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Thursday, July 12, 2012

More Author Insight: Writerly Flaws

What’s your biggest writerly fault, and how do you cope with it?

"I'm incredibly impatient. As soon as I sit down to write a book, I want it finished. As soon as it's finished, I want it published. As soon as it's published, I want everyone in the world to read it immediately so that I know if anyone liked it. It's horrible. I try to cope by writing as many books as possible so that I'm always distracted!" - Barry Lyga, author of I Hunt Killers

"Pantsing. Not really knowing how it will all work out until it works out. I cope by just keeping on." - Huntley Fitzpatrick, author of My Life Next Door

"Doubt. Is that a fault? It creeps in and can paralyze me. I cope with it by writing more. Action always slays doubt, depression, and despair." - C.J. Redwine, author of Defiance.

"I’m a lean writer and need to go back and add description. Writers I admire tend to be mean and lean in order to have a fast-paced story. But I know that readers like and expect a certain amount of it, so for me it’s a later-draft issue." - Lissa Price, author of Starters. 

"My biggest writerly fault is description. I know writers are supposed to be observant, but I never am. Don’t ask me where I parked my car. I don’t know. Ditto for which door of a department store I came in. All I remember is that there were racks of stuff for sale. My unobservant nature transfers over to my writing. I generally have to go back after I’ve written a book and consciously put description in." - Janette Rallison (AKA C.J. Hill), author of Erasing Time

"Procrastinating—either by using social media, or watching TV, or just spending too much time on gmail/gchat. I usually just have to bully myself into stepping away from all that and focusing on writing—or I have one of my writer-buddies yell at me until I stop goofing around." - Sarah Maas, author of Throne of Glass

"That's probably a better question for my editor. I'm probably not even aware of my worst tics and transgressions. I know I'm a spectacular procrastinator. After a big project, I fall into what I can only call deep torpor. Deadlines help. So does the right piece of music or setting up working dates with friends. We call it 'friendly surveillance.'" - Leigh Bardugo, author of Shadow and Bone

"I have a few. I don’t outline at first, and want my characters to drive the plot as much as possible. I outline eventually, but I don’t write to a script. I don’t think that’s exactly a fault, except during the weeks where I’m stuck and wishing I had a map. I could be more efficient. I have other pretty standard faults: I’m stubborn, and I’m prone to either loving or hating a scene much more than I should, based on something that doesn’t necessarily have to do with the book. Sometimes one of my people will suggest that a character/scene could go, and I’m like, 'Never! It is essential!' And then six months later I end up cutting it. I always make sure to sheepishly come clean to the person who suggested it, though."  - Kevin Emerson, author of The Lost Code

"My biggest writerly fault is not being able to just let go and flow in the drafting stage.  I need to learn how to get out of my own way so that I can get the words down even if they're not exactly what I want them to be the first time around!" - Jessi Kirby, author of In Honor

"I have a minimalist style, and sometimes it’s too minimalist. My revision process usually involves adding rather than deleting." - Jennifer Hubbard, author of Try Not to Breathe.

"I know that I’m not great at writing descriptions, I’d rather get to the action and dialogue. I do try to be mindful when I need to stop and describe something, but I’m not that kind of writer. I also have a tendency to overuse certain words. I don’t usually notice it when I’m writing, but during the copyedit, I generally hang my head in shame and break out the thesaurus!" - Elizabeth Eulberg, author of Take a Bow.

"Time management. I have a very hard time creating a schedule for myself and sticking to it. I also tend to get a scene in my head and try to force it to happen. That happened with Spellcaster—I kept trying to force something to happen, and it just wasn't working. I ended up reworking the entire manuscript, but at the end of the day I was happier with the finished product." - Cara Lynn Shultz, author of Spellcaster

Stop by Tuesday to find out how much of their manuscripts the authors would be willing to change!

1 comment:

  1. I love this series and identify with so many other people's answers, and today Barry Lyga's really made me laugh. I may share that same flaw!