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Tuesday, July 26, 2011
8:15 PM | Posted by Marnee Bailey | | Edit Post
I’m in the dreaded middle of my book. I’ve got 55K words in my Word document right now. It goes up or down according to what I cut or put back in on any given week. But it hovers somewhere around there and has for a while.
Part of my problem is that I’m revising stuff I wrote over a year ago. It still works, theoretically, because the plot has remained the same. But in reality, most of it isn’t working. The characters have changed so much that I spend a huge chunk of time tweaking and reworking their behavior. Most of the time I wonder if it wouldn’t just be easier to write it from scratch. Sometimes I do.
What makes something “not work” though? I’ve been asking myself this
question repeatedly the past two months. I’ll read stuff that I wrote a while ago and I’ll think to myself, “Nope, that’s just not right.”
I can’t always tell why it isn’t right but I’ll know that it isn’t. It just doesn’t have that WOW factor.
You know what I mean. We’ve all read those books that do everything right. The plot has the requisite amount of conflict, ends with a HEA. The characters move through the motions of the romance. There are no plot holes and the author’s turns of phrase are interesting. Perhaps there are even chunks of well constructed description. But the book is just good. Or, afterwards we go, “meh” and put it down, promptly forgetting what it was about a week later.
It wasn’t that it wasn’t a good book, but it just didn’t sparkle.
When I read my stuff, sometimes I see stuff that feels right. It’s not as often as I’d like. In fact, finding stuff that feels right happens much less often than finding stuff that feels just wrong.
Therefore, while I can’t always see if it’s right, I can usually tell if it’s wrong.
But why is it wrong? Part of it, I think, is that I fight the constant desire to write the boring parts. One of the cardinal writing rules (*ahem*) is that we shouldn’t write the boring parts. Apparently I struggle with a lifelong tendency to be boring.
What else makes a story go wrong, though? What do you think makes a story just go "meh" at the end? What do you think gives a story “sparkle?” Is it characters, not enough action? Lack of description? A stilted voice? Maybe starting in the wrong spot?
Pour some glittery hoohas, girls! We’re talking sparkle today.
Labels: Gunner's Grumblings (Marnee)