Using Character to Fix Plot: M. B. Weston’s Writing Diary 06/11/15

Using Character to Fix Plot: M. B. Weston’s Writing Diary 06/11/15.


Four Unspoken Promises All Authors Make to Readers

Seems this would go without definition. But these are big points that do get forgotten!

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

business-silhouette-1016872-mToday’s post is all about the promises we authors make to readers when we write a novel: whether we know it or not. We need to be aware of the promises we’re making because we need to make sure we keep them.

Don’t keep them, and you’ve got a reader revolt on your hands.

Many of the things readers gripe about in negative reviews– “I was let down at the end,” “It bored me,” “It wasn’t what I expected,” “The points I cared about were dropped by the author and never resolved– are often the result of us breaking those unspoken but powerful promises.

Now, some quick background for this post: in a graduate course about autobiography, I had to read some theory written by a Frenchman named “Phillipe Lejeune.” He claimed that readers have an implicit understanding of an “autobiographical pact” when they read an autobiography.

He goes on…

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M. B. Weston’s Writing Diary: 03/24/15

Nice “stick to itness” yeah its a thing. I am more and more excited for this tale!

M. B. Weston's Official Website

The problem with conventions: the older you get, the longer it takes to get over them. Last night’s thirty minute nap after work turned into four hours. To put it mildly, that “power nap” severely cut into my writing time.

Still got some time in, however, and the exciting part: I figured out how my dear Michael opens a magic door without magic! Gotta admit that was pretty sweet because I had no idea how he was going to open the door.

Every so often, I write my characters into a difficult situation, and instead of going back and rewriting, I decide to make keep writing to see if I can make it work.

A few things that helped me this time:

  • Know your hero’s strengths.Michael Lodestone can’t use magic. However, he was onceone of the most powerful wizards ever, so he has extensive knowledge of what magic…

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M. B. Weston’s Writing Diary 03/18/15 to 03/19/15

Writers problems.

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Sorry for missing a post yesterday. Things are going a mile a minute around here. I’ve made some interesting discoveries about writing:

  • It’s hard to write when you work two hours of overtime two days in a row. Between leaving work around 7 and doing errands, I got home around 8:45 last night. That was before dinner. So yeah, I went to bed at twelve and that was with forcing myself to write a paragraph or two in the paranormal thriller short story before falling asleep. (Having to wake up at 3:30am this morning to make a flight didn’t help…)
  • It’s hard to write when you have to pack for a convention. Forgot to mention that… So got home at 8:45, had to eat and pack… Went light in the packing this time. Just clothes and toiletries…
  • On days like yesterday, you just have to lower the standards. I have…

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M. B. Weston’s Writing Diary: 03/17/15

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Took a break from the Michael Lodestone story last night. Instead I worked on a paranormal thriller/horror short story. :::big grin:::

Sometimes little breaks are a great way to clear the head. I have a problem with seeing all the leaves instead of the forest, especially when I’m in the middle of editing. Hopefully tonight’s writing session will be a bit more productive after a day concentrating on something else. (Like a very cool paranormal beast…)

How about you? Have do you clear your head when you’re concentrating too much on a story?


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M. B. Weston’s Writing Diary: 03/16/15

How do you read from the screen vs paper?

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I’ve been trying to do more of my edits without actually printing the page out and writing on it. Part of me thinks this most save time because I’m not writing down the changes and then typing be them into the computer. Each time I try this, I keep being wrong, however. Somtimes you just have to print the thing out and write out your changes first.

I don’t know why this is. I think it has to do with how my brain classifies what I’m reading. On a computer screen I can’t accurately judge where I am, how far I’ve gone, etc. The physical paper helpse get a better feel for the manuscript. I can page back and forth, redo edits, make sure what I thought sounded good at the beginning still sounds good when I reach the end…

Last night, I had to divide a chapter of dialogue…

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M. B. Weston’s Writing Diary: 03/15/15

Spot on

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“What is the purpose of this scene?” That is the most important question an author can ask while editing. Why is the scene there? Does it add any value to the work as a whole?

Rambling and getting too involved in things that seem fun but have no purpose to the story are good signs that the scene needs to be cut or given more importance.

In this last writing session, I had to take a good hard look at chapter 4 of my urban fantasy pulp novella. Basically it is 5000 words of indie dump. The information delivered is important but it presents a few problems:

  • It slows the story down
  • It doesn’t show character development.
  • It tells instead of shows
  • Chapter 4 is supposed to be the the hook.

So not only do I have an info dump problem with a scene that goes nowhere, but I so…

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