TOP TEN Confessions of a Novelist….

Here are some of my writing “confessions.” If you write, I’d love to know if you could admit something similar, or something completely different. What would your confessions be? If you don’t write, enjoy the glimpse into a writer’s mind: the fun and crazy part (:-p)

I HAVE NEVER CRIED OVER A CHARACTER. Though my latest first draft did have me pacing the room for a good five minutes when I realized something awful I would have to do to someone I liked. One of my favorite someone’s actually. That’s the WORST.

I DO HAVE FAVORITE CHARACTERS. If characters are like children then you really shouldn’t play favorites, but I do. There’s something about Laskenay in “The Crimson League” that I really like. She’s ridiculously strong in all kinds of ways I wish could be. She’s not the protagonist of that novel, but she’s a major player. I hope to feature her prominently in a prequel.

I THINK MY FEELINGS WOULD BE HURT IF SOMEONE INSULTED ONE OF MY FAVORITE CHARACTERS. Not in the sense of, “Oh, she’s all right, but I prefer this person.” In the sense of, “I think she’s dull and stupid and I wouldn’t care if she drowned herself in the Podra River.” There will always be people who don’t connect with the characters I favor, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone has a right to his or her own opinion, and it’s not as though the person under consideration actually exists. But I have to think it would be like someone telling a parent, “Your kid’s a ridiculous brat. She’s obnoxious and I don’t want my kind hanging out with her.” Maybe it’s true, and maybe for the kid’s sake it needs to be sad. But it still hurts!

I USED TO SCORN WRITER’S GUILT. In high school, I read an interview in which someone asked J.K. Rowling what she would say to Harry Potter, if she could tell him anything. She responded, “I’m sorry.” She would tell him she was sorry. That sounded kind of strange to me, until I finished reading the series. Now that I’ve written a fantasy trilogy, I totally understand. I think if I could tell my protagonist Kora anything, it would be “I’m sorry.” If not that, then “You’re totally awesome and I wish I could be like you.” Yeah, maybe that….

I SLEEP POORLY BECAUSE I’M PLOTTING. I wake up and I set off thinking about the WIP, and then an hour’s gone and I haven’t fallen back asleep because my mind’s working. I should learn, but I just keep doing that, night after night. It’s much more fun plotting the next scene or two than it would be worrying about other things, no? I imagine I’m not the writer who does this, and I suspect it’s a major reason so many writers are SO addicted to coffee.

I DON’T MIND AIR TRAVEL, MAINLY BECAUSE IT’S PERFECT WRITING TIME. Most people can’t stand the airport or planes, or pretty much anything about the idea of flying. But I don’t mind it at all. I just pull out the laptop and get some writing done! If not that, I read. Because reading is also instrumental to writing well.

I HAVE A WRITING PLAYLIST. And it’s not what you think. It’s not songs I play while I write. They are songs that remind me of my characters or my novels in some way, or that I feel would go awesome attached to a particular scene if a movie were ever made of my work. I have never deemed that anything other than a fat chance, but hey, you never know….

I HAVE A DREAM CAST FOR A MOVIE VERSION OF “THE CRIMSON LEAGUE.” It includes Alia Shawkat (Maeby from “Arrested Development”) as Kora, Anne Hathaway as Laskenay, and Zach Braff as Zalski. I think he’d really humanize the villain role, and that matters to me.

I HAVE SPENT FAR TOO MUCH MONEY AT THE CAFE. It’s the perfect writing atmosphere for me, so I go there to write. A lot. A lot a lot. Oh well…. I justify the money spent because my cafe of choice is a local business, so at least I’m supporting that!

I FEEL GUILTY FOR WRITING MUCH OF THE TIME. There’s other stuff I should be doing. My oral exam prep as a graduate student, for instance, or grading. Oh well. I make sure I write daily anyway. It’s my passion, it’s what fulfills me, and it’s important to write on a regular basis if you want to write well or ever complete a project the size of a novel.


13 responses to “TOP TEN Confessions of a Novelist….

  1. #9 … good grief, I spend like all my money at Starbucks. It’s ridiculous. I try to limit myself to spending less than $3 every visit, but sometimes I just need to get that banana loaf, you know?

  2. oh man the banana loafs are SOOOO good!

  3. #2, #5, and #8 are so true for me!

  4. I can relate to #6. The whole concept for my WIP was a 10 hour car drive with Brian Adams playing on loop. Oh and small children asking if we were there yet. Amazing the things that will send you off into a fantasy realm…

  5. 1 definitely strikes home for me. Probably because I work along a “key scenes” method. Key scenes usually come to me early in the process and then I fill in the cracks after research and outline. Because of that I usually know who’s going to die along with how and when very early on, which means I have a lot of time to come to grips with it, and so no tears.

    2 and 6 are also true, as is 9. And 7. But I tend to take it one step further and actually have playlists for individual characters. It’s what I like to call a “head-entering” exercise.

  6. Pingback: Confessions of a Bookworm | Creative Writing with the Crimson League

  7. Pingback: Even more confessions of a writer | Creative Writing with the Crimson League

  8. Pingback: 5 Confessions of a Writer | Words, Words Words

  9. I relate to the playlist one the most. If I am stuck on a scene, sometimes a certain song will help. Or sometimes a scene that already exists feel more real in conjunction with a song in my head. I don’t think much about my fiction becoming a movie per se, but if I “play” the scene in my head, a soundtrack is sometimes helpful to set a mood I’m looking for.

  10. Lisa W England

    Ditto on the cafe thing. I’d be embarrassed to ever tally all those receipts. I’d have to pen a NYT Bestseller to pay for it … But I’ve loved every minute! Especially those spent in local establishments with a unique vibe.

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