I was flipping through posts tagged ‘NaNoWriMo’ (as I do at least once a day) yesterday and saw a post where somebody wrote all the things they hated about their novel up to this point. (UPDATE: THIS is the post that I read. Thank you to voeko for reading my version and commenting so I could give credit where it is due!) And considering the wall I’ve appeared to hit as of the last couple of days, I think venting out my writing frustrations will do me well.
So here’s my list of things that I hate about my novel (so far):
- What the hell do my characters look like? One of my weaknesses in first drafts is my lack of descriptions. Of everything. Characters, setting, EVERYTHING. It’s not so hard to add in in editing, but in the meantime, I feel like I can’t try to put in much of it now either. Because I don’t know what anyone looks like.
- I’ve woven this narrative that has taken the turn I didn’t want it to. My MC is going to get caught. And soon, probably before I hit 40k. But I’ll tell ya. I sure don’t want to have to do all this research on criminal trials. Sure I watch a lot of TV where this happens (cough SVU) but that doesn’t mean I can write it correctly! I’m sitting here pondering how I can get around writing anything from the trial without it seeming like a cop out, when I should be writing the scene I have going on right now.
- There are waaaay too many characters. I did good at keeping a running list when I first started of character’s names. That way I wouldn’t accidentally rename them a thousand words later. But then the list kept growing and growing. There’s MC, her roommate, hallmates, party people, paramedics, and now there’s detectives involved? And let me reiterate that I don’t know what they look like. It’s hard for me to sit and imagine scenes when I can’t picture my characters, let alone remember who all of them are.
- My MC is pretty snarky and sarcastic, and considering this novel is written in first person POV, that should be pretty evident through the entire thing. But there are so many instances where that isn’t true. Where I’m too focused on dialogue, dialogue, dialogue and not what’s going through her mind (which is just as important). She’s telling us a story from her point of view. She’s bound to have an internal opinion of just about everything. And I realize there are places where that shouldn’t be invoked, and that’s fine! But there are so many places it should be, but isn’t.
- Last but not least: WHY IS THERE SO MUCH DIALOGUE. Most of my characterization is done through dialogue (obviously because there’s no descriptions otherwise HAHA ). But in my head I start envisioning this conversation, and because my mind runs faster than my fingers, I just have to get the conversation down. But who needs the action going on around it? Who needs scene descriptions, or reactions, or casual hair flipping and head scratching? Obviously no one reading this draft of my novel, that’s for sure. I really need another straight up action scene. But how do I do that without throwing my story off the deep end? Because I mean I’ve written a novel where I needed words so there was an explosion and one character almost died. It was in your face ACTION and it was AWESOME. But I don’t have room in this novel for that. I guess if I get desperate for the word count though…
Okay. I think I have vented enough for the day. Time to get writing so I keep up my everyday streak of not missing the word count.
What’s something you hate about your novel? Share below! And KEEP WRITING.