Wednesday, March 5, 2014

03/05/2014 Writing Wednesday!

Greetings everyone and welcome back. It's still Read An EBook Week at Smashwords, so be sure to stop on by and check out all the books that are available for the sale. I'm sure you'll be able to find something super awesome that you'll like! To take a look and tell everyone you know about it to help drum up some traffic!

My brain is still on editing, because well..that is who I am now. I wish I had an option to be something else, but sadly I do not. Maybe I will someday! However, I understand that doesn't mean that all of you are like me, and I don't want to punish you for that, it just really doesn't seem fair. So let's say that you want to write something, and you've done shorter things in the past, but now you want to go for the big, epic, ridiculousness that is a story that's over 150 pages. You think you have it all planned out, but then you sit down and you realize that you don't think you're going to be able to do it. Hopefully I can help you there.

I used to do shorter things, and sometimes I still do (when I have the time, remember, editing is who  I am now...) but my series is primarily all stories that are over 150 pages. I don't want to give the advice of just 'put in some filler and be done with it' because filler isn't always good. Think about when you watch your favorite TV series, while it would be great if all of the episodes were 100% good, there are always those few that have nothing to do with the plot that you could really skip because they are just kind of boring. Those are filler. There are some shows that handle filler quite well and end up giving you some kind of important information while still being kind of fun, especially after some kind of emotional upheaval (Supernatural is a good example of this) try to think about those if you think filler is going to be your answer. I don't necessarily think that is going to be the way to go though.

Not to say you won't put any filler in. It's going to be there. Whether it's just a character doing something a normal person would do in order to show that they still have some kind of life they are trying to desperately hold onto, or a new character introduction, or trying to give character growth by showing them something new. It's going to happen. However that doesn't mean that's the only way to get to the page count you're looking at. Maybe put in an internal monologue for the character you're focusing on, or put in a conversation where they talk about their backstory a bit more. In the real world people don't always offer up that information, so having a main character questioned by someone else about it will be a way for the reader to learn about a character without it being thrown at them in the beginning by a large paragraph of exposition. It's not like people just walk around thinking about how their parents live in upstate New York, play golf and travel a lot while they are stuck in Manhattan working a full-time job to pay bills while also going to school. That's not something that's generally on the front of someone's mind all the time.

There's also a chance that certain aspects of the world could be explained more or better. Maybe the mechanics about how a specific piece of metaphysics works, or type of scientific equipment handles. I'm not saying you have to go into the ebb and flow of it, but just saying 'they use magic to overcome their obstacles' or 'they science'd that machine into existence' likely isn't enough for the reader. Going into a bit more detail will help set the rules for the world though and help give the reader an idea of what to expect, which is always helpful. Not to mention it also helps you not be a jerk to people who might not necessarily know about all the subtle nuances about mythological or metaphysical research you did in order to create whatever system you made. You may have a target audience, but it's not fair to always assume they know the same things you do.

There's also the chance you'll come up with this super awesome plot twist you hadn't thought of before while working on everything. Some character arc that wouldn't have happened in a shorter story. That's the nice thing about working on a longer project is that it does give you time to delve into more things and characters than a shorter story does. I remember when working on 'Through the Broken Mirror' I was having issues with my ending, because I wanted to have a good ending (if you play video games, let's just say it was heading toward the Bad End at the time) but was having a difficult time figure it out. Then at about 3am one day (the best time to have an epiphany) I realized if I didn't then a character in later books would either need to be changed or completely written out. Well since those stories were mostly written (in notebook form) I said screw that noise and managed to work out a Good ending. I don't think I would have managed to figure that out if I had been working on something shorter because by the time I had gotten to that point (around page 75 or 80-ish) I would have been to the point where I should have been writing my climax and getting ready to finish up. My option then would have been to put everything on hold until I figured it out or go back and delete progress and start over at a specific part. I may have some that disagree with my thinking, but I get really discouraged at the idea of having to delete pages upon pages, and 10's of pages of stuff so I"m glad I didn't have to do that.

My point is that there are options. You can always go the route of putting in more descriptions and exposition. Also dialogue is going to fill your page count up something fierce. Character interactions are some of the most fun to write if done in a way that makes it seem like a natural conversation. I suppose what I'm saying there is please don't it up and make your characters talk like normal people, please. (He really doesn't know how people talk. It's weird and I am afraid and curious about how interactions at his house happen.)

For now, I hope you all have a great and fun rest of your week. I hope to be back on Friday, but we'll see what happens. I had a difficult time finding something to review last week. I hope you all have a great time though no matter what!

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