How can I already be behind?
Why aren’t I rich and why don’t I have someone to run my errands and clean my house and pull my weeds?
Why isn’t there someone to cook my meals?
To force me to write?
As I was collecting snails (and pulling weeds, much to my neighbors’ happiness), I saw Ann Dee.
I showed her cute kids the snails in the WWE cup.
The, after talking with Ann Dee and begging the Ellis children to take the snails,
I came inside and I remembered an article I read yesterday.
(I read this article instead of writing, BTW.)
It was about writing 5000 words a day.
I decided, “Ummm. Nothing new here. Nothing.”
In a nutshell, the author said Do It.
Just do it.
Not one bit of new info.
Want to write 10,000 words a day?
Go for that.
The most you can physically do in a 24-hour period?
The fact is, you choose to write or not to.
I drove people around.
I went grocery shopping.
I read a book.
I watched House.
I cooked meals.
Now I’m behind.
This is life.
It gets in the way.
But it gives us something to write about.
Seeing Penny Ellis look at those snails in the WWE cup? Her cheeks pink from the sun? That look in her eyes like, “Why are you, an adult, showing me this? Why are you making me look?”
That was part of my life today.
It was precious and beautiful and worth 500 words.
It’s been a month since WIFYR, and I’ve been revising problems with my MC. During the critiques on my WIP, specifically the first chapter. I had to stand way back and see my MC how the readers were perceiving her. I hate to admit it, but she wasn’t that likeable. Even though the reader could feel sympathy for her situation, she came off as peevish and whiney.
Obviously that wasn’t the personality I was trying to write for her. The notes I took in Peggy Eddleman’s class at WIFYR have helped me help her to be a MC the reader wants to root for. Here are some hints Peggy gave us:
1. Make them good at something
2. Give them friends
3. Make them rational, but still make stupid decisions sometimes
4. Give them a conflict that is very personal to them
5. Make them proactive, not just reactive
6. Put them in jeopardy, or their goals at risk
7. Give them hardships and unfairness. Force them to make sacrifices
8. Have them love others and be loved by others.
9. Make them active but vulnerable. Make them the underdog
10. Characters are cool because of their strengths, but interesting because of their weakness. Make sure there is balance between strength and weakness.
We like characters because we are like them, or because we want to be like them. That’s essential since we spend so much time with them, and are asking our readers to do the same.
Worldbuilding is not just for fantasy novels, but also for contemporary ones. Here’s the thing: the world is slightly different to each person.
One person might have family roots that go back to the town founders, while another might move from place to place so often they don’t even bother to completely unpack. These two people will see the demolition of a local landmark in very different ways.
Another example is that of economic status. A wealthy person might walk through a store and notice nothing but disorganized displays and sticky spots on the floor. A poor person will likely be more focused on sale prices and whether or not the price tags on the food show the price per unit for easier comparisons.
It’s important to view the world through the eyes of your character. If you’re describing a real place, don’t focus on how it looks to you. You don’t matter. Focus on what your character would see. What are their priorities? Where do their emotional attachments lie?