Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Authorly Bucket List Tag

Ashley from [insert title here] tagged me for this. All you do is list 3-7 things that you're really bad at in writing, and then 3-7 things that you want to try in writing. Sounds easy, right?

Riiiiiight.












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...Anyway, let's start with stuff I'm, shall we say, less good at.

WRITING-RELATED STUFF I'M BAD AT:

1. Titles 
We've got a fairly self-explanatory problem to start off with. Most of the book files on my computer are named things like "Gypsy Story," "Unnamed Book of Awesomeness," "The Book," "New Story," etc. What I call it might have something to do with the plotline/characters of the book, or it might just be, "yeah, that new one I'm working on." I've yet to entitle a book with an actual, workable name.

2. Description
Sometimes I'll be going along, writing, and I'll realize that I never told my potential readers what my main character looks like. Or what their surroundings look like. He/she is just a faceless entity floating through an empty void. Then I'll info dump a buttload of description in a giant paragraph, say, "I'll fix it later," and move on to the next description-less location.

3. Character Development/Personalities
Like description, this is also something that would be fixed in the elusive editing stage. But as I write my story, my characters will often seem . . . flat. Often their voices are carbon copies of one another. They sound like everyone else, use the same words as everyone else, have the same sense of humor, the same motivators as everyone else. I've yet to master the 3D character. Speaking of motivators:

4. Having Reasons/Motivations
I mean, I'll have a general motivation for a lot of things. We have to get here and see this person because of X. But sometimes getting there is a challenge. Why is so and so coming along, too? Just because she's "joined the party?" This isn't a video game. And why can't they do such and such a thing instead? It seems easier than doing that other thing. This line of thought often leads to:

5. Rants/Digression
My characters like to go off on their own. Oh, we have to go retrieve that thing from the vault? Let's go to the library and look for information on ACTUALLY LITERALLY NOTHING. We have to leave the city? Let's stop by and talk to this guy's estranged mother first. We're training with swords? Let's discuss the pros and cons of fighting with fluttery hand-fans for like a full page because why the heck not?

6. Romance
I love cheese, but mostly I only love it in food form. Cheesy romance? Blech. Gazing longingly into each other's eyes and whatnot? I don't know. It's not like I've tried to write a whole ton of romance in my stories, but when I do, it just comes out . . . weird.

7. Writing
Hah . . . ahaha . . . ha. I always complain about never reaching the end of my story, but it's always my own fault (but I mean, who else's fault would it be?). I can be making great progress in a story, and then, somewhere in the middle, I just . . . stop. Every time. I sort of run out of ideas and steam, and just give up. I should really try to not do that anymore.




WRITING-RELATED STUFF I WANT TO TRY:

1. A Story Without Romance
And not just because I'm bad at writing it. I want to try writing a story just for the adventure, or the intrigue, or the awesome friendships. I really want to attempt to do away with the ever-present, "yes, but the guy must get the girl" of it all. 

2. Breaking Cliches
I've actually sort of tried this one before. Ogre's aren't brainless brutes, dwarves don't like mining, elves aren't fabulous and all-knowing, vampires aren't undead, a "fantasy world" that has all the technological amenities of our world, that sort of thing. I like the idea, and I may have to try again sometime . . . !

3. Connecting Short Stories
I'm not even sure how this would work, actually. But I really enjoyed participating in Ashley's summer writing prompt. Writing a short story like that is (obviously) easier than hashing out a whole novel. So I though, what if I could make a whole bunch of short stories in the same world, then have them connect? Like vignette, or....something. Sunny knows what I'm talking about, she actually did this for school one time.

4. Middle Grade
Slightly shorter stories, the acceptance of plotlines without heavy elements, a greater tolerance for goofiness . . . these things appeal to me. I'm not sure I could actually write a story that would appeal to 8-12 year olds, but maybe?

5. Any Other Genre
Um . . . I may or may not have limited myself to the "gateway genre" of writing. Apparently most people who start writing for the first time start with the fantasy genre? I don't know, but it's what I heard. Anyway, I've never really moved on from that, so I'd definitely like to take a stab at other genres, like mystery . . . or a thriller! :O

6. Villain as MC
I don't know if this is actually a viable idea. But wouldn't it be cool to see the whole story from the villain's perspective? Maybe you don't even know that you're reading from the villain's perspective until near the end of the story? OR, over the course of the story, you watch your hero become the villain?

