Happy Monday, writers!
We have more panel questions this week, but starting next Monday (the 17th) we'll be hosting another word war!
We know a lot of you are participating in Camp NaNo, or want to take advantage of extra free time of summer to get some writing done. I'm excited that this time I'll get to play along too! I'm writing the third act of my WWII era novel, so I'm motivated to get some words on the page.
What is something you've learned recently about writing?
I’ve learned that not every character needs a fully formed character arc in which they change for the better. Some characters don’t change. They might face situations that test them and cause them to question what they believe to be truth, but in the end, by staying true to who they are, they overcome. They realize that they were right all along and need to trust their instincts. And some characters change for the worse. Like other characters, they will confront the lies, but rather than finding the truth, the lie is either reinforced or misinterpreted. This causes the character to destroy themselves or others. Kind of sad, really, and I wouldn’t want to write too many stories where my main character ended poorly, but in an epic tale with multiple characters, varying my character arcs is important.
That writing makes you better at writing. The more I write, the more this truth is pounded into my heart. There are so many fabulous resources outside ourselves, but it’s the time in the chair that refines what we write and how we do it.
That storytelling and writing are two different things. K.M. Weiland puts it like this, “Storytelling and writing are actually two entirely different skill sets. Too often, when we try to do them both at once in the first draft, they end up getting in each other’s way.” I’ve been mulling over that, along with her article about nearly perfect first drafts. I sense my process is about to shift!
How about you guys? What is something you've learned recently about writing?