Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group - May Post

"Hello, my name is Donna and I am an insecure writer." There, I said it. Did it help? Not really. I think insecurity is an important characteristic. No, really, I do. Well, at least for me it is. It keeps me striving to do more and to do it better.

My current challenge is to take my writing to longer stories. My flash fiction seems to get good responses. I have one short story done from an early flash, now I want to develop some of my A-Z tales into longer tales.

The question is, can I do it? I have been concentrating on stripping things down to the bone. X number of words. X number of sentences. Nothing extraneous allowed. Can I turn this around and expand a story without adding any unnecessary narrative?

Another issue is my love of dialogue. Some writers have trouble writing dialogue, I really enjoy it. I hear my characters talking in my head, that makes it so easy. My challenge comes in building the setting, showing the emotions in ways other than words.

I am in the middle of chapter three of my romance novel, A Montana Chance. So far there is a fair amount of dialogue. I am fighting my internal editor who wants to go back and rework what is already done. So my pledge for this month is to just write the story, let the characters talk and get it down in print. There is plenty of time later to edit...honest.

37 comments:

  1. I love dialog too. And, if you write too much setting, wearing, sky color BS that doesn't move the story, I skim or skip that paragraph. Not that I will read a romance novel. I'm too damn old for romance (unfortunately)

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  2. Hi Donna – Thanks for stopping by my “Z” blog during the A-Z Challenge. It’s nice to meet you. :)

    I’m with you. I love writing dialogue. It comes to me fairly easily too. After I write it out, I read the conversation aloud and tweak to make it “sound” more natural. This method works well for me.

    Looking forward to following your blog and connecting in the future. Happy writing!

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  3. I do not do dialogue, just not my style of writing. I love reading it and you do it well!

    Just keep plugging along, we can help one another get published this year by supporting one another!

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  4. You CAN do it Donna! BTW, I don't mind lots of dialogue :)

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  5. Write everything in your head for your first draft. Don't hold back, don't go back and rewrite, just let it all go. I've heard of some authors who go back and add when they edit, but I am the opposite. Editing is about making things leaner, making them flow. The best lessons I learned about writing novels came from writing flash fiction. Writing novels is no different. It's just more.

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  6. I agree with bruceblake. Just get it out and edit later. Let it flow. I read your bio, and it sounds like you have had an amazing life! You travel so much, surely you can paint those places in your stories! I don't agree with the comment that setting is BS. You need to draw your reader into the story by letting them see, hear, taste, and feel exactly what the characters are experiencing. I think you have a strong place to draw all that from based on your life experiences. Sounds like you need to just let it flow :)
    But hey- what do I know;)
    Best of luck in all your endeavors!

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  7. Yes, keep writing and the padding can come later. I write on the lean side too. Gotta love that flash fiction, but it doesn't help when you have a novel that ends up around 50k. Write the story. The rest really can come in edits. :)

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  8. Just write how it works best for you, don't fight with yourself too much! :)
    -MJ here from the support group http://creativelyspiltink.blogspot.com/

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  9. So many people are inspired to write longer pieces after the A-Z! I'm impressed by all of you (I didn't participate, just supported). I know you can just move forward - don't look back, Donna:)

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  10. I'll get you with the mystery, hoping to do that one this summer. ;-)

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  11. Hi Tracy, thanks for the visit. Love finding someone else who likes dialogue. I pretty much do the same...I have to read aloud to proof things.

    PS. Got your blog on my reader list, too!

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  12. Thanks, Kim. I hope to get the romance done by the end of this month and the mystery by August. Aggressive but really looking forward to digging in. Can I put you on my list of alpha readers?

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  13. Awww, thanks for the encouragement, Christina! I appreciate it.

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  14. Thanks Bruce - trying to tackle it that way now. I already did some editing in the first chapter...just couldn't resist. Now going to try the puke it out method and see where the story goes.

    I've added your blog to my list, got to follow other flash lovers!

