Saturday, June 7, 2008

Nearing the End...Or Is It?

I'm almost finished with the first draft of my work in progress (WIP) -- only 8,000 words left to write. Now that I'm starting to bring the main plot and a few subplots around to completion, I'm worried I can't do it in 8,000 words. If you're a writer, do you ever do this?

Last week, Gail Martin came to speak to Carolina Christian Writers and I've starting reading one of her latest books, Writing the Christian Romance. Our very own Missy Tippens is quoted in it.
This is a great resource tool. It's helping to remind me of things I should know, but it's also teaching me some indepth things that just haven't clicked until now. It covers everything from the basics of writing to deeper, more meaningful, levels of writing. I'm particularly enjoying the examples she used for invoking emotion.

I already use a Character Sketch before I start writing a new story, but the form Gail Martin has provided in her book is a little more detailed than mine. We are so driven to remember GMC (goals, motivation and conflict) that sometimes we forget character needs. You may know what your character's goals are, what motivates him to behave the way he does, and you might have lots of conflict that keeps him from achieving those goals, but what does that character really need? In real life, sometimes we are unaware of what we really need.

Have you ever determined a character's dialogue before you write the story? You might know how your character will speak based on location and ethncity, but what about according to his personality? Usually, I just let this happen as I write the story. Sometimes this works well and then there are times when it doesn't. What expressions will your characters use? What expressions would be out of character? For example, who says "fiddle dee dee" a lot? I bet you have a picture in mind of Scarlett O'Hara. Even dialogue can be determined during the creation of your characters before you even write the story.

I haven't finished reading Gail's book, but I'm looking forward to the other nuggets of knowledge I'll discover in it.

1 comment:

  1. I've been offline for two days for graduation, so I'm late checking in.

    Great post, Jenn. I've started Gail's book but haven't been able to read much yet. I look forward to it!

    And yes, I have an example of a query letter included. :) It's actually for a manuscript that hasn't been published yet. There was a mistake in the book--it gave the wrong title. But it's a thrill to have it included.