1. Lmc71775
    Offline

    Lmc71775 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    26

    Bummed Out

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Lmc71775, