Friday, June 25, 2010

Wannabe Writers #22

Wannabe Writers is 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 and the others who participate. Do it.

Where I am in the writing process:  From the last time I participated in WW to now (a few weeks) my writing has gone from intentionally every day or so to nil.  I blame this on my schedule upheaval and a general lack of will.  It felt like my writer flow had been cut off, but gradually it is coming back.  I was ready to just declare myself on break, but every time I thought about it, something half-way creative popped into my head.  So, not writing as much as I want, but still planning and mind-hammering out details.

My current problem(s):  Stupid plots!  When I get ideas for stories, I don't really get ideas for stories.  I get ideas for characters, and slowly stories form around them to explain how they are who they are.  I honestly wonder sometimes if I'm even clever enough to write a whole story as I can't seem to do it.  Plots, twists, time-lines...they feel murderous at the moment.  I just want to hang out with my characters and watch them go about their boring lives.  Sometimes it seems like the only decent things I write for them are the terrible and dark events because I honestly find that part fun, being horrible to my characters, that is.  Being good to them is so much harder...and connecting the dots between each event is the hardest part for me.

Sarah's ???:  When writing how do you structure out your novel?  Do you use the classic method of intro, rising tension, mini crisis, rising tension, mini crisis, rising tension, climax, resolution?  Or some kind of alternative structure?

My answer:  Um, structure?  If my stories were connect-the-dot pictures, there wouldn't really be a picture, at least, not a well-formed one that makes any sense to anyone but myself.

My ???: Structure???  I don't think in structure.  I've heard of three act structure, but as for execution, I'm so not there.  How do I learn to write in structure?  Please tell me this is something that can be taught!

Thanks for visiting!


  1. I think we have opposite problems. I tend to get all these ideas for plots and then none for characters. So I feel like often times my dialouge is dry and so are my character discriptions and then things get really inconsistant. So I think it's wonderful that you already know your characters. You just need a setting to plop them into.

    I daydream a lot. That's where a lot of my ideas come from. Take 15 minutes and try to do just that. Hope that sort of helps.

  2. I think reading helped me learn how to structure my stories well. When you read a great book and think it's just such a great story, read it again to see how they structured it.

  3. I never pay attention to structure as I write, I just write, and because I read a lot, the structure comes naturally. Starting out with a character is a wonderful thing. I've heard some writers say that as long as you have a character, your story will come naturally and it will feel natural when you're done. I've had stories come to me both ways - by plot first and by character first, as well as by concept first - and they all can work out in the end. Just keep seeing what happens to your characters. They'll tell you their stories. :)

  4. The book "Plot and Structure" by James Scott Bell helped me learn a lot about plotting.
    I've got a copy of it you can borrow, if you don't mind a lot of highlighting. lol. I can bring it to the next writer's meeting, if you'd like. :)

  5. Great suggestions! Thanks ladies!

    And Meg, yes on the book, I would love to borrow it, and I don't mind highlighting. ^_^

  6. I think it's easiest sometimes to write in the genre we enjoy reading the most. Good characters are the heart of any genre, so maybe just try a short story with a very traditional plot for a genre. If you're just starting out writing, it's pretty daunting (I know it was for me) to write a whole story, much less a novel.

    Keep it up!


Thank you for reading!