Monday, January 09, 2012

Doing the Work

I'm in the midst of revising my last novel again.  I knew something wasn't quite right with the story, but I couldn't put my finger on it. After a kind agent rejection, now I know. I need to work on my pacing.

This I can do.

But it's not easy.

When you have trouble with a particular aspect of the writing craft, you have two options: you can either throw up your hands and give up, or you can do the work.

And that's exactly what I'm doing.

What's your biggest challenge in writing? Characterization? Plot? Dialogue? How are you trying to overcome it?


  1. In my last novel my biggest challenge was character development. I'm a total panster so I created this guy MC to go along with my girl MC. Problem was I had NO idea what I wanted my guy MC to be like. However, by the time I reached the end of my ms I knew exactly who he was. So I had to go back and make sure he was who he ended up being all along.

    Whoa...hope that made sense.

    Good luck with your revisions!

  2. I like your motto, to either give up or do the work. I've always thought that anything worthwhile in life takes hard work. It's always worth the effort and gets us to where we need to be, in some way.

    Write on ...

  3. I'd like to echo what Joanne said-that I like your motto too. Do the work. Because giving up isn't an option if we don't let ourselves have it be an option.

    I need to work on dialog with my writing. It always seems stiff! I guess I need to have more conversations with myself to test out ideas:)

  4. Sounds like a really helpful rejection letter. Not as good as an acceptance, but good to know where it's going wrong. Good luck with putting it right!

    I have just noticed the biggest hole in my plot. Aaargh. I love characterisation and dialogue but plot is my serious weakness.

  5. At least you're working on it, and that's always a good thing. I guess characterization is my most challenging aspect of writing. I have to keep writing about my characters, continually think about them, how they'd act or what they'd say, and get to know them better.

  6. Definitely plot. And also description.

  7. My biggest challenge is going off on tangents (even though I try to stay to an outline). I have the hardest time cutting those tangents out! Sometimes I've reworked my whole plot to accommodate some cool idea, then got exhausted with the re-write.

    Glad you haven't given up!

  8. Balancing narrative and dialogue seems to be an issue of mine. Some days I really think I'm better suited to be a playwright: Almost all talking!

    Good for you, powering through. :)

  9. I'm editing at the moment and I think pace is something I need to look at, too. Good luck with yours Melissa!

  10. For me, I'm struggling with characterization at the moment. I think I need to go do some reading about how to do it better.

    Good luck with your pacing. Really it's a matter of opinion. I've had people tell me mine is too slow and I've also had others say it's too fast.

  11. It seems every novel has its own challenge. In the current WIP, it's how to convey information that neither the protagonist nor the reader knows, *without* resorting to info dumps. After a LOT of work, I'm closer, but I don't feel I've hit it out of the park yet.


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