megan rosalarian gedris
As someone hoping to eventually write at least ONE book, I'm facing a conundrum... I had something I wrote last year, ended up not liking the way I wrote it out, rewrote it for NaNoWriMo, found it more acceptable and then I just... stopped. Any tips on getting over a hurdle like that? It's not that I don't have things to write for it, just that I can't get past this one annoying point... Feel like an RPG character facing a wall and my pathway is fixed so I can't just go around it.

I’m gonna kick your ass a little bit here.

Are you writing because you want to be a writer, or do you have a story to tell? Nothing wrong with writing for the sake of writing. It’s excellent practice. But it’s not always gonna be the best motivator for getting results.

I reeeeeeally want to be able to do the splits. I’ll work at it for a while, and then forget about it, because I realize I want to do the splits only if I don’t have to work at it. Really wanting to do the splits isn’t enough. I don’t have follow-through in that area. It doesn’t hold my interest long enough to accomplish it. There’s other things in my life I’d rather be doing.

But when it comes to my comics and writing, that’s what I actually want to do. I have so many stories to tell. I have something I want to say. I am willing to work at it, even when it isn’t fun. Because it’s often not fun. There are long parts of this job that are super boring. It gets done because I don’t stop. If something isn’t working, I find a different way to do it. There’s always another way to go at a story.

So first ask yourself why you’re writing this book. If it’s for the sake of being able to say you wrote a book, then just keep typing words until you have collected a lot of them and then write “the end.” But if you’re writing the book because you have something to say, then say it. Sit down and say the thing you wanted to say. It’s hard, but again, it’s work.

If you can’t write past this one annoying point, readers are even less likely to get past that point. If you’ve written yourself into a corner, back up. Keep hitting delete until you’re at a point where a character making a different choice leads to something more interesting that you actually want to write again. You might have to abandon some of the plans you had for its future. It happens.

Your path is never fixed when it comes to writing a book, because you can literally rewrite its history. Be patient. You’re not famous yet and there’s no editors hounding you with a deadline or fans demanding the next book in the series. You haven’t published anything yet so there’s no worrying about having to retcon something. Just write your story and don’t tell yourself these hurdles can’t be overcome. Don’t let yourself make excuses like that.

You may have noticed how Alice and Betty never did get together before the comic ended and how Alice is kind of COMPLETELY in love with an actual ship instead.
I think audiences become accustomed to the idea that if they identify with a certain character, and that character spends enough time trying to romantically win over another character, they will be rewarded with that character’s love. This is such a pervasive thing in so much of our media, it’s rare to see a character we like end up alone at the end of a story.
Which to me is 1: boring as hell and 2: plays into real life ideas that real life people are entitled to real life other people just because they like them and are nice to them.  We’re all the heroes of our own stories, and being told over and over that the hero “gets the girl” so to speak, it’s no wonder people get downright angry when their affections are not returned. I know it’s not caused by media alone, and is more of an entire cultural system that’s been going for centuries and the media is merely a feedback loop/ method of perpetuation.
I know one small webcomic doesn’t really change that. But it just didn’t feel right to me to play into it without subverting it. As I was writing it, while I originally intended it to be a lot of comedic teasing before they eventually got together, the idea became less and less appealing to me. Alice was headed towards becoming a Nice Guy TM. Pining for this girl she’d put on a pedestal, never actually making a move, getting upset when Betty dated other women. And Betty just wasn’t interested in Alice, even though it “made sense” for them to get together. Betty might not have had good luck with the other girls she fell for, but that’s who she was attracted to. It didn’t really go completely over into Nice Guy territory, but I felt kind of weird when I realized that’s where things were headed, to where the audience is expecting it because we’ve all been taught that being nice to someone means you’re entitled to them.
When I decided not to have them get together, I wondered what then was the point of all the back and forth teasing that it would happen. I’m part of this culture, too, that says X + Y = Z, so if I don’t do Z, what was the point of mentioning X + Y at all? So many writerly advice essays I’ve read talk about not including a subplot if it doesn’t go anywhere. But I also like science, and if a theory says X + Y = Z, and you find a way in which X + Y = Q, you absolutely need to mention it. And writing advice is never set in stone.
It’s no secret that I’m not personally a fan of shipping. To me, I feel like a Nice Guy thinking that my own ideas of who belongs together are more important than the characters’ desires, or at least more important than the writers’. I know that’s not why everyone ships, but that’s what it makes me feel like when I think about shipping. I like characters to feel autonomous, I like characters with agency. I can wonder what it would be like if two characters got together, but demanding that they do, getting upset that they don’t, ignoring all the parts where the characters express who they do and don’t like because I think I know better than them makes me feel personally icky, makes me feel like I’m taking away their agency.
This is in no way meant to say that anyone who wanted Alice and Betty to get together was in any way bad. Of course you aren’t. I know it’s how many others choose to enjoy a story, and I did tease it rather heavily. But I think we take so much for granted in our stories, and I wanted to examine a piece of it.
~~~personal opinions on a story I wrote~~~

You may have noticed how Alice and Betty never did get together before the comic ended and how Alice is kind of COMPLETELY in love with an actual ship instead.

I think audiences become accustomed to the idea that if they identify with a certain character, and that character spends enough time trying to romantically win over another character, they will be rewarded with that character’s love. This is such a pervasive thing in so much of our media, it’s rare to see a character we like end up alone at the end of a story.

Which to me is 1: boring as hell and 2: plays into real life ideas that real life people are entitled to real life other people just because they like them and are nice to them.  We’re all the heroes of our own stories, and being told over and over that the hero “gets the girl” so to speak, it’s no wonder people get downright angry when their affections are not returned. I know it’s not caused by media alone, and is more of an entire cultural system that’s been going for centuries and the media is merely a feedback loop/ method of perpetuation.

I know one small webcomic doesn’t really change that. But it just didn’t feel right to me to play into it without subverting it. As I was writing it, while I originally intended it to be a lot of comedic teasing before they eventually got together, the idea became less and less appealing to me. Alice was headed towards becoming a Nice Guy TM. Pining for this girl she’d put on a pedestal, never actually making a move, getting upset when Betty dated other women. And Betty just wasn’t interested in Alice, even though it “made sense” for them to get together. Betty might not have had good luck with the other girls she fell for, but that’s who she was attracted to. It didn’t really go completely over into Nice Guy territory, but I felt kind of weird when I realized that’s where things were headed, to where the audience is expecting it because we’ve all been taught that being nice to someone means you’re entitled to them.

When I decided not to have them get together, I wondered what then was the point of all the back and forth teasing that it would happen. I’m part of this culture, too, that says X + Y = Z, so if I don’t do Z, what was the point of mentioning X + Y at all? So many writerly advice essays I’ve read talk about not including a subplot if it doesn’t go anywhere. But I also like science, and if a theory says X + Y = Z, and you find a way in which X + Y = Q, you absolutely need to mention it. And writing advice is never set in stone.

It’s no secret that I’m not personally a fan of shipping. To me, I feel like a Nice Guy thinking that my own ideas of who belongs together are more important than the characters’ desires, or at least more important than the writers’. I know that’s not why everyone ships, but that’s what it makes me feel like when I think about shipping. I like characters to feel autonomous, I like characters with agency. I can wonder what it would be like if two characters got together, but demanding that they do, getting upset that they don’t, ignoring all the parts where the characters express who they do and don’t like because I think I know better than them makes me feel personally icky, makes me feel like I’m taking away their agency.

This is in no way meant to say that anyone who wanted Alice and Betty to get together was in any way bad. Of course you aren’t. I know it’s how many others choose to enjoy a story, and I did tease it rather heavily. But I think we take so much for granted in our stories, and I wanted to examine a piece of it.

~~~personal opinions on a story I wrote~~~

sisterwolf:

Knife thrower’s assistant

Lately I’ve been working again on my story about the circus fortune teller and her ghost knife-throwing sister and this is so perfect for helping me visualize things. Yay! (Almost 20,000 words into this novel, holy cow!)

sisterwolf:

Knife thrower’s assistant

Lately I’ve been working again on my story about the circus fortune teller and her ghost knife-throwing sister and this is so perfect for helping me visualize things. Yay! (Almost 20,000 words into this novel, holy cow!)

Writing Tips I Re-learn Every Three Days

jetpackexhaust:

I’m writing down writing tips down because obviously that’s what you’d do with those. And in the hope that I’ll remember them instead of going through the whole process every 72 hours. 

1. I haven’t suddenly lost the ability to think, write, or feel joy, I just haven’t eaten in 20 hours.

2. Leaving the house for ten minutes will fill my head with more words than continuing to bath it off the desk for another three hours. 

3. Write that thing you want to write, it’ll help with all those things you have to write.

4. All you ever have to do is start.

Ah, all of these! Especially #1. I need a fridge by my work desk.

meatyyogurt:

Jackie tries to go to the film shoot, but her concern for Tom brings her back to Middleville. Or it might have been that she wasn’t all that into the shoot anyway.

Got a bit distracted from updating the Meaty Yogurt tumblr, but it’s all caught up now. Tom’s birthmother drama collides with Jackie’s acting drama. Drama drama drama.

Both YU+ME and Meaty Yogurt star main characters who are fairly self-centered, and the story gets told from their perspective to reenforce that. But the non-main characters always have their own stories going on, and I never forget that, and I like including chapter like this to show that these little universes I’m creating don’t revolve around Jackie or Fiona.

If you like this, there’s more to be found at MeatyYogurt.com.

jetbunny:

Dr. Zagar coughed profusely, specks of acid phlegm spattering the stone before him as his mouth tendrils flapped against his forejaw. His human associate, Dr. Woodfield, patted him on the carapace reassuringly.

“We’re close, Professor. We’re so close. You’ll live to see your dream come true.”…

It’s long, but rewarding.

#26: Stop writing about writers. Just get a blog like a normal person.

How did people even write stories without the internet to research every minute detail?

I am learning about trains!

bigbigtruck:

austinkleon:

Novel-writing process flowchart by Maureen McHugh

currently at point 4
I think I’m at point 5 but it’s gonna turn out I’m only at point 3 or 4 and the Dark Night of the Soul is still to come. Who said I could write? *hides under bed with wine and gameboy*

bigbigtruck:

austinkleon:

Novel-writing process flowchart by Maureen McHugh

currently at point 4

I think I’m at point 5 but it’s gonna turn out I’m only at point 3 or 4 and the Dark Night of the Soul is still to come. Who said I could write? *hides under bed with wine and gameboy*

projectchancecomic:

A few days ago, I said on Twitter that I wanted to write a “strong, atypical” young woman as the lead for this story. By “atypical” I mean that I will not be writing a straight, white, middle-class heroine. There’s nothing inherently wrong with straight, white, middle-class characters; they’re…