The truth about… well… everything

Yes, the title is misleading. I’m not telling you everything, that would be creepy and way too much information. What I will tell you is about my month-long absence here. Not a lot to tell, truthfully, my wife and I moved and believe me when I say: Moving sucks. plain and simple.

With that out of my system, I now return you to your regularly scheduled post.

I recently had a friend offer to read the complete first/third draft of my story. I sat on pins and needles for the couple weeks waiting to hear back from her. When I did I was really excited to read what she had to say and she pointed out some things that I hadn’t even noticed before. The biggest thing was characterization. The story is written from the main character’s POV, first person and all, but it felt like the reader didn’t get to know enough about the characters, even the main. I’ve known for a while that there would obviously need to be another draft, and the reason I call it my first/third draft is because it is the third draft in the overall attempt to write this story, but it is completely different from the original draft, so I can’t really decide if it’s the first or third… not that it matters and at this point I’m rambling a bit. Either way, I definitely need to start another draft, but am having trouble beginning it. But should I stick with the story I have and just try to clean it up a little? or should I put together a new story that is developing in my head that is using ideas from a much, much, earlier version of the story.

A completely unrelated question for the other writers who may find this blog: What are your opinions on writing conferences? I read a lot of books on writing and a number of them advise going to conferences in order to network and whatnot. My problems, while many, mostly involve being socially awkward and inept, but also just in my ability to travel. From my research, which was done in a fifteen minute search last night around 9 pm so you can take what I say with a grain of salt, there are only a couple of large conferences in Canada, one in Surrey, BC, the other out in Ontario. I live in northern Alberta and air travel is damned expensive lol. So I wonder is the chance to get to network worth the financial need? Or can it be done online? And if so, then how do you all do it? I would love if someone could give me some advice about this.

2 thoughts on “The truth about… well… everything

  1. Here’s how you develop a composite and deep character.

    Age at time of story:
    Astro sign:
    Eye colour:
    Skin colour:
    Face shape:
    Distinguishing features:
    Hair and colour:
    Hair description:
    Health problems:
    Distinguishing marks:
    Clothing style:
    Neat or messy:
    Specific mannerisms:
    Does he/she like it?:
    Political leaning:
    Religious or spiritual beliefs:
    3 best traits:
    3 worst traits:
    Biggest fear:
    Biggest dream:
    Opinions on controversial topics:
    Family dynamics – normal or dysfunctional?:
    Relationships – normal or dysfunctional?
    One experience would rather have avoided:
    Biggest lesson: hard or easy:
    Biggest lesson left to learn – realise it?
    One change if possible:
    Like best about self:
    Self-esteem 1(low) to 10 )high):
    One thing that’d surprise you:
    Nobody knows this, but …
    Wants more than anything else:
    What scares him/her the most:
    Favourite pet/animal:
    Humour type:
    What makes him/her happy, sad, angry, frustrated:

    Characters in concert.

    Where did we meet?:
    How did we meet?:
    Was attraction mutual?:
    Was it instant or did it grow?:
    Who started the conversation?:
    Was there a chase or mutual agreement?:
    Friends in common?:
    Views in common (see list above):
    First date:
    First hold hands?:
    First kiss?:
    How did our relationship grow?:
    When did we decide to be a couple?:
    What are the tension points in that? (fear or loss or potential loss, distance, etc):
    Why is this relationship worth it?:
    First disagreement:
    How did we react?:
    When did we each realise it was love?:
    What does that mean to us?:
    3 things we love about each other:
    3 things that drive us nuts about the other:
    3 things we can tolerate but would prefer to be different:
    What is our goal in this relationship?:

    You may think of more; these are just prompts so that you get to know the character/s.

    You need to make the reader care. They need to feel they are in the story and that tension and release of tension (peaks and valleys) are believable.  You’re looking for ‘suspension of disbelief’. That is, the reader knows it’s a story but they want to believe it’s true, because they’re engaged/immersed in it and they want the good guy/girls (even if they’re bad) to win.

    At some point you’ll need to consider the scope and scale of the story, too.

    I can’t recall where I found the first part of this list. That was saved 3 laptops ago. I hope this helps.

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