In the first installment of this series, I mentioned that this book looks vaguely like something that my nemesis created to destroy me, not something I thought would be genuinely fun to write.
As I began writing, the list of things I can’t write grew steadily longer.
Basically I can’t write. Anything.
Can we please just leave it at that?
No? Okay, fine. You demanding humans, you.
1. Action scenes
I cannot write action scenes to save my life. Or, in this case, to save my character’s lives.
People keep asking me why all my characters are dead. Now you know.
But let’s be serious. Being vague feels like an easy way out, so I want to be detailed. I want you to be able to see it all in your head.
The problem, of course, is that people can move much faster than I can write.
2. War books
And so I decided to write one.
I know nothing about war – I’ve never fought in one, started one, or lived through one. I don’t know how wars work and I certainly don’t understand strategy.
I need to go play some chess…
Description is my kryptonite. Historically, I am known to way overdo it.
So I guess you could say that it’s not so much that I can’t write it as much as I can’t write it the right way.
I can’t seem to find a happy place in between inundating you with several paragraphs of nothing but description until you know every detail of the room or character and no description at all because I don’t know how to slip it in between action scenes in a subtle way.
4. Transitions through time
This has to be my worst flaw.
I don’t know how to transition through time. What am I supposed to say?
“Three months later…”
“The next day…”
I sound like the narrator of a sad TV show!
And yet, if I don’t do this, all I have is a bunch of unconnected, choppy scenes that piece together like a puzzle that’s been forced.
5. Life as usual
How do you paint a picture of life as usual? How do you show that things have been going on this way for days and weeks and months?
Without writing each and every one of those days and weeks and months?
I can’t say, “And that continued for five months.” I can’t, folks. It’s too ridiculous.
As I mentioned before, I know nothing about music.
I know how to listen to it. I’m actually a professional music-listener.
I also attempt to recreate it every once in a while, preferably when there are no family members nearby.
But, technically speaking? I know nothing. I’m hopeless.
7. Female characters
I can’t write heroines. Or women at all, honestly.
Which is odd, if you think about it. Because I am one.
I tried to model my female characters after Orual, from my favorite book Till We Have Faces, as she happens to be the only female character in fiction I have liked.
It didn’t work all that way.
Somehow they all still ended up weepy and weak and overemotional. In an attempt not to make them all Katniss.
There you have it!
All my secrets are now in the light.
Excuse me while I go dig a deep hole to hide in for the rest of the month.
How is NaNo going, people? Have you found out anything interesting about yourself? Like what you can’t write? Or, on a happier note, what you’re good at writing? Tell me your deep, dark secrets! After all, I told you mine…