I’ve been writing for awhile and I’m a pantser for the most part, so I sit down and I jot out some stuff that’s in my head (cause it’s been writing itself for awhile) and then I get to a certain point and plot out the rest so that I’m not writing into oblivion. I write and I write and then I cut and I edit and primp and then contemplate and meander and what I like to call marinate.
And then I edit and reword and send it off to brutal, vicious crit partners (not really, they are the sweetest, ever, unless you don’t make sense in a bit of dialog and then I get “???? I don’t get it???” and I’m all *scoff* ! “I get it!”) and theeennnn once I get it back I make recommended changes and then whew I am done. Post on the fiction archive and wait for the accolades to roll in.
I mean, that’s how it was before. You know, pre- Really Serious Original Writing Project Time For Serious.
Now I am trying to plan. I am trying to develop. I am trying to create fully rounded 3 dimensional characters with stories of their own. I’m trying to plot out a story and think of the important pieces and the lessons that have to be learned and the milestones that have to be uncovered. I’m writing ON PURPOSE.
Uhmmmm…..Ya know what?
Please tell me you remember the Vancome Lady from MADTV?!
This. is. hard. I swear, the few words I’ve written this week during our study of character for DIY MFA have been harder than the 8,000 word chapters I bang out for fanfiction. Making stuff up on the fly is real easy for me. THINKING ABOUT IT is hard. Planning and interweaving and creating a puzzle out is more difficult. Definitely gaining a lot of respect for the process.
So I haven’t been doing a ton of writing this week, not as far as story creating, but I’ve been up on my writing exercises for DIY MFA. We talked about images and how they help us shape characters, scene and setting; we did some Character Compasses to examine dialog and determine if we’re doing more telling than showing; we used 20 Questions and Character Interviews to round out our characters, give them backstory and depth. That was a great exercise! Today I’ll be trying to do an Acrostic Character bio for the same character I’ve been working with this week. As soon as I figure out what her middle name is…
See now, this is all well and good and helpful and important… but I have 4 other major characters and minor characters to do this for… so I’ve got some WORK to do. Not to mention these people inside my head are kind of screaming and angling for attention and they sort of want OUT and I won’t let them OUT and it’s getting a little ugly up in there.
I guess I’d better get to work… the sooner I finish the planning, the sooner the characters can come OUT.