I’ve been tagged by author Sue Fortin (click her name to go to her blog) in a bloghop to tell Three Things I Don’t Write and Three Things I Do Write. \
What are three things I don’t write?
Mainly I don’t write things I wouldn’t enjoy reading myself.
Here are three examples:
1. Topics I Know Little About.
Why? I’ve always found it annoying to be reading a book and come across factual mistakes. For example, in one novel a character put “bullets” in a “shotgun.” A shotgun takes shells, not bullets. It’s a small mistake but it cast doubt on the author’s credibility for everything that followed.
If I have to put something into my novel that I’m not sure about, I find an expert on the subject and find out all I can about it. Then I double check it with at least one other reliable source to verify the information.
2. Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Vampire Stories.
I’m very much a realist, and although many vampire and science fiction stories are well-written and are potentially entertaining, I can’t bring myself to read them. I would always be having to remind myself “IF this could possibly happen (which it can’t) then how would I feel about the scene I’m reading now,” and for me, having to go through that mental struggle of acceptance already takes the fun out of reading the story. If I can’t enjoy reading this genre, how could I possibly write it with the enthusiasm and gusto needed to create a good novel?
3. Wordy Descriptions
I have never enjoyed reading lengthy, usually boring, descriptions of any sort. In some novels, I’ve suffered through descriptions of a woman’s dress, the decor of a room in an English castle of long ago, or the setting of a scene. These descriptions can all be incorporated into the story in bits here and there without putting the reader to sleep. I resent having to plough through pages of trivia in order to get an image in my head, and invariably it starts me skimming. Once I start skimming, the fun of reading is gone and I only want to get to the end to find out what happens. Even then, it is less than satisfying because I’ve missed the richness of the story. Verbiage is not the answer to conveying these descriptions to the reader.
What I DO write.
A story has to have a good plot, but without characters that I can identify with, the most exciting plot would be shallow. I want the reader to care about my characters. Love them or hate them, I don’t care, but have some feelings about them. The plot has to involve people with meaningful relationships, so this is a big part of my writing.
2. Short Bits.
In between writing novels, I enjoy writing short accounts of personal experiences, often with a funny twist where the joke is on me. I like to laugh and I don’t mind laughing at myself once in a while.
3. Entertainment for Ordinary People
I like to write in a conversational way, using language that is rich enough to be savoured, but straightforward enough to get the point across. I admire writers who can use enough words but not too many, to say what they want to say. I want the reader to feel as if they’re sitting in my living room while I tell them my story over a glass of fine wine. I hope that if they fall asleep it will be from the wine and not my story.
If you are a writer and would like to post something on this blog, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am always happy to give new writers a platform on which to “strut their stuff.”
Be sure to visit Darlene Jones’ blog for her “three things.” http://ow.ly/xpfzS