Friday, June 30, 2017

Which aspect of the craft do you work hardest at?


Shannon here! And I am in disbelief! June is almost over. Can you believe it?

You've been living it up, right? Letting yourself DO SUMMER? You're remembering that you only get a handful of summers as a teen and you're taking full advantage?

GOOD! I knew you could do it.

On Wednesday, Jill gushed about our time at Southern California Christian Writers' Conference, but I'll feel left out if I don't get to tell you how much I enjoyed being around so many writerly souls and ALL THOSE TEEN WRITERS! It really was fantastic and I learned a lot. I wish we could take you all with us when we do these things.



Today, we're continuing our summer panel series. Each of us are answering a single writing question, just as if we're sitting on a panel at a writing conference and we would LOVE for you to join us and share your answer as well.

 

Which aspect of the craft do you work hardest at?

 

Stephanie Morrill
Describing things in interesting ways. I tend to have pet words or pet descriptions that I fall back on way too much, and I have to work hard in my edits to make that piece of my manuscript more original.








Jill Williamson
I struggle with pacing. I get really caught up in conversations my characters are having with each other. I’ll write huge scenes that don’t advance the plot, but I have fun writing them, so I have to cut them later, which makes me grouchy because I liked those conversations. I think part of that is discovering my characters. I’ll piggyback on this what Stephanie said about pet words or pet descriptions. I’ve noticed that a lot lately too. I usually catch these when I’m reading my story out loud. And if I catch the same word, more than three times on one page, I’ll search the whole novel so I can change a lot of them out. 


Shannon Dittemore
I adore well-written dialogue, so I work on that a lot. I pay attention to conversations and I scratch out ideas I have that come to me while I’m out and about. I email myself witty bits and anything that I might find deeply profound. I let myself replay awkward real-life conversations so I can choose my words more carefully. I replay conversations in different tones of voice, different contexts. Basically, I talk to myself a lot! I am never not working on dialogue.




How about you all? Is there an aspect of the writing craft that you feel you work harder at than others?

15 comments:

  1. I have to constantly look for ways to weave in setting details throughout the story. Too often I'll paint a rough sketch of description, then focus on dialog and action, without anymore mention of setting. It's a chore sometimes finding ways for the characters to interact with their surroundings more, so they're not just floating heads.

    -Ann

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    1. Same. I need to get better at detail and making sure I describe things.

      iviewrites.blogspot.com

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  2. Ditto what Jill said! Curing stuff later...ugh...that's what I'm doing right now. SO. FRUSTRATING!!

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  3. Description. I have to really work hard on description. And making my dialogue more realistic. There's a lot of work in writing, but it's worth it.
    :)

    iviewrites.blogspot.com

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  4. OH my goodness! I just finished reading the Skulduggery Pleasant series (fabulous) and one of the things I noticed was the fact that Derek Landy put so many different ways to describe things. I loved that. The dialog was also great because they were fast paced, but sometimes they said awkward things.

    www.denimbelle.com

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  5. Structure and character development are hard for me. I am reading K.M. Wieland's books on story structure, but to be honest, all of it confuses me, and I just go with the flow. However, all of my books do have an inciting incident and a climax.

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    1. I've also been brushing up on KM Weiland's books on story structure as I replot one of my stories. I usually outline hard, then 'go with the flow' a bit, as you say.

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  6. Story structure in general are difficult as well as endings that aren't too trite. But Wordiness. My own voice is very chatty, so my characters' voices tend to be the same and I find myself needing to cut 15,0000+ words of superfluous chatter. I feel like I'm killing some of the mc's soul.

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  7. The length of my stories are always hard for me, I struggle with making them longer than 40k. Also starting a story is always so hard, but once I get past the first chapter I'm usually solid.

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    1. Same. The first chapter is something I struggle with. I worry it isn't good enough to pull the reader in. Then the rest of the story flows and I'm like, "Why couldn't it be this way with the first chapter?"

      God bless, Gray! <3

      iviewrites.blogspot.com

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  8. I think I work hardest at the plot of my stories--that and the setting, I suppose. I really work to tie my plots together well, making them consistent but also adding tantalizing outer-edge-of-the-story details to keep the storyworld interesting.

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  9. I struggle with description and making sure that the description is applicable to my main character's point of view rather than details I just want to add for the sake of adding. I love beautiful description, though, and I've read many books with such description, so that is always something I am striving towards.

    I find it interesting that you--Stephanie, Jill, and Shannon--all work hard at something different! That's cool to see how we all have different struggles!

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    1. That's so true, Megan. We're all unique and have our own strengths and weaknesses. Good observation. :-)

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  10. Keeping the inspiration! I get inspired so easily, like to write a novel (oh I have soooo many novel ideas), but most of the time I don't even start because the inspiration will fade. I stick to short stories and poetry, and that suites me.

    It's really interesting to read about everyone's different struggles! Thanks for sharing!

    ~Hannah from EnchasedThought

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