So I have turned my mind to a fantasy novel that I didn’t complete two years ago. I am about five chapters into the edits and I need to write another short novel for the next installment.
This time I am looking at the novel as a character with try and fail cycles. Also, I am working on getting the five senses into every five hundred words. I used to work on stories and novels as parts. I would look at the beginning of a chapter and think that I needed added description so that I could ground the reader. My viewpoint has changed. I am looking at description from the character’s eyes. What would the character notice? What does that say about the character?
Except I am trying to keep my hands moving and the next thought coming so that the editor in my head is more interested in my hands than my words. I do know that I seem to want to put a lot of qualifiers in my stories–
I have had to take out adverbs (just, still, only) a lot. I also have had to take out phrases like “she realized that” or “she knew that” because they distance the reader from the story.
The most helpful idea I got out of the workshop is that I (the first reader and writer) should be entertained by my own story. I have an English Lit degree (angst-driven degree imho) and know I should be entertained relieves my academic mind screw. I don’t have to be perfect. I write and I learn and then I write and learn again.
If someone out there likes one of my stories, I may not be happy (I would like hundreds and thousands please), but at least I know that I enjoyed the heck out of writing it.