“An interest of mine…”

Writing fiction is rarely easy to do. If it were, there would never be an unwritten or unfinished novel out there. So, of course, writing is a challenge… and sometimes it does feel far more challenging than it does at other times:

If I feel “stuck” or even “tired” for a bit, I may make a coffee. While the kettle boils, I may then go snap a photo and share it to Instagram:

And we do have to laugh about writing as well. We see so much out there about it that is so serious. For some writers, you’d think there was some “holy bible” of how to write a book, complete with a “priesthood” with a man aptly named “King” the high priest for so many issuing forth doctrinal pronouncements that must be adhered to, and that overall writing is nearly a “religious experience.”

I don’t buy that rubbish, or that outlook. There is no one way to do this. And there should be FUN in doing this, too:

[Screen capture of an Instagram Story.]

I try to blog here several times a week. I usually write a post in the morning (on days I do) mostly to enjoy the immediacy of the net. Writing is an often isolating endeavor, so opening a day, I have learned over the years, with a post on some issue that grabbed my attention, helps me clear my head and get going.

I also know that many who read my books also read my blog here. (Hello!) Blogging is also a way to keep fresh, forcing one to write entertainingly, informally, and in a hurry. And sharing your novel-writing in progress now and then – as you know I do here – is also a way to test public reactions.

After I posted that meme at the top to Instagram Wednesday late afternoon, a few hours later I saw this from someone I newly follow who says she is writing a first novel:

[Screen capture of Instagram.]

I felt that was worth replying to, and I did so this way:

[Screen capture of Instagram.]

To which she replied:

[Screen capture of Instagram.]

So she says there that she is going to struggle to finish it anyway. More interesting is what she did not touch upon there, but did raise also amongst her initial post. I find these issues worth addressing and thought I would expand on them here this morning.

1) As I briefly state in my comment, I believe readers should not be able to discern if you as the author “like” to write something or if you “prefer” writing a certain type of scene. I do have my preferences, but I try to keep them well-submerged so you can’t really spot them. Every page should look as if it is central to the entire story.

2) And just as in real-life, it’s only human to gravitate more to this character as a “person” or that one as a “person.” Some characters in particular, like real people, are going to be harder work than others. But when you finally find you have gotten “to know” a “person” so well that “he/she” just goes on and does… and you as the writer are merely sitting there, typing and describing what “they” are up to and you aren’t pondering details about who they are or what they are doing or why they are, etc., you have, I believe, truly cracked writing a character.

[Excerpt from Conventions: The Garden At Paris. On Kindle. Photo by me, 2018.]

An example is that immediately above – the very last paragraph: an irritated “Carolina” interrupting seeking to move the conversation to “an interest of mine.” I actually vaguely remember writing that. By then, I suppose, I knew “her” so well that is merely what “she” said there. She goes on afterwards to detail that “interest.” And I just typed it all down. 😉

Have a good day, wherever you are, and whatever you may be reading and perhaps writing. 🙂