Friday, May 3, 2013

More help from cyber friends; Sarah Wynde and Delia Moran

On Tuesday we were talking about Sarah Wynde and a blogpost she wrote that helped me to focus and verbalize my philosophy for writing.
It is a take off of Kurt Vonnegut and off of Sarah Wynde.
That philosophy being:
Passages need to move the action forward OR reveal or arc character OR relationships and overall I need to create a world I want to live in, at least for a while.
In her comment on my Tuesday blogpost - Sarah added this about her philosophy on writing (her philosophy being a work in progress); “I’ve realized that it has to include something about fun, because for me, and for what I want to write, a scene simply because it’s entertaining works.”
A scene simply for entertainment works for me, also but I’m not sure I need to actually spell that out in my philosophy because, for me, any world I want to live in for a while would have to have moments of fun in it
I talked about how realizing this freed me because it was paralyzing me to think that the sole purpose of every sentence was to move the story along.
In the comments from that same Tuesday blogpost of mine, Delia made a valid point which helps me now. I've heard it before but it didn't help when I was paralyzed:
“But for me it’s important to note that you don’t need to get that nitty gritty about it until revisions.” Delia Moran
See, I didn’t even want to write passages if I knew that I was going to have to cut every single thing that did not move the story along when I went to revise.
I write moments that define or arc character.
I write moments / scenes that are just for fun / entertainment.
I don’t mind revising, really I don’t. But it is not fun for me to write if I think I’m going to have to take out every bloody thing that is strictly for fun, romance building or bonding my characters with my readers.
And, frankly, it doesn’t make sense for me to write like that because I like to read books with such passages in them.
Why would I write a book that I don’t want to read?
If you are a writer, do you write books you would want to read?
If you are a reader, have you noticed, do your books have passages just for fun, romance, etc? Do you read those passages? Do you like them?


  1. When I find them (passages written just for fun/romance/entertainment) I adore them. To my mind, that whole "paring down" to get a quick concise story is just too damn streamlined for me. I like a big meaty book with lots of extras.

    (Which was what I was trying to say in the last comment.)

    I am very much looking forward to spending time in a world that you build. Also? Reading "The Cards of Life and Death" RIGHT NOW!

    1. Julie - I'm so glad you're reading that book. I know you're going to love it.

  2. When I was thinking about those scenes "just for entertainment" and specifically about some that I loved for just that reason, I realized that they all fall under the heading of "reveal character." I could pick specific scenes, especially in fanfics, where I felt like I wasn't advancing the plot at all and was sort of guilty about that, but when I look at them again, I realize they're character development. So I'm thinking now that maybe for me, character development is a big umbrella. Bits like Akira telling Zane that green tea is good for him, polyphenols and all, seem pointless, but actually reveal character. And Nora Roberts -- who commits every "sin" under the sun, from head-hopping to extended scenery descriptions -- gets away with all of it because she's so good at character development (IMO).

    1. I loved those scenes with Akira and Zane and I can see how they build character.
      In one of my favorite Amada Quick books, Wait Until Midnight - there is a running joke throughout the book. The heroine is writing a serial thriller for the newspaper. She has used the hero as her inspiration for the villain in her serial book before she falls in love with him. Throughout the book random people figure out who he is dating and they keep assuring him not to worry because the heroine always brings her villains to a very horrific end. I love those passages. When I think about it, they do reveal the heroes character in the way he reacts to them.

  3. Glad something I said was helpful. :) When it comes down to it, I'm more into Elmore Leonard's advice than Vonnegut's. His tenth rule of writing (the other nine are here: ) is: Try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.

    Good advice, that.

    Also, why would anyone bother to write a book they wouldn't want to read? That seems like a special kind of torture to me.

    1. I know I don't want to write books I don't want to read.

      I like that advice of Mr. Leonard's.

  4. Thanks for being there for me. I've been goubg through a rough patch. Major rogh patch. Seeing you there is priceless. thank you