Thursday, February 7, 2013

Treading Water

One of the problems I find myself coming across more often than I’d like when I’m writing is the feeling that I’m just treading water. My characters aren’t doing anything to advance the story or there’s a ton of dialogue and no real action.
I find myself fighting with this situation a lot I think for a few reasons.

Mainly it seems like I run into this when I’m trying to explain the workings of the world around my characters. For example, I’m working on a story right now that involved my main character being dragged out of her familiar life and forced into a new one. I’m at a part in the story where I really need to explain things and not just for the reader but for my character as well. I know it’s important but I just get a sense of going-nowhere-ness when I’m writing this part. I want to get to the good stuff.
The same thing happened in the novel length story I wrote, my main character joined a new organization and the rules had to be explained. I felt like it was necessary for her and my potential readers, but it also felt like treading water.
Another time it happens for me is in between important events. In my stories my character’s lives aren’t always one big thing after another; sometimes they have down time. I want to acknowledge those times but I also down want to linger on them.
In these parts I feel my attention wandering and I wonder if anyone who reads these stories will feel the same way. I’m just not sure though because to me these boring explanations are things that I’ve know about the story or character ever since I started creating them and their world. It’s just the way my mind works.
Am I over-thinking this? Is it something I should be more concerned about? And how do I get myself to work through the boredom so that I can write what I want?
I don’t know.

Bonus fun link: Neil Gaiman talking about making good art. I found it on Reddit and really enjoyed it. It's relevant for any kind of art too, not just writing.

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