If you want to dive deep into the darkest crevices of a writer’s mind, you should follow Irina. Many of her posts are long and thoughtful digressions on life and writing. She’s better at explaining these sorts of things than I am.
This one hit me so hard in the feels, I needed to reblog. I’ve been feeling some heavy imposter syndrome these days (Sorry for being such a Danny Downer lately!). This is such a great way of looking at it.
I’ve had those 45-minute rants plenty of times in my professional field, but it never clicked how meaningful that is. Thanks, Irina, for sharing your insights!
Irina and I had a good exchange regarding this topic on my previous post. Check out this awesome continuation she posted on her blog.
I think my thoughts on the issue have changed some over the past couple years. This is probably in large part because most of the favorite characters I have written (as a male author) have been women and girls. And I tend to like female characters more in fiction (who knows, maybe this very issue causes people to be more conscious about how they write and create female leads). Of course men can write deep women characters and vice versa. And any hack writer can write shallow characters of any gender.
But I do think there are some things that are inherently foreign from one side to the other, and at a minimum, require a good amount of research before publication. I wouldn’t write a story about a Korean character (I’m pretty white as far as the ethnic spectrum goes) without having a whole lot of either experience or research (I’ve lived in Korea for 11+ years and did my master’s thesis on Korean political history). Women are the same way for me. There are some things I feel confident about because either they should be human universal traits, or because I have enough experience in my relationships to tease them out. But there are plenty of things I wouldn’t try to guess at. Morning sickness, or just the experience of being pregnant. Or the experience of dealing with the heavier burdens of living in a patriarchy. In the end though, I think seeking to understand these differences in perspective makes us better authors, and better people.
Great post, by the way! 😀
There’s a topic that has been nagging me for quite a while, demanding attention and asking that my opinion on it be shared with the world. My usual response has been “Shut up and go sit in the corner, you’re too politicised as it is” but a recent chat with a fellow writer sort of convinced me it was possible to write about it without enraging armies or even your discussion partner. The nagging topic is about men writing female characters and, gasp, women writing male characters.
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I’ve written about dialogue grammar and formatting before, but K.M. Allan does a much better job here. Pay attention to the part on “action beats.” I see a lot of writers getting that wrong.
Dialogue is an important part of any story and essential to get right.
Good dialogue can reveal twists, unveil character traits, motivations, change the direction of the story, and give your cliffhangers the perfect bite—I mean, who doesn’t love the final line of a scene ending in a suspenseful piece of dialogue!
While it’s up to you to perfect your dialogue, if you want to ensure it’s working for your words, double-check it with the help of this checklist!
Use your search function to find every instance of quote marks (” or ‘), and as you look at each highlighted quote, check the following…
Spelled Out Emotions
While there’s nothing wrong with telling emotions, if you’re spelling out every single instance, use this check to shortcut your way to finding all that telling and convert some of it to showing.
Telling: “Get out!” Jenny shouted angrily.
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If you watched the author interview VIDEO I shared a few days ago, you will know how bad the audio is. I spend several hours messing with the audio, editing and clearing up the sound. The trouble is that I recorded the video on my cell phone, in a large and echo-y room. There's only … Continue reading REBLOG: Richie Billing News
If you didn't know, Richie Billing is one of the authors in the shared fantasy universe I manage. He is also a much more dedicated and skilled blogger than I am. Check out this cool little post he recently wrote on character planning. Character Plotting Posted on November 9, 2018 by richiebilling I’m a bit of a planner … Continue reading REBLOG – Character Plotting
This was just to good not to share. It sort of meanders in getting to the final point--which ironically, is to keep it short!--but the detailed review of cover letter mistakes is helpful, too. Thanks to Richie Billing for bringing this to my attention. ~JM via How to Write a Proper Short Story Cover Letter
Book covers have been a recurring issue for me as of late. I know, right? Who'd think authors have to worry about covers and such. I've engaged with two small publishers for my fantasy manuscript In the Valley of Magic, and covers have been part of both debates. In the end, I had to pull back … Continue reading SHARE: Book Cover Psychology
Said much better than I could manage, by someone much more familiar with the subject. I just started really digging into sci-fi history in the past year, so I haven't had a chance to do all the reading that goes with it. Le Guin was at the top of my list. I knew she was … Continue reading REBLOG: St. Ursula
Thank you, Victorique, for the great review. I am surprised I got off so well. For those who don’t know, she is usually very hard on books! A 4 of 5 is a great score from her. I really like this anthology. It doesn’t need you to constantly change characters, but each chapter is indeed … Continue reading REBLOG: The Adventures of Iric Review
Here's a great rundown of psychological struggles for you characters that I couldn't help but share. R. Morgan does a great job distilling concepts like gestalt down into digestible bits. Some of you might recognize the must vs. need conflict, which I think is very similar or the same as the "truth and lie" concept in … Continue reading REBLOG: Man vs. Self – A Guide to Writing Internal Conflict — R. Morgan Stories