Riding the Learning Curse

I am one novella away from finishing up my Once Upon a Princess saga. Yay for me! 

There are somethings that I have learned through this experience. I want to try new things, and with each book, I try to think about the things that I really need to work on and the things I did a pretty good job on. I know as a teacher, it is easier to be the learner; someone will always be there to correct you. Assuming you have a good teacher, anyway. 

Here's what I've learned about myself as a writer from the "Beauty's Curse" series. 

1. I am not as good of a novella writer as I think I am. 

My books are pretty good. Literally, even with my worst reviews, there's nothing that condemns them as pure crap, and it's good enough people will finish it. I think they sell well. I think they are above average in a sea of self-publishing. But I can tell that I do not like them as much as my longer novels. Much of what I did in order to make novellas was to curb my enthusiasm for description, setting, expression. This is just not who I am. While some of it is warranted from time to time, I think I will be allowing myself to write longer works in the future just because of this. I don't like curtailing some of my superfluous moments. Real beauty happens when I allow myself to be myself, not to fit a sales category. 

2. Keep it simple when it comes to characters. 

I like complicated characters. I like for people to wonder about their motivations, I like to have surprises, and even McKee says that people are "walking contradictions." (This is something I know not everyone likes about my work - even my mother said sometimes she has to wonder too much about some characters, and I laughed when she said it.) So I can't have too many characters. While I like their added banter and the different qualities they bring out, at times my storyline feels cluttered with people and their baggage. 

3. I obsess over Time. 

I like to have things planned out. I really do. But it can be the very epitome of half-blessing, half-curse. Whether it is fictional or real, when I am either reading or writing, sometimes I feel like my timing is off. I need to work on that. Especially with #kingdom1, since it is set in a real historical period and I have to know my dates. I see that book will likely be my next big test for that.

That's about it. One of the worst parts of being a writer in a world where seemingly everyone is writing, and that good writing often takes time, I still haven't found a particular niche in my writing. I like all sorts of adventures, just like I like a lot of different movies and shows in my Netflix queue. So I'll have to see if I can think of anything else to add to my writing in the days to come. 

 

Here's to getting better! 

C. S. JohnsonComment