Wednesday, 7 March 2012

IWSG: Is something missing?


It's time for my first IWSG post! If you haven't heard of it before, it's a bloghop hosted by Alex Cavanaugh, which allows writers to vent about things are troubling us, and to support others who are struggling! There is a link in my sidebar, so if you scroll down, click on the IWSG image, and it will take you to all the details!

My insecurity at the moment has to do with a lack of ... something ...  in my writing. People who have read my work often comment on how real my characters feel, and how the emotion shines through, and that makes me happy. My writing is usually character-centric, so I guess I am doing that part right.

However, I am editing my WIP at the moment, and there are places where I feel that something is missing. I recently discovered (and I don't know if this is true for everyone, or just me) that if I am struggling to write a scene, it's because it probably doesn't need to be included. But some of the scenes I have are necessary, but there is still a nagging in my brain telling me there needs to be more.

More WHAT??

I know that I will need help from my CPs to find out what is lacking - and I am exceptionally grateful to have them - but it makes me feel lame for not being able to figure it out for myself.


27 comments:

  1. Sometimes when we're so close to our work, its impossible to see things. Its not a lacking on your part, its just needing someone else's perspective. Someone else's eye.

    Though its gotta be extremely frustrating trying to figure out what 'more' is. Have you tried reading other's work and seeing if they excel in the 'more' you think you lack? That might help...

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  2. You know I love you work. I want to help, but I honestly feel like there isn't anything lacking.

    The only advice I can offer is something Ad and I were discussing while editing my WiP. He suggested I needed more of the world around the action. So it isn't just what's happening that's central to the plot.

    For example:

    Joe walked to the shops to buy a Mars bar.

    versus

    Joe walked to the shops, that were five minutes away and past the park, to buy a Mars bar as a treat for his hard work that day.

    Though, I think you get enough of the extra/ filler details in your writing too. :S

    I'll be on Skype later if you want to taalk about things. ^_^

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  3. I agree with what Kelley said about being too close to the work to see it. And sometimes it's kind of like when you can't think of the right word. It's on the tip of your tongue, but it's just not coming out until someone else says it. Your CPs might catch it on the first read, but they have a fresh perspective.

    As for the "something more"... yup. I'm well acquainted with that feeling. For me, it's usually some kind of conflict (alright, alright, it's usually some kind of *inner* conflict) or something that makes the scene lack immediacy and feel less relevant, even if it really is.

    Good luck!

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  4. Hi there. I am #94, popping in from Alex's blog, and a new member of your blog.

    I hear you. I'm doing the first read through of draft one of my manuscript now and not only are there things missing but the tone is totally off ... so much work to do *sigh*

    Feel free to pop by my blog. I'm trying to get a writing support group e-Magazine started where aspiring and established writers can get their work printed and provide constructive feedback to each other. Cheers!

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  5. My writing is character driven also, I sometimes have to remember to let readers know "where we are", "what it's like there", and sometimes even things as simple as "what the person looks like." I can forget to do these things because my brain already knows this stuff so well.

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  6. Don't feel lame! You may not "see" it because you are 1) too close or 2) it's fine. Wait and see what you CPs say, because they may think it's wonderful just the way it is. Hang in there!

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  7. I agree with Kelley, too. It's tough when we are so close to out work. It's not that different from real life. We all have moments when we know how we feel, but don't know how to put it into words. You'll figure it out, though. :)
    Good luck! (And I'm excited for Friday!) :)

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  8. I know how you feel. Recently I was told that I hold back in my writing. Once I decided to let my fears go, I found what was missing: me. Go back through and be fearless. Don't censor yourself of your characters. Trust me, it works.

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  9. I had to put mine away when I started doing this. Just didn't look at it for a couple weeks, then when I came back... BAM! There was the answer. :)

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  10. Welcome to the IWSG!
    Sometimes we just can't see it. That's why critique partners are so awesome.
    And I tend to focus more on the characters, letting description and details fall by the wayside. Fortunately my partners spot those bare areas.

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  11. I feel that way too sometimes. I'm happy to have people to pick up on what missed or need. It's important to have that support team.

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  12. Welcome! Sometimes it's hard to see something when it's really close to you. I think that's why we have cp's, to have other people read it and help us out. We can see everything so clearly in our heads and it may not be as clear to others.

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  13. I'm really going to have to join this group! I hate the feeling of not knowing what it is you're missing. Best of luck to you :)

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  14. Maybe try reading a bit analytically--what do books you really LOVE have in there? Surprise? Humor? Tension? Having not read your stuff, those are just some things that come to mind. Or maybe try looking at the scene from a different character's perspective--not necessily to write it that way, but observe it that way and see if you can learn something.

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  15. I agree with the others. When you're too close to your work you can't always see what needs to be done/fixed. I also think people can want their work to be absolutely perfect (and rightly so) and don't see how wonderful it already is.

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  16. it's okay to take help from others! their viewpoint could trigger the missing piece! and i agree that reading might unlock your ideas too. keep writing =)

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  17. None of can figure out for ourselves exactly what it is that's...not right. CPs are the very best remedy for that. I'd be lost without mine. So don't sweat it. Use it.

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  18. I'm the same way. If I struggle too much with a scene, it's usually a good indication that it's not working for a reason.

    I workshopped my first novel like crazy. I didn't listen to every bit of advice I got (there was just too much), but I did find some of it invaluable. CPs are amazing!

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  19. i agree that i notice when i'm having troubles with a section it's usually because something isn't working. But yeah, it's finding out what that something is that's the challenge

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  20. Oh the joys of writing... it's an endless battle... But because you're able to talk about it, and know that certain parts need work means that you'll be fine... it's the people that *don't* see it that can never grow ;) Great post!

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  21. Oh yes, been there, done that. I still struggle with that, and sometimes it is something so small and simple that I hit myself over the head for not seeing it.

    I once read an advice of giving every aspect of a scene a color, like characters talking, description, internal dialogue and such, and then it would be easy to see what is missing. I have tried that with troublesome scenes and found it a lot of work, but it did point out my lack of description in glaring colour!

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  22. I feel for you. I feel sometimes that I am missing something and it is my readers that help me see what it is that I am missing.

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  23. Maybe you need to take a break from writing for a little while. I read somewhere that it's good to take a break and just do something that's not related to writing for a few days or even just a couple hours. I think it's because that way you can come back to your manuscript with fresh eyes. It's similar to how some of my students work on their papers for long periods of time and they can't figure out how to make them better. It's partly because they've been working a little too hard and everything starts to look the same to them.

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  24. It's an interesting idea that struggling to compose a scene might be a signal that you should just omit it. I'm going to examine this in my own writing.

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  25. Welcome to the IWSG!! I hear you. I know when I'm reading to my crit partners and they hit on something that I'm missing or something that is unnecessary, I feel like I should have caught that becuse who should know my writing better than me. But the truth is we can be too close to see the problems. Or we've gone over it and over it so much, our brain can't untangle the threads anymore.

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  26. Glad you joined the IWSG! And I've found that by letting my stories simmer a few weeks, even months, I can come back to them with such a renewed vision, it makes all the difference. Some stories take years to perfect.

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  27. Everyone here has excellent advice and tips. Experiment with everything and find what works for you. You may find that what works will differ from story to story. And that's fine.

    Keep writing. Keep learning.

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