What’s your method, sequence, technique, recipe? Are you a “big picture” kind of gal/guy, or do you share line edits while noting plot holes and info dumps? Do you work from a list, print it out and use a marker > hand over the copy when you’re done? Or totally off the cuff, what stuck out for you? Let me know, and I’ll share!
I am so pleased to have been invited to join Heidi’s writers group here in Dubai! Yup, a novel length submission group which is novel for me – other groups I have attended critiqued short lengths of writing – 2000 to 4000 words from as many as six or seven people. Some were short stories or parts of novels, some were bits of writing on their way to being a short story or novel.
In this new one, we read a complete novel, just one, from one author until we are done – albeit 10-15 chapters at a time, critiquing each section each week.
After two meetings, I can say I do like this new protocol.
- As I follow along the story, it’s easier to pick out plot holes/ flaws when I have the whole book. When critiquing pieces from six or seven authors in short bursts, you get a short peek into the plot and if you get to read more, it’s usually months later.
- I am invested in the story, the characters, the world of the novel. As I go deeper, I can watch the characters change as each new plot twist unfolds. Love it!
- I can keep track of continuity. I notice if the car the antagonist drives changes color suddenly, if mannerisms are out of character from earlier chapters, and since these things are important to me, I assume they are important to the other writers.
- I can also I pick out repetitious descriptors and descriptions, something that can break the spell of the book faster than a misspelled word.
- And it’s fun to find out that what I thought was a flaw in the narration is really a plot twist I never saw coming in the next chapter.
So, yes, I like this “Novel” group.
Disadvantages? If you don’t like the genre, it can be hard going – but less than I thought.
This novel I’m reading now is set in a dystopian world of monks and soldiers, very cerebral, chock full of meditation and mind games. I’m more of an action/dialog kind of gal. But when the author asked if I found it hard to read, I was pleased to say, “I read the first 30 pages out of respect, but after that I was hooked.” Good writing always wills out.
To remind me constantly to make writing fun
Is it writer’s block, writer’s fatigue, or as a fellow writer confessed at group – writer’s fear?
Good ideas often come to me in the metro, or a taxi, as I wait in line at the bank. Sooooooo, there are whole blocks of days, I make myself leave the security of my computer desk behind and ride the rails, usually with a book and my Galaxy Note. Amazing how an inexpensive change of scene can free you from the pressure.
Just didn’t want to write anymore. So I quit for six months, and now I am back and renewed. Everyone, I mean just about everyone, says power through but that doesn’t work for me.
They drop me in the middle of the action.
The Orphan Seat
Sometimes (when I can’t write) I take out The New Yorker and circle words that I would like to write about.
It’s ok to change the date of the meeting.
I’ll just finish my book.