its 8pm and I’m horizontal already.
I’m writing about writing again. So anyone not interested, can you kindly leave now. I thank you.
I recently made the decision to not write book number three (which shall be known as #3 for here onwards)starting on 1st May, as I made a recent discovery that means #3 would have been utter shite like #2 and #1.
Characters ‘make’ stories – plots don’t. Without good, memorable, interesting characters, even the best storyline in the world will feel thin and shabby and wholly unbelievable. I have decent storyline (imo), which means unless I spend a bit of time, considering my characters, then I risk the likely hood, of ruining a good story. I don’t want to do that.
My first (potential) error would have been thinking that characters are about people. Wrong. People are dull, dull things that think their lives are interesting and that other people are interested in hearing about their lives – and many of ‘people’s’ conversations actually just loop round and round and round, until ‘finally’ a decision gets made that changes something for good or bad. Normally good, because bad is quite obvious and people would rather do nothing than make a bad decision – hence the conversations that loop infinitely.
Characters aren’t like that. Characters are that one person that gets stuck in your head, who never leaves the memory banks as they are so damned incredible. And not necessarily good incredible, bad incredible sticks in there too, maybe more so – think back to when you were in school – I bet you can still recall the bad people right? Those good cookies always attach themselves to the dying brain cells for some reason.
Anyways… right now I’m reading a few things, writing a few things, thinking about layers in my story and basically delaying the orgasm until my unofficial start date of 1st June.
I’m giving myself 3 months – averaging 800 words a day, to not produce the same mistakes that have appeared in books #1 & #2. And here’s those mistakes in typical ‘top of the pops, top5 count down’:
5: forgotten information about key characters
4: meaningless waffle
3: trying to be smarter than I actually am
2: suckage research
and the top spot is……
1: plot wobble
Yes, ‘plot wobble’ has been and is, my biggest gut wrencher to date. Plot wobble shows its face like this:
‘what’s the book about Mark?’
I then proceed to tell the story about what the plot ‘should’ have been about, neglecting to tell anyone that it actually changed in writing, as I got carried away with all the fun and creativity and now can’t face returning to rehack it back in the direction I originally intended.
That, my friends is how to spot ‘plot wobble’.
It took #1 & #2 to realise that the story I ‘tell’ people verbally, is the story I should have written in the first place. And with that in mind, I plan to retell (either to myself, or others) #3, to get it drilled into my head soooo much, that it sticks during the writing phase.
That’ll do for now. I’m reading ‘The Glimmer Train‘ which though sounds like a Gay travel journal, actually is a bloody good read about advice from lots of other writers about how they tackle and face struggles and styles in their own writing.
(btw- whilst amazoning the link above, I’ve realised that v2 is out, so I will buy that as soon as I’ve finished reading v1) woo!
ok I’m done – its nearly 9ine o’clock and I’ve a bottle of cheap (59p) beer in the fridge with name on it.
bye – Mark ‘San Miguel’ Mapstone