Friday, August 27, 2010

Writing Fiction

For you fiction writers out there – what part of writing is the hardest? Is it the research? Description? Dialogue? Is there anything “easy” about writing for you?

I don’t write historicals because of the research involved. Some history is interesting, but I’m not writing a history book and I don’t want to write a history book. However, sometimes I have to research a part of history, because when you write about vampires that were born in the 1600’s, you might want to make sure you got their “lingo” correct. I don’t seem to have any problem with this kind of research (Google is my friend).

I also might have to do research on a city I’ve never been to. With fiction, it doesn’t have to be completely accurate, but I am trying to write about vampires in a real world, so I try my best to make most of it factual. I don’t mind this research, either.

Descriptions are a pain. They take me out of the story. I know I need to give some description so the reader isn’t totally lost – and I have to rely on my first readers to tell me if I haven’t given enough description. But when I’m in the midst of writing my first draft, I’ll put “[ADD DESCRIPTION]” in the area that I know needs some. Adding description (and doing research) is a whole lot easier to do during the edit stage. I’ll have to give J.D. Rhoades credit (from for that idea.

I like dialogue. My first drafts are mostly dialogue. Which is funny, since I’m not a talkative person. I thought that this would be my stumbling block, but it’s not. I always have better conversations in my head than I do for real (and lucky for me, I can write them down).

So how about you? Even if you’re not a writer, what parts of a book do you like the best? The least? Yes, this is a trick to get you to comment on my blog. So sue me!


Linda Leszczuk said...

Yeah, we newbie bloggers are starved for commenters (hint, hint).

The hardest part for me is shutting up. Or making my characters shut up. I want to hear every conversation - even if person A is telling person B something the reader already knows. Some conversations need to happen off page but I always feel like I'm missing something if I don't include every word.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Yes, Linda, I know what you mean about shutting them up. It's a fine line between dialogue giving information or yakking. If it doesn't move the story forward (or provide some comic relief), then I don't include the conversation. Of course, that's not true for my first draft. I just write whatever comes to mind and trust I'll find the unnecessary conversations when I edit!

DL Hammons said...

I would say a combination of descriptions (purply prose it is not) and seperating the voice of different characters. I'm getting better though! :)

Stacy McKitrick said...

Hi DL! I could never be accused of using too many adverbs in my descriptions (which, I guess, could be a good thing!). But somehow I don't have a problem separating the voices. I just get into their head when I'm writing their POV. Kind of scary!

Thanks for commenting!