Has this been done? I mean, I'm sure it has, but have you read one? How was it? What was it called? I want to read it. X)

7. Finishing
LOL well, I've already complained about this issue wayyy too many times over the past year, so I'll just say . . . I hope to struggle my way to the end of a draft someday. ;D


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If you've ever seen me do a tag before, you probably know what I'm going to say next . . . .


Tag, you're it! :D


9 comments:

  1. Writing a series of short stories or vignettes is SO much easier than trying to master a whole novel. If you're trying to get back into the grove, I'd definitely recommend that.

    Also, I think you'd be so good a writing MG stuff:D

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    1. I should totally try it sometime.... X)

      Thanks! I don't know exactly how I'd go about it, though. :P

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  2. YOU DID THE TAG! I'M SO INFINITELY HAPPY, I COULD BURST!

    That last gif! XD Perfect.

    "The Unnamed Book of Awesomeness" I would totally pick that book solely for title reasons. :D Though I do love an unusual title.

    My characters usually do describe the landscape for me. It seems that whenever they need a breather and some time out from everything I throw at them, they start reflecting on the landscape. Only things is, they all do it. This I must fix. Reflecting on the landscape can not, should not, be a common stress reliever for ALL the characters.

    Writing is hard.

    There used to be a lot of rants and digressions in my writing, but since I've started blogging, I think all of that floated onto my blog. . . which isn't the best thing either.

    I like how you have writing in the things that are difficult and finishing in the things you want to do. :) I'm with you there.

    Story with no romance. YES ALL THE WAY! Also, connecting short stories is like the best idea ever. You should so do that! Especially since you're good at short stories. You could make that work!

    MG sounds so fascinating to write. I want to try it sometime. I love reading it. Because it never fails to be funny. :D Plus, it's always outrageous and it's okay to be outrageous in MG. Love that!

    Oo, the villain as MC! I've not read it before, but it sounds so cool! You should do it. Especially if we didn't know if it's the villain at first. I actually have an idea for the villain as the protagonist. It was inspired by a dream/nightmare I had which. . . is not weird. At all. *cough*

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    1. PS-- There might, maybe be a new prompt link up going up. I'm collaborating with someone. *rubs hands together* But you didn't hear it from me.

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    2. 4) haha yeah, I do that sometimes, too, now that I think of it! XD

      5) yes.

      7) lol well at least we're not alone. X)

      8) I really want to try that, now that I've talked about it. :D

      9) I'm just now sure how to write a story for kids. I mean, I don't wanna go over their heads with my writing, but I also don't wanna condescend, ya feel me? X)

      10) DOESN'T IT SOUND AWESOME? Lol I should give it a shot sometime.

      ps) Lol I just saw your guys' posts about it! I'll totally have to do that! X)

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  3. It's interesting reading this tag, because it lets me know that I am not the only writer who struggles to well write. Also that I am not the only person who has things they dislike about their writing. I want to break the cliche's too, and I hate writing romance, it's like pulling teeth.

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    1. Lol the hardest part of writing is writing. XD UGH romance. How 'bout no. :P

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  4. Hey! Ashley tagged me for this also but I am yet to do it ... it looks like a lot of fun, though!

    Great post. Titles are horrible. More than two years after starting my WIP (which I'm now redrafting) I have something of a working title, but ... blech. So difficult!

    I didn't know that about fantasy?! I'd have thought it'd be more niche .... ?! But maybe not! Ooh, I feel all self-conscious now! XD

    Good luck with the finishing! Here are some inspirational quotes from writers (you're welcome):

    "Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the Muse shows up, too." -- Isabel Allende [my favourite writing quote]

    "Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised." -- John Steinbeck

    I have found these two pieces of advice so helpful! Don't sit waiting to feel inspired, just get on with it and DO NOT STOP! And then you'll be done! (It happened to me!)

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    1. Haha, don't feel self-conscious! It very well might not be true, it's just something that I read once. XD

      A much-belated thank you! I really like that advice; I'll have to attempt to follow it. X)

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