Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hardest part of writing?

I can think of several but I’ll focus on a few practical issues here:

First, I find it hard to develop a basic idea into a real plot. Maybe I should be less of a pantser and think things through before I start! I have lots of basic scenarios, but no real idea how I can develop them. In addition, I need a plot that will absorb me so that I can get totally involved in it and relate to my characters.

Second, I have problems with time lapses. How to get characters from Point A in the story to what I want to be Point B. I hate stories that say things like ‘two months later’ because I want to know what happened in those two months! The characters exist during that time, what were they doing or thinking or feeling? But, in my case, either the time lapse ends up as telling, not showing, or else it becomes long and unwieldy, without contributing anything to the plot itself. Any ideas about how to deal with time lapses – days, weeks or months – gratefully received!

Third, when I was writing my books 30 or 40 years ago, the rule was to stick to one point of view (the heroine’s). It became ingrained in me. Now I’m adapting to being able to use more POVs but I’m struggling with just when to make the change from one POV to another, as it still isn’t coming naturally to me.

I could list a lot more – not least trying to overcome the ‘technical’ errors in my writing. But I have to conclude by saying that I thoroughly enjoy the challenges that writing a good story presents. The hard parts of writing don’t depress me, but make me more determined to improve.


  1. Paula,
    You are not afraid to write. You are not afraid to ask for critiques. You are halfway to the finish line.

  2. Thanks, Ana! I enjoy critiques because they help me to improve - and yours are superb! Even thought they send my head reeling at times!