Apr 17, 2010

Wannabe Writers #12

Wannabe Writers is a writing group for the un-published and anyone is welcome to join. It's a place where future authors can ask questions, share stories, and get feedback. Click (here) to find more about how it works.

Where I am in the writing process: I don't know. Where I think I am: Totally confused. I've never really finished anything and it the past week I haven't really written anything either. I'm taking a bit of a break. (Not just from writing but sort of from blogging too... I haven't been on here as much but don't worry I'm not going anywhere.)

My current problems: I haven't written anything in over a week and even though I'm feeling guilty about not sticking with my own 50,000/50 days challenge--I'm okay with that. I've burnt myself out and now need a break. But do breaks lead to break ups? In relationships yes...in writing? NO. I've taken 2 major breaks before. I actually stopped writing this time last year and that time lasted a whole month. Eventually the urge to write always comes back. And I am planning on running another 50,000/50 day challenge this summer and actually sticking with it (which will be much easier since I don't summers). So I sort of answered my own question there but I have something else I've been wondering about for a while...

My question this week: Character descriptions. How do you describe a characters appearance? And how do you work it into a story without making it sound fake? How much is too much? Why can't I just say "she had blue eyes blond hair" the end? And where do you work it into a story? When your MC (main character) first meets said character? And where do you work this in for your MC? And do you even need to work this in for your MC?

12 comments:

Charity Bradford said...

I wish there was a photo gallery somewhere online with descriptions. For instance, what does a Grecian profile look like? How do you describe different noses. I'm a visual person so, what does angular and aquiline look like?

I know that isn't any help. In my first draft I usually just have a line that tells what they look like at the first meeting. In revisions I try and spread the description out a bit; use it in actions if I can. Example: He brushed the curl off of her forehead...Now we now she has curly hair without saying, "She had curly hair."

Good luck!

Amanda said...

I'm burned out and taking a break too. :( But sometimes that's good - it recharges our batteries, yes? I have my post up now! It's actually combining my two writing things, the Wannabe Writers post is on there just not at the top.

J. Kaye said...

LOL! I took a three year break. :) Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. I don't regret the three years and it caused me to come back stronger.

Being a teacher, this is a serious stressful time of the year. After school is out, you'll be in a different frame of mind.

I'll post mine later on this evening. Today is going to be a nightmare...seriously busy.

madeleinerex.com said...

Wow! I had a blast with this week's question!

It seems we're all taking breaks. :D

Liz H. Allen said...

Breaks are fine. We all need to recharge our batteries. I can't wait for your sumer 50,000/50 days challenge. I'm actually going to be starting my own sort of (not publicly and not stealing your idea but doing your challenge starting mid-May to finish July 1st). I couldn't do it now because of school but I want to finish my first draft by July so I'm using your challenge as inspiration.

Stephanie said...

I've been on a little bit of a physical writing break, but not a break of thinking about my story. I've been working things out in my head, deciding how things should go, how I'll work a particular scene or storyline. There's more to writing than just pounding the keys! :) Sometimes you need a break to work out the details, right? :)

Stephanie said...

I've been on a little bit of a physical writing break, but not a break of thinking about my story. I've been working things out in my head, deciding how things should go, how I'll work a particular scene or storyline. There's more to writing than just pounding the keys! :) Sometimes you need a break to work out the details, right? :)

InABox said...

Breaks are good. It gives your brain time to recharge! Sometimes you just need some downtime. :-)

I think character descriptions depend on your genre and your MC(s). The setting and character personalities should determine how much you show the reader. I like to give a brief intro when the MC meets someone new and then expand on that later if it fits into the story.

I can't wait until your next 50,000/50 day challenge; hopefully I can participate next time!

Palindrome said...

I haven't been doing to well in the challenge either but I am consistently working on my WIP so that's something! I'm not discouraged.

I usually give a brief description unless, the character's features play a key role in the novel.

J. Kaye said...

Sarah - In response to your comment left on my blog, I don't do any describing in the first draft. If I do, it's very little. It's easier to come back and add these things in the second or third draft.

porcelaine said...

I think there's a fine line between being descriptive and adding so much content the reader is screaming enough already. I have a commonsense approach to this. After all, most people resonate with things they can comprehend on some level. No one goes into extensive detail about anyone unless there's a serious attraction or they're a wee bit obsessive. Sometimes the best solution to a dilemma is the one you'd barely notice.

Jillian said...

Okay now this is the right topic to put my link on.. sorry about that! ;)