PS - Just had to say love Castle. And you'd enjoy this post I did on him/the show.