Tag Archives: novels
As someone without an eReader, it can be difficult to choose which books to bring on a trip. Scratch that, it’s more difficult choosing how many books to bring.
Let’s be real, I’m going to pack at the last minute and blindly choose a bunch of paperback novels to put into my suitcase. When I go on a vacation to relax, reading is pretty much all that there is on my to-do list. I’m not the type of gal to hit up the shops (unless it’s a bookstore), so my family can sometimes be a little exasperated when I just want to stay in our cabin or hotel or home or whatever to just read.
I work in a government office where people come in all the time for help. I’ve worked retail for about ten years before then. When I go on vacation, if I can just be holed up in a room with my books and a puppy or two, I’m good. Let me indulge in the imaginary confinements of the pages of a good fantasy novel and ignore the outside world.
With the holidays in just a few short days, have you ever thought about how your characters would celebrate?
What kind of gifts would they give? What kind of gifts would they like to receive? If Christmas isn’t a holiday in your story’s setting, what kind of holidays do they celebrate?
Better yet, how would your character react to the holidays if he/she/they suddenly found themselves in our world? What would they think of a Christmas tree, of a menorah?
Perhaps your stories don’t have room for any holidays in the plot, but wondering how your characters celebrate (or don’t) can be an extra exercise in developing their personalities.
Rachel and I recently started reading over a first draft of each other’s stories with the intent to give the draft an edit and critique by the end of the month. We’re reading through the stories before stabbing them with red pens so we each get a good idea as to what the story is about and how our styles work.
Granted, we’ve been writing together for years, but it’s a different thing to read a whole novel rather than a flash fiction on a Sunday blog post.
Before we both started reading, her biggest concern was her main character’s development throughout the story while I just bluntly said about mine, “Make sure it makes sense.”
When Rachel writes, she forms her plot first, characters second, having a map and sending characters to (hopefully) follow the route while recording how they respond. I’m the polar opposite, preferring to let my characters do improv on the stage of my mind before nailing down an actual plot for them.
Every so often I piped up with questions about her character, trying to figure out how, in my opinion, her character would tick and react to the events unfolding around her. Rachel would in turn ask who exactly the main character in my story was considering I tended to switch points of view with different segments.
I didn’t really have a good answer for her, as several characters could take up the mantel. The scope of my story, the cast of my characters, was large enough to warrant multiple points of view that allowed the reader to see what was happening at different points, from different places, of the story. Rachel, on the other hand, has the one main character with a whole world around to explore, get lost, and interact with.
We both just started this adventure of reading each other’s stories, and I’m very interested to see what kind of critiques we’ll both give each other.
What about you? Which do you tend to develop or focus on more in a story, plot or characters?
Does taking a break from your new NaNo novel to type out little one-shots counts as being a “NaNo Rebel?”
This is apparently the way my brain works. I’ve been doing really well getting words down for my NaNo project, but this morning when I opened up the document, I started just typing out a little blurb of something else (in closed brackets, of course, so it wouldn’t get mixed up with the other novel). It refreshed my mind and gave me a break from the novel all while contributing to my word count.
Obviously, I’ll go back to my NaNo novel, but that little blurb reminded me that it was okay to not write out stories in a linear fashion. Getting a little bored with the current scene you’re working on? Skip a line and start writing another scene. Not too sure which direction your current scene should go? Write both and see which one works best. Maybe your current scene, while needed, is a bit stale? Rewrite it in someone else’s point of view for a fresh perspective.
While writing, detours are all well and good, sometimes even awesome as they may yield new information or directions for your story.
As some of you may know, I started writing when I tried my hand at The Legend of Zelda fanfiction over ten years ago. While that original story was atrocious, there was a second Legend of Zelda fanfiction that I had started writing based off of the Four Swords Adventures game for the GameCube.
It was more humorous than anything else, with characters loosely based on myself, Rachel, and our elder sister Lisa joining the main character Link on his adventure. It was fairly popular, actually, until I stopped uploading it back in 2009.
That particular story is still saved on my computer and DropBox, and I was going through it on my DropBox app on my phone last night while waiting at the hairdresser’s place for Rachel to finish getting her hair trimmed. The first few chapters were awful, making me cringe, but the last couple showed a great improvement. I’m better now than I was then, but it was nice to go back and see a marked difference in my writing.
It’s little boosts like that that keep me excited to write.