Friday, November 25, 2005

Bit Down

Bit discouraged today. The first draft of Jess just doesn't seem to be coming together.

I keep writing myself into dead ends.

I swear -- the next story I try to write I'm going to plot it out first. Plot it right to the feather boa and the last dwarf.


  1. Jo, you are the master of crits at Compuserve! I would pay you $400 if I had it for a crit of my novel-that-keeps-getting-rejected.
    You have an agent who loves your book. She'll find you a publisher, I'm sure.


  2. Hi Cat -

    Get a chapter of your WIP to me --- either in the Forum or sending it p-mail -- and I will give it a look and see if there's anything I can come up with that would be the slightest use to you.

    I wouldn't count on my being able to give any useful advice.

    It's pretty basic technical stuff I talk about, as a rule.
    (CAN the writer spell; use correct grammar; recognize a sentence fragment; write marginally human dialog; come up with motivation that doesn't come from the land of the zombies; learn not to load backstory in the first three pages; keep hold of POV; put a lid on her participial phrases?)

    These are all predictable. All early-stage writer stuff. All curable if the writer sticks with it.

    I'm one of many giving advice on this stuff. Good advice, if I may say so, abounds in the Forum.

    You (cough) don't need this.

    The more advanced stuff ...
    (CAN the writer use focus to bring the reader into the scene; suit cadence to pace, emphasis and meaning; control intimacy or 'distance' in POV; write a character not wearily, drearily familiar to us?)

    This advanced technique is hard to talk about. I'm figuring it out as I go along. Lotsa times I'm a shade off on how to do this stuff, or just plain wrong.

    So I don't know how much I'd be able to help you with any problems you may have.

    My own WIPs ...
    Often I have worked out what's wrong with bits of my writing. I KNOW that I don't keep my pacing tripping along at a fast clip. I could tighten a lot of the prose. In ANNEKA I lay the dialect on too think in a lotta places. I get my action plotline all tangled up and incomprehensible.

    I have some notion how to work with these faults. I don't always do a good job fixing stuff, but I'm not totally clueless what I NEED to do.

    But there's stuff I can't SEE myself screwing up
    because I just don't know enough. Stuff I could do better if somebody pointed it out to me. Stuff I'm clueless about. Sigh.

  3. Hi Jo,

    Thanks for offering to look at a chapter. I may just take you up on it at some near future time. I don't want to cut into your writing time, knowing first hand how precious this time is.

    I had to cut back my already limited visits to the forum because I'm trying to get a website up and running. Though I'm not published, I'll have some excerpts of my novels there.

    You're bound to hear good news soon. (Maybe I will, too!)

    Cat (foolishly at times, confident)