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  15. Kaye, thank you so much for your input. Going to try hard to not self-edit and just write. I do think the extra toppings on the character experience will come with the second go-round. I'm still pretty new at this. ;-)

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  16. Ah Cherie (hmmm, sounds like a song - like you've never heard that before...), it's nice to find someone who appreciates my fear. We're definitely going to be chatting!

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  17. Thanks, MJ. I appreciate your support. Thanks for stopping by. I need to go hit some new blogs on the list and lend my support in exchange.

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  18. Thanks so much, Gwen. Great motivation...I appreciate it!

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  19. I love to write dialogue too. One of these days, I want to write an entire book of nothing but dialogue. It probably won't be very good but I'd like to attempt it anyway.

    I have problems writing shorter pieces. I've never been able to write flash fiction or short stories.

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  20. That would be fun to try, MJ, a book with nothing but dialogue. LOL!

    I had never written flash fiction and found in fun trying to tell a story in 5-10 sentences. Only done a couple of short stories (several erotica) and am only up to chapter three of my first novel.

    Long road ahead...LOL!

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  21. I did a dialogue-only short story. In the end, I had to add some non-dialogue, but all the salient points come from the speech. It's a really interesting experiment.

    Hi Donna, thanks for the follow!

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  22. "Can I turn this around and expand a story without adding any unnecessary narrative?"

    Best way to get there is by trying. And trying again if necessary. :)

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  23. Hi Annalisa...thanks for stopping in. I think the dialogue only would be touch. I did a flash with a lot of dialogue for a Chuck Wendig blog. You can read it here: http://donnamcnicol.blogspot.com/2012/02/just-sandwich-flash-fiction.html

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  24. ...and that's exactly what I plan to do. Thanks for dropping in Hektor!

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  25. I get that -- totally. Before I worked in newspapers I had no problem writing long, LONG stories full of extraneous details. Now I have the opposite problem -- making allowances for even A FEW extraneous details. Good luck!

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  26. Thanks for popping in, Alexis. I think I have a lot of editing ahead of me...after I get the first draft done. LOL!

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  27. I'm a bare bones writer. While I've never done very short pieces, it makes crafting an entire novel challenging sometimes.
    Thanks for participating! And the hashtag is #IWSG.

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  28. Thanks for the hastag, Alex, and thanks for the whole project! I've been busy visiting blogs all day.

    It will be interesting to see if the story can take me away enough for a novel. LOL!

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  29. I'm learning almost as much in comments as I did in your post! I need to get back to Allie soon (she's been on that porch long enough) and I love the idea of just letting the story roll!

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  30. I am terrible when it comes to unnecessary narrative and even end up boring myself, I need to concentrate on developing a flow. Sounds though you are well on the right path and looking forward to any developments :)

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  31. Great comments, aren't they Beth...yes, you need to get back to Allie. It can take a bit to get back rolling when you leave off for too long. I'm looking forward to the full story!

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  32. Sounds like we're in the same place. It's something I definitely need to work on. ;-)

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  33. Hi there,

    I'm with DC on boring-to-read setting descriptions - the long-winded kind. For me, that stuff's readable only when it's interwoven with other stuff, just can't read long paragraphs of it.

    I'm so impressed to find book writers, I'm challenged with just writing articles. Congrats for going for it!

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  34. Hi Marla, I spent years freelance writing non-fiction (both web content and print). I am so loving dabbling in the fiction world now!

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  35. Hi Donna
    Thanks for the follow and the comment on my IWSG post.
    First things first - I read quite a few of your flash pieces for the A to Z... awesome stuff!
    I also have an inclination towards short pieces... although I have something longer "in the pipeline" which I'm very insecure about...
    *sighs* I suppose that's what IWSG is there for...

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  36. From one Donna to another...I enjoy reading your short fiction pieces so I imagine I would LOVE reading your longer stories...;0)

    Donna L Martin
    www.donasdays.blogspot.com

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  37. We can be insecure about the longer pieces...together! LOL! I feel pretty good (most of the time) about my flash. Not so sure about making it work in the novel. Time will tell...

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I'm tired of talking to myself. Drop a note, please?