Tuesday, June 14, 2005




Blind Justice carrying a big-ass sword

I cut out of work early today, 'claiming' I had an appointment to go to.
(Technically true, I was scheduled to see Drs Sofa & TeeVee and Nurse A/C at the *home* office. (nudgenudgewinkwink) So I do some grocery shopping, pick up some take out for me and the boy, then giddyup on home. Only to find said sofa, TV and A/C all being fully utilized by a bunch of teenaged boys watching Buffy/Angel/Star Wars/Firefly/You-fill-in-the-blank DVDs.

At some point soon, one of those teenagers--the one who belongs to me. Unfortunately-- will come back here and ask if I can order a couple of pizzas (the chicken takeout will have to be eaten tomorrow).

So here I sit in the muggy room just off the kitchen with just a lowly frickin fan blowing warm air on me.

Serves me right.

On a brighter note I started the current ms (again), and feel better about this latest version. I'd been too focused on developing the plot--a weak area--at the expense of some of my strong points: characterization, voice, pacing. I can fix the plot when I work the second draft, I have no qualms about slicing, dicing and shuffling, but I can't fix 'voice' if it's not there in the first place.

Yes, I need to have a general idea of where the story is going, but details can be filled in and fine tuned during the writing. What's even more important is the need to be in tune with my characters. Character, Character, Character, and Premise (which would include conflict & motivation) should be my focus when starting a new project. Too much plotting just Fs me up. As I've painfully learnt in these last 7 months.

I knew this. I've always said 'Character is King' when it comes to the way I write. Why did I forget, or push aside, this vital piece of knowledge?

Serves me right.
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Temperley said...

Yep yep! It was when I learned that character creates plot, as opposed to plot creating character, that a lightbulb went off in my head! Characters are cardboard because the writer is forcing them to move the plot along with an unofficial checklist, instead of allowing the plot to advance because of the characters.

Amie Stuart said...

Character is King, Queen and all that in between IMO =)

Hurry up and write something, so I can read! LOL

Jaye said...

Evangeline, exactly. "character creates plot". I won't say 'plot doesn't creat character. It does for some writers. But for me it's bassackwards.

Cece, the writing is coming again. I took a notepad and pen to work this morning and scribbled away during the commute in to the office, then transcribed everything to my jump drive before I 'officially' started work. I'm going to do some more writing in a bit.

Danica said...

Yes, character is king, and when character informs you that gee,I realize that you're on page 400 of a 400 page book, and it means rewriting the whole damn thing, then that's what you do. Oh wait, that's my own bitterness at being enamored of a brilliant plot gone awry.

Sasha said...

Iknwo when I spend to much time reading "industry' blogs aor writing articles, I get to wrapped up inthe technical stuff. It's easy to do, some sort of follow-the-leader hypnotism thing I think.

Anyway, glad to see your going to get at it again! :)

Steph T. said...

I'm the same way - it really screwed me up for a while. I think plotting's great if it works for you, but for me, I've had to give it up and trust that my characters will get me there.

Plus - I find not plotting a lot more fun - because I'm always surprised at what happens!!

I'm glad you're getting your writing juice back!

Larissa said...

I learned that when an idea for a book starts with a character rather than a plot, the story is easier to write.

Too bad it doesn't always happen...

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