Monthly Archives: December 2013

Identifying Weakness

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What are your weaknesses in the writing process? Without claiming that the list is exhaustive, I think there are three main weaknesses or problems.

1. Weak story
2. Weak writing
3. Weak publicity

If I had to evaluate these weakness in the light of my own abilities, I would say…

1. I have a strong story. I love the plot and the conflict, and the message is powerful enough to move a reader.
2. As a non-professional, amateur writer, I feel unsure of myself when it comes to writing. I catch myself using basic sentence structure that gets repetitive. Not that flowery language style is better writing. Still.
3. Publicity, what? The biggest obstacle I see is getting noticed. But I am determined to take one step at a time – finishing a good story and sharing it.

What about you? What other weaknesses can a writer have? What is your greatest weakness – and strength? Let me know in the comments.

Those Boring Parts

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During my editing process, I catch myself skipping parts of my manuscript I don’t like or parts where I feel stupid reading them. Then I ask myself – what the heck are they doing in my story then? If it’s boring, awkward, unrealistic, or cheesy, why is it part of my story? Deciding whether the part needs to be completely taken out, rewritten, or slightly changed requires a few steps/questions summarized in the following points:

  • What is the purpose of this scene? Does it drive the plot? If yes, edit or consider a rewrite. Either the scene is underdeveloped and too short, or it is longwinded and needs to be cut to the necessities. If the story makes perfect sense without that scene, then it needs to be removed.
  • Can the scene’s message and purpose be communicated in a different way? For example, introducing my character David is an important scene of course; but the way I show him in his home and with his family is something I want to change just because I don’t like reading it. I have to change it so it feels right. Somehow.

NO YAWNING ALLOWED

If you don’t enjoy enjoy writing a scene, your readers won’t enjoy reading it. If you think a part is boring, why is it in your story? You don’t want a boring part. Your readers will notice.

  1. Identify boring scenes.
  2. Evaluate their importance.
  3. If they are important, edit or rewrite. Unimportant scenes need to be eliminated.

I hate deleting scenes. I feel like I wrote them for a purpose and it feels wrong to take them out, but being drastic and brave is part of the writing process. (And don’t delete your scenes entirely. I have a “Deleted Scenes” document where I keep writing I throw out. Just in case.)

What parts of your novel did you delete because it wasn’t driving your plot? What do you do with boring parts? Do you find yourself deleting them or editing them?

 

Stephen Locksley

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Source: Pinterest

Character Profile

Stephen Paul Locksley. He is one of David’s younger brothers and while they are but two years apart and so closely related, they are different in many ways. Stephen is a quiet, drawn-back personality, who never likes to show people how he feels. Emotions flow out of his music in which he finds the only way to express himself.

He knows what is right but is often too afraid to speak up for it. Stephen learns how keeping truth un-compromised is not a matter of words only but actions and thoughts.

Click on the names for more character profiles.

On Suffering

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This topic is not exclusively limited to my novel. By all means, each and every one of us are affected by suffering because we live in a fallen world. As redeemed sinners, we Christians live with consequences of actions, thoughts, and words displeasing to Jahweh. And yet we were made perfect through the blood of the Lamb.

Sometimes I think it is not fair of God to let His Children suffer. After all, we are precious to Him and He saved us – from what? So He can bring us through strife and pain? Is this what I deserve?

All too often, we lose focus of what we deserve. We deserve hell. H-E-L-L. There was nothing good in us that should have made God want to pick us up out of the mire, bathe us, clothe us, and call us His own. We were kicking and screaming, cursing His name; but He chose us.

This life is fleeting – so short. What is life? A few decades in which we spend our energy to make a comfortable life. I need a good education; a fabulous job so I can earn money to pay for my house, car, kids. Really?

If you are a Christian, I beg you to reassess your life. When asked what we live for, we often repeat the good old phrase, “For the glory of God.”

I want to glorify God with my life. It is not easy – at all. I fail a lot, but my life is His. Just because I don’t get what I think I need, doesn’t mean He is not worth living for anymore. I belong to Him. He possesses me. He owns every part of me – my soul, body, health, reason, ability to think, my family, and everything I else I hold dear. If He choses to take it, why should I complain about Him claiming what it is His?

I love this song by Shane and Shane “Though You Slay Me.” It reminds me of Job and everything that was taken away from him. We read those passages so lightly. “And then he lost his house, children, servants, and everything else.” Have you ever thought about that? How would you react?

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need

Check out the rest of the lyrics. It doesn’t matter if God takes away all I have. He is indeed all that I need. I don’t need money, health, a job I love, a husband, children, and a Lamborghini. While I would like to have these things (okay, maybe that car is exaggerated), if God chooses to keep withholding them from me, I can be satisfied in Him. He will not keep something from me that He knows I need. Either way, I will worship Him.

If you are not a Christian and/or have no idea what I am talking about, please don’t hesitate to send me a question.

 

Kendra George

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Source: Pinterest

Character Profile

Kendra Samantha George. She is a secondary character with an important role, and a portion of her story is told from her perspective. Kendra’s ultimate goal is freedom and she does a lot to try to find it. Bitter and disappointed by the one she thinks she loves the most, Kendra has little feelings for others and hurts them so they can’t be happier than her.

When first introduced in the story, she is nineteen years old.

Check out the other character profiles by clicking on the names.

I Just Hit The 100k Mark!

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As of this moment, The Resolution has at least 100,000 words. In the last two weeks, I have added approximately 25k. I’m surprised at myself and wonder where all that came from. But I am excited and can’t wait to get each part rounded off plot-wise.

100,000

Because I have a lot of other issues. Not too many actually, but the main thing is perspective. That is, first or third person… Until now each story from each perspective has been in first person. While that’s okay – personally, I think – for as many as two characters, having four at this point is a little much. Not only that, first person tends to be recognized as for the YA, younger genre; and particularly the new content I’ve added is more “mature.” My target audience is 16 and up, but I don’t want it to be limited to the younger audience category.

Ramble, ramble, ramble. I suppose I have already decided to change it eventually. I am looking forward to going through 100k (!) words, replacing “I’s” for “Irene’s” and “David’s,” etc.

Please tell me what you think about narration and point of view. Do you agree that I should switch from first to third person?