Monday, February 8, 2010

Wannabe Writers #2

Wannabe Writers is a new meme created by Sarah of Confessions of the Un-published!

One of my goals right now is to move my literary ambitions out of the box and onto the shelf, by which I mean that I no longer want to ignore how much I enjoy writing. I love the idea of this meme, and I'll quote from Sarah's post here:

I often find myself searching the web for information during my struggles as a new writer. So I wanted to start a place where us future young-adult authors can come together to ask those questions, share our stories, and get feedback.

I'm supposed to come up with my own question, but I didn't read the instructions before I dove in last week and instead wrote a reply to Sarah's question. I thought I'd do that again this week and include a question/problem or two of my own as well. (Is that an acceptable modification of someone else's meme? If it's not, please let me know. I want to be a polite blogger!)

Where I am in the writing process: Wow, this last week has been crazy. First, I completely abandoned Novel #1 because I absolutely hated it and then gradually decided that maybe it wasn't awful so I sent it off to a college friend for critique. She promised to be harsh (my words, not hers) but came back with some positive feedback and general editorial suggestions. In the meantime, I've been plugging away at Novel #2, which I am much happier with (right now), and editing Novel #1 in my I'm-out-of-new-ideas time.

My current problems: There's a section in Novel #1 with which I am particularly unhappy. I picked a much too complicated character for my first endeavor and am finding it difficult to write a character with low self-esteem without making the reader dislike her or, more importantly, making me dislike her.

Question(s) this week: Finishing this thing? How do you tie up all those loose ends and write the perfect ending? I've never struggled this much in my writing. Usually it just flows out. Any suggestions?

I haven't really had this problem so far. Actually, in Novel #1, I figured out the conclusion about a quarter of the way through the book and basically just had to connect the beginning and end. As for Novel #2, I'm not to the end yet (not even close!), but I have bits and pieces of the end floating around in my head, waiting to be mixed and matched and then tied in with the rest of the story.

Hmm, now that I think about it, maybe that's my solution. Figure out how you want to tie everything up and write the ending in your head before you finish the novel so that you can direct the action towards a specific conclusion. It may not work for everyone, but that's how I create.


  1. I have a smiliar problem, expect I'm dealing with a tough, full-of-himself jock. I guess I would suggest trying to find another book with alove self-esteem character and model yours after that person.

    Is your novel young adult? A lot of times in Chick Lit and romance you see a MC with self-esteem issues. I wish I could think of a good example for you, but I can't. I did read Slightly Single (Chic Lit) and the girl was overweight...and Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts..where the girl had been in an abusive relationship.

    I think as long as explain why she (or he) is the way she is then you'll be okay. That way the read can relate. Don't over do it though. Too much of any trait is probably never good.

    I hope that helps.

  2. I'll have to check this out. I like to have a conclusion set up as I'm writing too but of course, once I finish the story, things often change. Good luck!

  3. I do that, have an ending in my head before I start. That's how I usually see story ideas, with a beginning, middle and end. Sometimes that ending is a bit on the murky side though.

  4. Welll mabye having disliking the character isn't bad as long as it ends well or you have other characters.

  5. I think a mixture of characteristics might be a relief for your mc. We all suffer from self-esteem issues, but we all have something we're proud of, too. Maybe give her a secret passion or something she's secretly good at. I say secretly, because most of us low self-esteem gals don't really want to share because of fear of rejection. If the audience sees that she has some confidence, no matter how little, it makes it easier to like her.

    Also, are you including why she has low self-esteem? Maybe not something huge and terrible, but something small like a mom (or mom-figure) with low self-esteem too? Or slight cutting remarks from family? That might help the reader understand why the issue is there.

    Well, that's my 2 cents. I hope it was helpful!