It’s been a very long time, I had to go check what my last post was (a Lud excerpt, as it turns out, ha ha).

And basically that’s what I’ve been doing. I went on holiday to Knysna with The Slave and the Spawn, then went to Afrika Burn and now I’m dithering about a little, poking sharp sticks at Lud and seeing what it does.

You ever get those headspaces where you seem to be constantly doing stuff, but have nothing to actually show for it? It’s like fake productivity, and it’s hella frustrating.

I’ve been revising.

I have a couple of key issues that I constantly need to work on when it comes to writing.

White room syndrome: I struggle with this so hard. It’s a colossal effort for me to describe scene and place, and it’s only after a number of drafts that the reader is given much of a mental picture. And believe me, it’s a pain to get there.

I think maybe I need to approach this in a different way – perhaps do some setting exercises. I’ll go page through Maass and see if he’s got anything I can use, and maybe scour the web for some ideas/prompts.

This white room things extends to characters. A bigger pain than usual because of my tendency to write first person. How to build up a description of a character in first. Dunno about you, but I don’t sit there during the day, my internal monologue ticking off my facial features and hair style, and the colour of my scintillating orbs. So, some work-arounds needed there.

Of course, I could use the alternate POV to get character description down, but I almost always have to be prodded into it by beta readers (they scream WTF DOES THIS PERSON LOOK LIKE? GIVE ME A HAIR COLOUR! ANYTHING PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF BABY BUDDHA!).

Pacing is a huge thing. I write short and fast and bare bones lean (my first draft for Lud clocked in at around 56k, I think). This leaves me with a fairly rushed story, with a lot of sub plots left so thin as to be transparently not there. It does, however, give me lots of room to deepen the things I find imporatant, to go back and build up layers and layers of characterization. So that’s good.

What’s you big writing weakness – and how do you work to overcome it?

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3 Replies to “Yes”

  1. Pacing… I start too slow. Then characterisation. I need to make my characters more likeable from the outset. But I can see things improve.

    1. I think these are fairly common issues.

      The starting slow thing I hear a lot – often with the rather scary advice to chop the first three chapters (and even scarier – how often that advice works).

      I also have the characters being likeable, but I’m discovering there are small ways to make the character relatable to the reader immediately, without sacrificing your own vision.

  2. Getting it written down gets boring. I know my story so well that it becomes like describing a favorite movie. I’ve told the story so many times that I lose interest in telling it again and I start skipping details.

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