Friday, February 12, 2010

Inconsistency

I have noticed in the last few chapters of Human Echoes, that my characters are only now becoming truly dynamic. If you couldn’t already guess, this is very bad. I am 90,000 words into a book, and the characters have only been feeling complex emotions and acting on their own accord for about 40,000 words.

If I had to guess, I would attribute this to my writing aptitude. I had been so far removed from fiction writing that the first 50,000 words or so were forcing me to get back in to the swing of things, as well as establish new writing habits. I know the characters aren’t totally flat, but there will be a considerable amount of rewriting based off of a change in skill level. That isn’t to say that I have somehow broken through some mythical barrier and am now an incredible writer, but it has shown me how rusty I was.

As far as progress goes, I feel like every passage I write gets me a little closer to my own unique voice. My descriptions are more concise, but doubly effective and the settings seem more vivid. Even the ideas that are popping into my various journals seem to be more creative, and hold much more depth than before. I feel that I am finally getting a handle on the old rule of “show, don’t tell.”

If all this is happening within the first 100,000 words, I am excited to see what will be revealed in the next few months.

5 comments:

  1. I've felt the same thing before, and I think it's partly been that basic fact that the farther in you write the better you get. The other element, at least for me, is that in the beginning you're sort of feeling everything out, learning with each paragraph. Each chapter gets you a little closer to the right voice, and gives you a little more understanding of the characters. The trick is then bringing that greater depth back to the opening when you do revisions. Sort of fun, though, too, because this time you know things with more certainty.

    Best of luck.

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  2. Thanks Ink. I'm glad to know it isn't just me. I think it took me that long just getting to know the story. I have never finished a project like this, so I am hoping the rewrite will allow me to shore it up a little.

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  3. I hate blogspot... I try to post comments and it freezes... I try to copy/paste comments and reload and it ditches my data.

    "I know how you feel, when I started journaling everything I wrote about felt so shallow... and depthless, in terms of topic and soul. I even knew it at the time but I didnt' have the mindset to change it. I'm glad I kept going, I think writing gives you a depth and understanding you can only learn through practice. Now even when I journal about shallow topics I can relate the complexities of how they interact with my world and pique my interest. Why its worth noticing, and you've always been better at that than me but now it sounds amazing"

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  4. My first effort at writing a novel (sci-fi) was extremely inconsistent. I love the story, but it is painful for me to look at today. I now regard it as a long learning exercise. My current project (fantasy) is nearing completion. I am so much happier with the consistency of this book. I really knew who the characters were before I started writing.

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  5. I think I am at that point Matt. I am hoping that going through the manuscript a dozen times will help it, but I am definitely not going to give up on it. I am looking forward to writing my second book to see how much different it is.

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