Thursday, October 21, 2010

Step Seven

Hi. My name is Matthew and I'm a blogaholic.

I don't have much to share today, but I'm ready to listen.

Today I am on Step Seven.

Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

That's the official step. I haven't actually gotten there just yet. I'm still in a re-write, but once it's done I will definitely query Him, Nathan Bransford, and ask Him to suggest how I could remove all shortcomings from my manuscript.

My biggest writerly shortcomings are a tendency to over-describe, which really fouls up pacing, and not staying true to my characters, especially in my current WIP in which I tend to inject my own views into my MC at times.

Soon I may share about Step Eight.

Disclaimer: This post is satirical. It is not meant to offend anyone, or to belittle the integrity of 12 Step Programs anywhere, which have saved countless lives since their inception.

32 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My shortcoming is under-describing.

Melissa said...

I have a horrible tendency to over-describe as well. Which is why when I started the rewrite on my novel (before I finished the first draft) I've made a conscious effort not to relay every thought my MC has and describe everything around her in excruciating detail. It *feels* like I am under-describing now, but logically I don't think I am. I may have to expand certain parts but from showing my first third of the book to a couple people just to see how the pacing was working - it *is* working. They both said they couldn't stop turning pages and that the pacing was just right. This was SUCH a relief... however, I still feel like I'm underwriting and it's a HUGE struggle for me. I hope it'll pay off.

Candyland said...

You're hilarious. Nathan B~the solver of all problems...
I over describe too, but I'd like to think I'm just a detailed person...

Slushpile Slut said...

Good luck on the re-write Matt! So not easy BUT so worth it!! :)

Ted Cross said...

You overdescribe and I underdescribe. Together we could write the perfect book!

Christina Lee said...

I'm with Alex--under-describing. I do hope HE, oh mighty one, helps you ;--)

Shainer said...

I tend to under-describe and in doing so it rushes the story, throwing off the pace. We all have our short comings and must consistently work on them. So, for me the best way to work on my problem is to read my work out loud and most of the time it helps me work through my problems.

Bish Denham said...

As I am discovering from Angela's crit, my short-comings are letting perfectly good sub-plots sort of peter out and become lame and that I have an issue about using the passive voice. GAK.

maine character said...

I'm sure Nathan will guide you well. The Church of Orange answers all who ask.

The cool thing about over-description is it's easy to trim. Just find that one line that conveys as much about the emotional viewpoint of the character as it does what he sees.

That's that Bradbury said - that the best description has nothing to do with facts, but always about interpretation.

Vicki Rocho said...

Crack me up, funny how applicable these steps are.

Hannah Kincade said...

I'm an under-describer as well. I'll spend two sentences on something and think, too much?

Tracy said...

I have a tendency to let my characters play around too much. They're all so funny and sarcastic, in their own way, that if I'm not careful (re-write) they'll sit around doing nothing but tossing witty quips at one another through the whole novel.

Kristi Helvig said...

I under-describe, assuming the reader should know what's going on in my head. On the plus side, I've been told my pacing is great, but I also have to do a lot of fleshing out after the fact.

Janet Johnson said...

I'm like Alex. Under-describing is definitely my problem. I skip those parts when I read, so why write them, right? :)

Slamdunk said...

I think over describing is seldom a problem or maybe it is because my descriptions tend to be sparse.

Old Kitty said...

Awwww if your MC is like you then he's lovely! :-)

He whose initials are NB will hopefully show you The Way soon! Take care
x

Colene Murphy said...

Good luck on the rewrites! I tend to over-describe some things and gloss over others. It just depends on what I think you should just know. Which. can be bad. ha!

Lenny Lee! said...

hi mr matthew! i gotta be the perfect describer cause i did a post on it so now i gotta follow my own advice. ha ha. what mr ted said was so funny. ha ha. wow that mr nathan sures got a lotta power. i see lot of bloggers saying his name. i hope he could be a big help for you.
...hugs from lenny

Kelly said...

I recently had to go through my manuscript to write more description!!!
I hope I have an agent or editor one day help me polish my manuscript!!

Nicole Zoltack said...

I tend to under-describe. Then I'll realize what I'm doing and over-describe next scene. It's all about finding balance.

Falen (Sarah Ahiers) said...

oooh overdescribing can be a pain. BUT, that's easily fixed with a red pen and the ability to cross whole sentences and paragraphs out.
I love doing that.

Talli Roland said...

Hahahaha! This made me snort out loud. Make sure to tell us what He says!

LTM said...

apparently I have several shortcomings... ;p mbrr~

Carolyn Abiad said...

I do have a tendency of letting my 37 yr old hind(sight) into the MS. Not good when I'm writing a teenager.

Theresa Milstein said...

I've committed so many shortcomings, I don't know where to begin.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Be Wary of Step Seven. :)

I recently had a dream where I received a detailed rejection of my full MS. It included an 8'x12' trifold disply charting all my plot and character weakness, as well as a video.
/becarefulwhatyouwishfor

Guinevere said...

You are my opposite! I under-describe. People always want to know what my characters look like, and I'm like, Well, I said he was tall and had brown hair!

Sigh.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Dude, I'm such an over-describer!! We really should start some sort of a support group.

Shannon said...

I don't know, Matt. I think you're being too hard on yourself. I've been able to glimpse some of your writing and I think it's beautiful.

Robert Guthrie said...

Him, Nathan Bransford. Yup.

Ishta Mercurio said...

LOL! I don't under-describe, but I do tell things too soon, and then there's nothing left to tell later. I'm a front-loader.

Good luck with the re-write! I'm working on finishing my first draft, so I'll have something to rewrite. One chapter at a time...

Jemi Fraser said...

I used to add too much, now I'm erring on the other side. *sigh* I need some balancing lessons!