Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Dump The Drama, Dump The Baggage
NOTE: This post came from reading, in the last several days, the number of authors building up the drama of trying to "get ready" to go to RWA 2018. The packing, the hair, the prepping dinners, the swag, the shoes..... ARRRRGGGHHHH!!!!!
Give it a rest writers... please!
To make your stories interesting, you do not have to fill the story up with all of that drama!
Honestly, I could not tell you how many times I have read queries and submissions that just make me want to scream. The characters have so much drama going on in their lives, that there is seriously no way that character should be able to survive a single day.
I do know what some of you are saying to yourself. "I have to make this story really interesting." Interesting does not mean, however, giving that main character additional worries and problems.
If you have read this blog in the past, you know I have vented about this before, so forgive me if I may be repetitive. A main character in a women's fiction novel can certainly be facing a mid-life crisis. That is perfect. But when you add in that she finds out her husband is having an affair, AND the husband has discovered that he is gay, AND the oldest son is doing drugs, AND the daughter has decided to run off with a singer from some heavy metal band, AND the entire family is now bankrupt due to all of these other family issues, AND the wife thinks the best approach to solving these problems is a road trip to visit her high school boyfriend, AND they re-kindle a friendship that leads to her getting pregnant.
IS NOT THE WAY TO GO!!!!!!
Pick on issue and deal with it.
Now, if you are thinking that you would not have anything to write about, this is where I suggest the idea of adding depth of character, plot and setting in your stories. Give the reader a three dimensional picture of the characters and their world. Don't just tell us the plot.
BUT.... and here comes the second piece of the rant.
Adding in depth DOES NOT mean more baggage. When I talk about baggage, I am talking about all of those suggestions most of your critique partners recommend adding to your story because they feel they need to have a reason for all of these things to happen in your story.
If your heroine doesn't want to date right now, it does not need to be because she came from an abusive prior relationship and her own parents were divorced due to the fact that her father was an alcoholic and mother did pain killers during the 60's because that was the way you dealt with stress. Guess what? A person does not need a reason to do every single thing in your story. There doesn't need to be all of that extra "stuff."
Again, I know some of you are saying that your story would not be long enough.
I would again say, add the depth to your story. That may help!