Thursday, May 19, 2011

Good Chapter, Bad Chapter


I absolutely love writing.  Most of what I write is sci-fi and fantasy with humor thrown in.  I've written 3 books and I'm working on more.  I've also written a few short stories, but they're actually harder for me.  I like books better.
Book two is better than book one and book 3 is the best.  I like book 1 a lot and think I did an excellent job with it.  The characters are rich and vivid and the dialogue is fun.  But it was my first book and I had to establish the characters.  In a lot of ways it was really hard and there's a good deal of information that I had to deliver to the reader.  That information took time away from the characters, dialogue and plot.
In book two, all of the characters were established, so I could get to the story.  I define and refine them more with each book. 

The dialogue in book 2 includes a lot of banter and humor in it.  I've had a blast writing it.  Book 3 was very action packed, but there was a part of 2 that really slowed me down.

Good chapter

Sometimes the words flow and I find myself grinning while I write. This is what I love. I'm reading the book and enjoying the story immensely. The characters are vivid in my mind and on the page. Every once in awhile, all of the words fall onto the page in perfect order and show exactly what I'm thinking.
I love it when a line happens that seems brillian to me. It's something I wish I had said in real life. The character in the book becomes impressive for having said it and the other characters are impressed by that cleverness.
This is one of my favorite things that I wrote in book 2
He handed his expenses pouch to Sir Danth. It had enough gold in it to rent a room as long as it wasn’t unreasonable. “See if you can get a room on the top floor facing the fortress,” he told the knight, pointing at the three level inn. “If it’s too expensive, take whatever you can.”
“I was under the impression you wished to handle matters of money, Master Tathan,” the knight said with a frown. Tathan really wanted to know how he did that.
“I have someone to go talk to,” Tathan replied cryptically.
“Why not give the money to your cousin?” Sir Danth asked, holding the pouch out to Liselle.
“Because, people don’t take money pouches out of the hand of an armored knight with a big sword, but they do take it from pretty young women,” he explained, gesturing toward Liselle.
“Nonetheless, I prefer to allow you or the pretty young lady do the talking,” the knight replied, handing the pouch to Liselle. “I promise to use my big sword to hit anyone who should attempt to take the pouch from the pretty young lady.”
Tathan sighed.
“You sigh a great deal, Master Tathan. Did you know?” the knight replied.
I loved writing that, it makes me grin.  The words were flowing here and the rest of the chapter did too.  Writing was easy and fun after this because of momentum that was created.

Bad chapter

Sometimes the words don't flow. This is when writing gets hard. I could stop and come back later, but the book never gets written that way. It's a bit like golf. You hit an amazing shot and that's what makes you love the game. Then for the next five holes every shot finds the nearest sand trap or water hazard. If you want to finish the game, you have to keep hitting.
I hate it when I don't love what I'm writing. It becomes more like work than fun. At one time it would stop me, but I've improved since then, but now I keep writing.
A part of me expects every sentence to be brilliant with light glowing out of the letters and a choir of angels singing it's praises, but that's a bit of an unreal expectation . . . yeah, just a bit.  They're not all going to be like that though.
So, when I get to one of those chapters where it's just not flowing great, I keep writing.  I try to make everything decent and hope it reads well. 
Hopefully, those great chapters where everything is brilliant will carry the reader over the one or two chapters that are merely interesting.  Then they'll get to the next brilliant chapter and have a grin that's just as big as mine when I wrote it.


Christine said...

Hiya John!
I was compelled to drop in and leave a comment here (I know, I know, it has nothing to do with this particular post...but still) letting you know that your author bio on Amazon is hysterical. :)

Just for S&G, I am now a follower! Best wishes!

John H. Carroll said...

Hi Christine!
Thank you so much for following. You can leave me wonderful comments like that anywhere. :)