Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Writer's block

In the past while, I've experienced writer's block which basically means I spent more time rehashing old stories and not writing anything new. In March, I decided it would be great to write a novel about a modern-day Romeo and Juliet. I sat down and put together a rough outline. I wrote the first chapter and posted it on a writers' forum.

Quite respectfully, I was told my writing style needed to 'show' more and 'tell' less. This particular weakness of mine has been there since I began to write! So what to do? My response was to slow down and dwell more on each scene, get more into the characters' shoes and describe what they sense, think and feel. Another comment was that the flashbacks were only exposition or backstory which I disagreed with.

The good news was my first paragraph was fine. However, reviewers stated I was trying to put too much into one chapter. One suggested I write an outline for each chapter in the book, start off with the female protagonist POV and then move into flashbacks in the second chapter. I attempted to work on my first chapter again, but still fell into the same traps.

Frustrated I considered making it into a screenplay, thinking I could concentrate on great dialogue and conflict in each scene. However, my story line didn't take advantage of cinematography or special effects. I had a scene on a beach but that was about it. Also when I tried to frame the story into a screenplay format, it became a talkie. The story was told through dialogue not through visual action. However, I was able to write a basic plot line and subplots showing the relationships or lack of between my characters. Also, I had to decide who is telling the story and who is my main character in a love triangle. And so it goes. Rome wasn't built in a day! However, I did feel encouraged by the comments and good advice I received.

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