I’m closer than I’ve ever been to completing my first novel (cheering appropriate here). Part of the delay is my own slowness and every time I learn something new about writing I go back through the entire draft and make changes. Nonetheless I have a goal to get this thing completed and to an editor by the end of the year (more cheering please).

The other morning on my way to my writers’ group meeting it occurred to me that I have been so careful to show and not tell that there are no descriptors of how my secondary characters look. Maggie’s mom, Jen’s husband, the kids.

So this week, in addition to tightening up the ending, I am going to start at the beginning and go back through adding appropriate descriptors.

The other thing I’ve gone overboard eliminating with this draft is backstory. In my first draft, instead of peppering backstory throughout,  I basically barfed backstory everywhere to the point of stopping the story.  So, I need to go through and be sure I’ve rounded out my main characters for my readers.

What are you working on this week?

 

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Last year, I heard a published author say that she never reads books. All she does is write. I immediately marked her off as an ugly dog booksauthor that I will read. How can writers not read other authors? It’s arrogant to think at any point we don’t need to learn from other works. Her statement was so unbelievable that I couldn’t forget it. I’ve tried to look at it from other perspectives trying to understand the rationale. I even tried it. I went two months without reading other authors to see if that spurred me on to novel completion. It didn’t.

Reading other authors helps me understand what I like and don’t like about certain styles of writing. It also gives me ideas about transitions, escalating plots, resolution and the ever-present quandary of showing not telling.

You’ve heard the quote, “never trust a skinny chef.” I’m wondering if we should trust a non-reading writer?

Your thoughts.

Karen