With my crazy-business schedule, I added a new task to my writing experience. I’ll admit to being hooked on fan fiction. Yes, it is not clean polished writing, but I do love how many fans can add their own plot twists or expand on an idea and make the story their own. So, several months ago I had a lovely writer’s block form. To try plowing through it, I started my own fan fiction story. Yesterday, I got brave enough and posted it.
I was thrilled to have a review within the first thirty minutes. Though, it was not a review that spoke of my fine editing skills or good intro to my version of the story. Nope, it was a negative review of how I lost the voice of the original character, making the character too passive. I’ll be the first to admit that it was a little hard to swallow the review. I had spent hours editing the five chapters I wrote and was pretty proud of myself for getting it as clean as possible so their wouldn’t be grammar errors that this blog even sees. But after an hour of pouting, I realized the commentator was right. I had lost the voice of the original story. I had been reading stories from the fans for so long that I don’t remember how the characters come across any more.
The lesson I learn is that my own writing and editing can not work the same methods in all scenarios. My personal editing style is to just get the rough draft writing, then over the course of several revisions, I can shape and form my character’s stories and personalities. It also changes the voice and pace of the story. I also need to look at my own writing voice clearer rather than mostly focusing on the correct grammar. I tip my hat to those who are skilled enough to mirror someone elses writing style, voice, and characters. It’s much harder than I thought it would be.
Another lesson was that I need a stronger back bone to accept helpful criticism. Don’t close yourself off when people are offering their viewpoints on your writing. Some times you do need that outside eye to see it in a different light.
I have seen several different agents post on twitter warnings of the idle main characters. Basically that if the character isn’t moving, than neither is your story. Each word, phrase, and paragraph all needs to push to the climax of the story. If the character is spending more time in idle thought or no mention of their body language (fidgeting or expressions) while conversations are being exchanged, then the story seems as if it has stopped. Now, that doesn’t mean to litter your story with such physical movement of the characters, but the story itself needs to move along.
Large paragraphs slow down the story. Best for more intense or detail provided scenes. Short paragraphs speed the reader along – good for action scenes.
L. R. Mauck