General · reading · work in progress · Writing

Action Scene on Page 1

This thought occurred to me today: It’s been a while since I’ve read a book had an action scene on page 1.

The last one was probably an urban fantasy several years ago. Even that went like this: stalk, stalk, fight scene.

Is that weird? I don’t feel like it is. But I am also considering rewriting the beginning of my WiP to an action sequence and I don’t think that is weird, either.

Is there some sort of unwritten rule that says: Thou shall not begin with an action scene?

I feel like I am breaking some sort of rule by wanting to start with an action scene. Well, more like a training/sparring sort of scene, a test of sorts for the main character.

And books start all the time with tests. Still. It would be all action, complete with a chase and a sort of explosion (a weak explosion. very weak).

work in progress · Writing

Pondering the WiP

I haven’t written a word today. Just one of those days. And I don’t feel well enough to force myself to write.

But I’ve been pondering my protagonist’s character profile. He has a thing for art and exercise. I haven’t shown either in the WiP so far. I’ve just told it, breaking the cardinal rule of showing and not telling. They’re important enough to the character a part of me thinks they need to be shown.

Neither of those passions of the character are important to the character are important to the plot. So I need to find some very subtle way to work it in.

I just haven’t figured out a way to work it in.


When do you Create Character Profiles?

On Twitter I asked advice about what to do about minor, inconsistent characters.

A Twitter friend said I should write down everything I know about them and that can become a reference. That sounds like a character profile to me.

I haven’t created character profiles for the WiP yet. I could have, especially for the main character and the secondary characters I knew about. But I wanted to get on with it, you know? I didn’t want to stop and fiddle with an excel file or a word file for the characters. Instead, if I forget the eye color or something, I go back and look it up.

I need to create character profiles now. I’ll probably wait until the WiP is done or create it now. I haven’t made up my mind. I do know I’ll be using OneNote app on my tablet. I want to try it out and it seems perfect for this. Better than either excel or word.

Is doing it this way a bit weird? At least this way I’ll have a list of all characters that need a profile.

And I’ll know what kind of things I keep looking up: physical characteristics, descriptions of surroundings and stuff like that.

Also, the more nebulous, personal stuff that I know is changing right now from appearance to appearance for minor characters, the stuff that makes a character a character, and that stuff that needs to especially consistent. (Unless something happens to a character that makes them change, things that don’t usually happen to minor characters.)

It feels a little backward, to create them at the end of a novel instead of the beginning. Who else creates character profiles at the tail end of a WiP?

work in progress · Writing

Middle Book Blues

I haven’t written a word in nearly two weeks. The book is half done. 

I have heard that the middle of the book is the hardest bit to write, the most common place to get stuck. How do I get out of it?

I have some idea what the next biggest scene will be. I even have some idea what my character needs to do – he has a to do list! And he’s sorely behind in the list of the things he needs to do. (He was derailed by the plot bunny!) Poor guy.

But I don’t know the next immediate step. I don’t know how he gets from here to the next biggest scene and he can’t just skip from here to there. I don’t even know how he gets from here to the next thing on his to do list.

I’m stuck and it’s unpleasant. Very, very unpleasant.


General · work in progress · Writing

Words Lost and Then Chopped

A few weeks back, I had a program crash. It was quiet, quick and quite painful. I lost thousands of words, about two weeks’ worth. I know, I know, you are supposed to back up. I do, I did, but not for the past two weeks. I thought there would be time for that later. (Otherwise I would have lost more than two weeks!)

I remember what I wrote. But not the exact words, the exact phrase, the details I used. So I couldn’t recreate it exactly the same. But I have finished recreating it and it is mostly the same. I think. I don’t believe I left anything out.

But it is shorter! I lost words along the way, but I don’t think I lost any details. I rearranged the scenes, yes, couldn’t help myself. I also did not have written a few pages worth of dialogue – dialogue I would deleted later anyway. (I realized a few scenes afterward that the dialogue wasn’t necessary.)

But it was only a few pages. I am astonished at how shorter the whole thing is now. It’s like I only recreated ¾ of the work I lost. It’s a puzzling.


I is for Ideas

I think I am going through an idea drought lately. Well, more like than I am stuck on the current novel in progress. I don’t know how to go on. I got the middle blues. Which is where I usually get stuck. It’s depressing. I know what happens after this bit, but not how to get there.

I guess that’s why I started the erotica novella. It’s an idea I’ve had for some time and just never really did anything about.

Though I don’t know – should I take a month-long break from the novel to do this? I am and I am hoping it’ll shake something loose. I was frustrated trying to write a transition type bit in the novel and not get getting anywhere. Maybe I should have written the piece(s) afterward, just to give myself a goal. Maybe. I don’t know.

But the erotica novella is new and interesting too so . . . I’m just not really sure if it’s a good idea taking a long break. But we’ll see.

work in progress · Writing

Difficult POV

So I was writing something with multiple point of view characters. One main POV, one secondary POV, one main character. I meant it to be a short story, but it got long. (10,000+ words is a short story, yes?)

Anyway. I am rereading it now and I realize it is utter crap. And not just in the way all-first-drafts-are-crap. No. It really sucks. The POV transitions are not smooth, the voices aren’t distinct and they should be. And I am thinking there are some structure problems too. I feel scraping it and starting over.

A large part of the problem is probably that the last time I wrote a multiple POV story was in highschool. It was a sword & sorcery novel and I didn’t finish it. (It sucked, too.) Everything ever since have been single POV, where the main character is the POV character.

I meant this long story to test the multiple POV waters. I wanted to know what kind of problems I was looking at.  I am seriously considering a novel like that. Very seriously problems, I now realize.

It’ll be challenge and I don’t know if I’m up to it. Maybe I should do some more prep work first, work with both characters separately and than do something with them together. I don’t know.

In the mean time, I am writing something else. Something short and simple. 🙂