✍ Historical Fiction: Escaping into the past through literature. Photo by Shelley Burbank
How’s your Wednesday going?
Today’s the day I try to write about writing…so why do I have a picture of John Jakes’s 1993 historical novel, HOMELAND, posted up there? Simple. Because I haven’t left my desk all day, so my world is pretty much limited to my screens, my shelves, and my imagination. And as of yet, I can’t take a photo of my imagination, although it might be a tad more bizarre than this book cover.
I recently learned that my Wattpad novel Rosalie Porter’s Hot & Steamy Sex Scandal may be in need of a rewrite sooner rather than later. (More details in the future.) I knew as I wrote the book that it needed a major plot revision. The timeline jumped backward then forward, and I didn’t really like it. I figured out how to do it by reading Candace Bushnell’s novel, TRADING UP, and I think I did an okay job of it. Still, I didn’t think the organization did the story justice.
In fact, I’m learning a bit about my weakness as a storyteller.
It’s funny. I always thought it was my language/style skills preventing me from creating the kind of books I liked to read. I mean, yes. Finding my writer voice challenged me early on in my writing journey. It’s kind of inevitable, right?
Now that I have it, though, I’m realizing my narrative skills just aren’t up to the level I need /want them to be. All these years, I yearned for someone to be able to tell me what was wrong with my stories. I couldn’t solve the puzzle. Something was just…off.
Now I believe I’ve discovered my major problem: plot. That’s right. Plot. The narrative arch of a story.
How can that be? I come up with great ideas for plots!
Well, a great idea is only the beginning. Learning to analyze your story once you get started free-writing or creating a few scenes is crucial. At that point you might have a better idea of where you want your story to go. That’s a good time to figure out the plot points of how you’ll get there.
Or, if you are a panster, you can draft the whole novel, analyze, then happily pare and prune and dab away at the story until it is a beautiful masterpiece.
I spent most of today thinking about Rosalie’s story, what her goals were, what she learned, and how she got from point A to point B at the end of the book. Happily, I realized the plot isn’t all that horrible. It needs some re-arranging, mostly. Yay!
And of course, I need to cut out extraneous material that doesn’t move the story forward so that the pace is a little faster for Wattpad readership. They tolerate…even enjoy…long books, but stuff has to be happening at a pretty good clip.
Anyway, that was my “writing” for today. I think I’ll be putting Love & East Mercy aside for now and get Rosalie spruced up.
I can’t think about both of them at the same time!
Anyway, that’s all for today. It’s time for my afternoon cup of coffee and perhaps a dip into this Jakes book. I hope you are having a great week.
How about you, dear reader? Do you like a fast-paced commercial fiction story? Or are you more of a slow-paced literary novel kind of reader? I like both!
And can’t forget non-fiction like memoir. Drop me a line and share your fave genres. I love comments & I comment back!