Honora Blog Tour - Guest Post: Cynthia Woolf
Monday, 11 March 2013
Biggest Challenge as a writer
My biggest challenge as a writer is putting down all the stories in my head and fleshing them out. I have so many ideas, but because I’m a pantser, I have a hard time getting the story to the end. Fleshing them out so they match the story in my head is another problem I have. I know what the story is and I write so fast sometimes to get it down, that I forget that the reader doesn’t know the story and is just reading it for the first time. This is where critique partners are invaluable. They keep me on the right path and remind me to give the reader the information that is in my head.
As a pantser, I don’t plot my stories. I usually know the beginning and the end, but not the middle. Because of this I often have what they call the sagging middle. This is where my critique partners come in. They give me ideas of where to go and what to do while I reach my happily ever after. Sometimes that means giving me ideas for new scenes, sometimes it’s just a matter of fleshing out the scene that is there.
I’ve found that I write like I want to read. I tend, as a reader, to skip over a lot of the description in a book. I want to get on with the story and the description of the flowerbeds is a distraction for me. I put in enough description to set the scene but not to overpower the reader. I don’t want them to stop in the story to wonder what color the flowers in that flowerbed are. My critique partners help me to put in the description because I will forget it and then have too many dialogue scenes and it comes across as talking heads, which is not my intention.
I’ve tried plotting. I’ve taken and continue to take classes to learn how to plot. And I’ve learned how to plot but I don’t really like it. It seems that after I plot the book, I don’t want to write it anymore because it feels like it’s already been written and there are no surprises. Without the surprises, I get bored. For me writing the book is like reading it for the first time. It’s all new and shiny.
As you can see, there are a lot of challenges to writing a book. It’s not an easy thing to do. But the rewards, the letters I get from readers, the reviews that they leave me, make it all worth it. I love being able to give a reader a good story with a happy ending. I love being able to take her away from her workaday world and allow her to escape and get the happy ending that she may not have in real life. That makes it all worth it.
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