As I undertake my Wheel of Time Reread, the topic of viewpoint characters has been on my mind. In The Eye of the World, there are only a few POV characters: Rand has by far most of the book, with a few chapters from Perrin and a few from Nynaeve. It’s a rather startling contrast to…well, to the whole rest of the series, which sees an astounding 2700+ named characters, with hundreds of them getting viewpoints at one place or another.
Today I’m happy to post a first on Dcafwriting: a guest post with another author!
First, the background: Last fall I attended a concert in Denver (Within Temptaton; they’re awesome, and everyone should check them out). While waiting in line at the merch table after the show, I became engaged in a conversation with a gentleman about writing—and found out he had just published his first novel. We had a great conversation, exchanged emails, and have kept in touch. Recently, the idea surfaced to do a little cooperation between our blogs. He interviewed me over at demerybunn.com, and I asked him to do a Lessons Learned post here, about his writing process and his experiences with his exciting first novel, Darkness Concealed.
My last post was a big rant about the lack of respect given to genre fiction, especially science fiction and fantasy. I stand by what I wrote in that post: genre fiction can absolutely have literary value.
But over the last couple of days, I’ve given more thought to the issue, mostly in the context of academia. I was a creative writing major; I dealt with the stigma of genre fiction during my years of writing workshops and literature courses. I chafed against those strictures, pushing the lines whenever I could, because I love science fiction and fantasy. I love the things that those genres can do.
But I can honestly say that I would not be the writer I am today without the boundaries placed on me in my advanced writing workshops.Continue reading
Recently, I’ve been posting a lot about some struggles that a lot of writers face, but one post has been nagging at me to be written: my own rules for being a writer.
Of course, these are my personal views on the matter, but I really think they apply universally. The thing is, I find myself talking to a lot of people who call themselves writers, but after talking to them for a while, I realize that that might not really be the case. They don’t do one or both of two things:
It’s no secret that writing a novel is a tough thing to do. There are a variety of difficulties that many people, including myself, encounter on that rocky and twisting road toward completing a manuscript, but one of the most common is the simple fact of motivating yourself to actually put those words on the page.Continue reading
I don’t think it’s any surprise that a lot of people get discouraged while writing novels—or poetry, or short stories, or…well, you get it. There are a whole host of reasons why these things all too often end up unfinished: lack of time, lack of motivation, the sheer difficulty of writing 50 or 100 thousand words.
One thing, I think, often goes overlooked, and that is the tendency of writers to be readers.Continue reading
Well, last week didn’t really go as planned. I hit a major wall with All Flames Cast, and the result is that I am now way off my mark for getting to 90,000 words this month. I had a pretty big day on Saturday, trying to get back on track, but I still have a lot of ground to make up.
A big reason for this is where in the book I am. The parts I’m writing right now are smack dab in the middle: mostly exposition and character-building and setting up for the fun stuff at the end. The problem is, it’s easy to find myself rambling during stretches like these. I have had to consciously prevent myself from letting my characters go down tangents, even when it provides worldbuilding, because I need that page space to be spent moving the plot forward and helping the characters grow. I don’t want this to turn into a 250,000 word monstrosity. If I can keep the word total around 150,000 words, which was my goal from the beginning, I will be very happy.
So, as this third week of NaNo gets going, I find myself with a lot of work to do. All Flames Cast goes on, but we will see if I can really get to 90,000 words now. It was always a daunting goal.