Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wannabe Writers #16

This is my first foray into Wannabe Writers, a weekly meme hosted by Sarah at Confessions of the Un-Published. This meme is what prompted me to start Writer Quirk, so I am thankful to Sarah for creating it and allowing ANYONE (even a quirkster like me) to join up. So go visit her site. Do it.

Where I am in the writing process: I currently have six works-in-progress, all in the area of fantasy/paranormal YA. Some are more developed as far as characters and story-lines, others are still in bare-bones-idea stage. The WIP I am currently focusing on has ~5,000 words to it.

My current problem(s): Merging the writing in my notebook with the writing on my computer. I just don't have the motivation to do it, though I think of the WIP in terms of the whole as if it were all typed up. I don't get a whole lot of uninterrupted writing time except on the weekends, so I'm writing a paragraph here and a bit of dialogue there during the week, but by Saturday I just feel drained and don't want to even think about it. Burnout? Not really, it just feels like a bit of a headache when I do think about it, but I'm planning on just trudging through because that's the only way it will get done!

Sarah's ???: How to start a story. (Dialogue, description, action, etc.)

My answer:  I've heard the "no dialogue, no dream sequences, no flashbacks" rules, so it seems obvious to avoid these. The last two I can understand, but the first I think there is flexibility so long as it is done properly. I believe the new book Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready begins with an uttered question, but does not delve into an entire conversation off the bat, so basically walking a fine line that IMHO works well enough. Hook is the important factor. Put conflict into the first sentence that makes the reader question what is going on so that the reader has to read-on to find the answer. Easier said than done, of course, but initial conflict is what I think about and focus on as I open a story.

My ???: Character introductions. In my current WIP, I had relatively no problem with the intro dialogue for LI (love interest) #1, but the intro dialogue for LI#2 is falling flat in every attempt. For instance, main character (MC) gets saved from certain death by LI#2. Do you have them talk at the scene of the incident or wait til they've relocated a bit? Put in the basic description (what the MC can currently observe of LI#2) or leave it out until later? Suggestions? Tips? Please share!


  1. I don't tend to pay too much to rules like where you should start a story. I start where my story wants to start, and I can usually feel if it's a good hook. :)

  2. I used to have the same page to computer problem but you just have to push through it!

  3. Welcome to the amazing Wannabe Writers!

    "I'm planning on just trudging through because that's the only way it will get done!" - Good move. ;D

    As to your question: I would play out the scene and then go back for both of those. Let the reader wonder in confusion for a bit. Make them think, "Who the heck is this guy?!", and THEN tell them.

    (My post is at

  4. I have the same problem with notebook to computer, that's why I stopped using my notebook as much as I can!

    As to your question (just my opinion, not thinking I am an expert by any means, lol)I would say it depends on what the scene of the incident is, if it's seriously life threatening in this moment then they would have to wait until they relocate to talk a bit. But if the imminent danger has passed then I think just a hint of a conversation would be intriguing and fun. When I'm stuck like that, I ask myself what would be natural to the character, what would they do? What would they notice about L2? That helps me sometimes.

    Good luck! And I love the look of your blog :)

  5. Welcome to Wannabe Writers. I tend to hand write everything as well and don't have a lot of time to type it up. I'm thinking of finishing the story,then typing it up and expanding, semi editing as I go. Crystal and Madeleine have given you some good advice. Think how the scene would play out in real life and see what happens.

  6. Thanks you guys! You've all been helpful and I have a plan now for that intro, so yay for no longer being stuck! :o)

  7. awesome! what a great start!!

    my fingers are crossed for your success :D

  8. So happy to see someone list the Bible as one of their favorite books (and LOTR of course that should always come in second :)

    Just an idea for your problems with intro dialogue for your second character - have you done a "character profile" for him yet? Kind of like an interview: what's your favorite childhood memory? Most traumatic experience? These background details help my find my character's words


Thank you for reading!