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HAHA “Well, you see, we don’t know what that skull is, so the black blob really is just our fear of the unknown which we must confront with courage and logic.” – that potter trying to get his piece sold, probably.

LOL, exactly! “It represents the fear of the unknown and the depth of the— Umm– humanity?” I wonder if potters and artists used to do the entire complicated symbolism thing too XD

Never heard of that book, is it any good?

It was kinda cool! It’s a middle-grade by Ellen Raskin. What I did like is that she actually put effort into the characters, and they’re all different. It isn’t a deep book, more of a lighthearted mystery. I liked that there were multiple converging plotlines, each with different themes.

The premise is that a group of people with seemingly no connection are all proclaimed to be heirs of a millionaire who has died. They’re told that whoever solves the mystery of who killed him will inherit the fortune.

It isn’t one of my favorite books, but it was still fun and the author did seem to know what she was doing. The mystery was surprisingly good, though it’s better when you reread it. It was hard to keep track of, because of all the plot lines.

But it sounds like you may be able just to write it all out and then trim down whatever doesn’t work. I find trimming down to be easier (and better looking) than needing to add content.

Definitely! In my first book, I have very little plot material, so I end up expanding on everything a bit. It’s really, really hard since the plot turned out really simplistic and boring. But it has potential and I’ll get it right! (Eventually. Hopefully XD)

hahaha, Untitled Goose Game anyone? Seriously though, how did that happen to your character?

LOL! To summarize, the castle (Who is a sentient, semi-malevolent force/ disembodied voice in that game) told all the characters that they have to guess what the goose’s three powers were. And my character, Chantara, decided it would be a good idea to try and befriend the goose. It did not go well. XD

The goose wasn’t my idea, but it’s sheer genius because it’s caused the most chaotic situations so far. XD

If you are doing first person POV, have you tried describing things from a third person POV in a separate space? So, spend your time writing it out in a different page or document, almost as if you would put it in the book, but that becomes the reference for what your character actually sees? That way, you can focus on just imagining the thing itself and play with different words while not feeling pressured by the rest of the scene. (I write mostly on computer, but spending time outside with a pencil and paper just describing things has been very helpful).

Oh, that’s such a good idea! I’ve got to try that at some time or another!

Yeah, and then you are hit with the fear that if you actually start to admit that it is good, you are going to come off as some arrogant blowhard, lol. This is honestly where a lot of my actual work with writing goes into, looking at God and allowing him into the underlying cause of the feelings.

Oh, yes! I totally get that too XD And whenever I’m writing out of my comfort zone (Literally all the time) I constantly think “Whatever made me believe I could do this? I can’t write about this!”

I have never head of that phrase before, what does it mean, exactly? Also, sounds like you do/work on a lot of outlining, I’m honestly more of a pantser (is that how you spell it?), and if so, what is your process for that?

(Yep, that’s how you spell it! Whenever I use that term to non-writers they always look at me like ?:/ XD)

Oh, Save the Cat is an outlining method developed by Blake Snyder for screenwriting. It’s since been adapted for novels as well. (They also call it the ‘Blake Snyder beat sheet) It’s a variation on the three-act structure, but it’s a bit looser since there are only fifteen points you need to hit, even though there are guidelines for what needs to happen in-between. That’s what I use for outlining.
(There’s a really good book about it, I use the “Save the Cat! Writes a Novel” book. It’s great and I still use it for reference every time I outline)

I actually improvised the last half of my first book, since my initial outline was a useless mess. (And I ended up changing a lot!) I generally don’t enjoy improvising, it just doesn’t work for me, but it’s cool that it does for you! It’s definitely a valid method, it just doesn’t work for me personally XD

My process for outlining is that I use the fifteen plot points and roughly decide what needs to happen with each one. That sounds simple but it usually involves a lot of dead-ends, brainstorming, and frustration. I usually just start with the catalyst that launches the character into the story, pick a midpoint, (Often a plot twist) and decide on the low point. From there it’s easier to figure out the other points. And if I happen to have two storylines, I do that twice.

I often still have big blank spaces when I start writing, but they come to me while I’m working on it.

I also plot out the major character arcs and work them into the plot. When I have both together, I’ll usually have 75% of the chapters loosely outlined. The rest… ehhh… I deal with it when I have to XD (I’m actually completely missing a climax on my second book XD I have a very, very loose idea of what needs to happen, but that’s all XD)

You know, if you would like some feedback, I would be interested in reading some of what you have written.

Thank you so much for offering! The issue is that my chapters are more than 3000 words, and I don’t want to copy an entire one in. I might be posting a chapter for critique at a later point, but it isn’t at a level where I’m ready for critique yet. (I have a bunch of things I need to fix) Thank you for offering though, I really appreciate it!

From an outlining perspective, it certainly makes sense to get that done for the series before seriously putting pen to paper. Again, as a pantser, I have a plan (and we all know how well plans go, lol) to basically write the whole series as one draft, and then rewrite. I know I have a problem with letting the work and the process be messy, even while most everything in LIFE is messy; even cleaning is usually more messy before it is finished.

That’s a great idea! It’ll make it easier to edit once you have the first draft written. Even though I’m abandoning almost half the scenes in the first draft of the first book, I have a much clearer idea of what I’m going for, so it was helpful after all, even if it was terrible XD

I love that deadline quote. Another one I really like is: “Sucking at something is the first step in learning how to be kinda good at something.”

That’s such a good quote! I constantly need to remind myself of that! Every so often I give myself a “Yes, this is trash, but it exists and that’s progress. You can edit the trash later” pep talk XD

That is probably the hardest question you have asked, lol. My writing is first and foremost about my walk with God, and that has already subverted my goals and plans. I had to put my WIP down for a year or so, only picking it back up now, but that time was necessary and really good, but certainly not what I had planned. So, honestly, idk; I want to get this draft down by the end of this year… but yeah, we’ll see.

LOL, plans are there to be broken. No, wait, that isn’t right… Whatever, it works XD And sometimes a break from writing will actually really help. I remember last year I had to take a few weeks off because of other priorities, and now when I read it, I can see right where I took the break because the writing after it is much, much better.

What genres do you generally read, or if you haven’t read many, which ones would you like to read?

My favorite is fantasy when I can find good ones. I love historical fiction and anything Sci-fi. I don’t read many contemporary mysteries, but when any of the aforementioned genres involve mysteries, I love it XD I do read classics occasionally. Dickens is really good but much better as an audiobook, so you can go about whatever you’re doing while he describes something for three pages. XD

Without darkness, there is no light. If there was no nighttime, would the stars be as bright?

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