Monday, May 10, 2010

Looking back

After I 'finished' my first novel -- turns out I was far from finished, but at that time I did manage to finally write 'the end' to the long-winded, backstory-ridden, learning experience that it was -- I needed a break. I needed to step out from under my rock and learn about craft. To begin this journey, I wandered into fanfic territory. It seemed a little less intimidating than joining an actual writer's group.

Playing with existing characters in an established world helped me to learn to write in various points of view and learn to get a character's voice right, to keep them seperate and keep them acting consistantly. Because if I didn't, whoa boy, did I hear about it from other fans! I had to do some research. Me and Google got real familar with one another. I learned how to give and take critism. And I met some great people. (Hey Gracie!)

I've been on a nostolgic kick lately, likely spurred by digging back into the sequel -- which was the second big thing that I'd written -- so I reached into my archived files and pulled out my fan fic novella, my first forray into writing something completely different. A western.

Honestly, I had been entertaining the thought of stripping out all the fanfic bits and rewriting it into something original, maybe a fantasy short.

I remembered the bumbling romance story as a little corny with a side of cheese and a bit awkward in a few places, but it had been well received by readers. Egads, memories really gloss things over.

Things I've learned since then, as illustrated on the first page:

1. Paragraphs should not be huge blocks of text that take up a quarter of a page. Maybe one here and there, but not every. single. one.

2. Proper formating. Double spaced with indents everyone?

3. Adverb control. Round those villians up and shoot them. Except that cute one with the big brown eyes. One or two can remain alive for flavor.

4. Omni is not my best choice for pov. *cringes*

5. Dialogue tags are not needed every single time someone speaks.

6. People that are getting beaten usually react in some way other than (or at least along with) glaring daggers at their assailant.

7. All you critiquers that complain that I don't describe enough would be squealing with glee in the midst of the description overload in this monstrosity.

8. Commas are my friends when used correctly.

9. A story is better shown than told. But it was startling and bizarre, I tell you!

10. A lot of blood doesn't mean someone is automatically dead. Feel for a pulse, you idiots.

After recovering from the dizzy spell brought on by all the head shaking and ironing my forehead from all the brow scrunching, I'm not sure I can do anything with this other than call it a learning experience, but it was gratifying to see how much I've learned since diving into this writing thing more seriously.

I don't know if I can make it through page two. But really, how much worse could it get?

6 comments:

  1. Over the past few years I have learned from all of those mistakes save for number 6.

    -Enter hint: Chapter Two is up :Exit Hint-

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  2. My god, if you thinks that's bad, I found an MS I'd TYPED 20 years ago, and discovered I actually COULD NOT write back then lol Luckily, I can now!!

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  3. I read anything from my handwritten or typed pile from twenty years ago by peeking out between fingers and with a stiff drink sitting close by. Those are scary things indeed.

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  4. I love your blog. Keeps me entertained and informed:) A hard feat to accomplish.

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  5. I have the very first story I ever wrote, with an +A on it. It was my sixth grade attempt at horror. It was a horror all right.

    However, even Steven King started somewhere.

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