Even more confessions of a writer

a writer using characters as pawns? forget that! more often I feel like THEIR pawn!

a writer using characters as pawns? forget that! more often I feel like THEIR pawn!

I’ve posted before Top Ten Confessions of a Novelist and Five More Confessions of a Novelist. Well, I was in the mood to write something light and fun that people could relate to, so here goes. Even MORE “confessions.”

  1. I often stop reading a really good book to consider how good it is. And why it’s good. And to pity myself for not writing something THAT GOOD and loathe myself for ever thinking I could write. Why can’t I describe a person or a place or heck, an emotion like you do, Charles Dickens? WHY???
  2. I believe I should write every day. And I write…. ALMOST every day. Some days I miss, especially when I’m traveling. Lately, I’ve had so much work to do that I haven’t put much attention on my WIP, “The King’s Sons,” at all. Which isn’t good. I need to step it up and get the book published this year.
  3. I created my own fantasy world, and keep writing about it partly because I can avoid much research that way. As a former graduate student, I’m sick of and averse to research now. So I do it when I have to. But I definitely think one plus of writing about Herezoth is that Herezoth doesn’t exist. Therefore, I don’t have to research facts about an actual place or historical period. I can mix and match whatever aspects of varied places and periods I decide I want to, as long as I’m consistent and the hodge podge isn’t glaringly strange or nonsensical.
  4. I have given characters reprieves, and also killed characters I had determined before writing–absolutely determined–I could in no way kill off. Writing. Is. Tough. Not just difficult, but tough on the soul. You have to let the characters guide you, and be their own people. And when they do that, they might make choices that have disastrous consequences. And that really, really stinks when you really care about the characters. At least I was able to save someone cool during NaNoWriMo!
  5. I’ve stolen from myself. As in, I’ve “plagiarized” my first, unpublished novel. I stole many plot points and character types for my Herezoth novels: including a castle with a secret passage, a scheming duke type who takes over a kingdom, a character stuck with an impossible love that she can’t shake, and a princess who falls in love with a guardsman/knight. Interestingly, I’ve never gone through and stolen actual sentences or turns of phrase. Maybe I should, though, if they work. Some of it’s pretty good from a stylistic standpoint. (All in all, the novel’s awesomely bad.)
  6. The tone, style, and plots of what I’m reading at the time affect what I write. I don’t steal, of course. But I’ll think, after reading a book involving slavery and a slave trade: “that’s interesting. Maybe I could do something with slavery. I haven’t before, and it would new and fresh for my series.” And I’ll end up, as I did in NaNoWriMo, making a kingdom with a slave economy a huge part of my next story in a way that’s very different from the novel that first gave me the idea. Not copying. Not plagiarism. But inspiration? You bet!
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5 responses to “Even more confessions of a writer

  1. My favorite here is number 3; no one knows my fictional world better than me so no research required.

  2. Pingback: How to Write a Novel (Free Download) « Writing Tips

  3. I’ll stop reading a book, good or bad, to think about how my characters would act in the situation I’ve just read about. A minute later I realize what I’ve done, and go back to reading, but a paragraph or page later I’m doing the same thing again. It’s a wonder I ever finish reading any books.

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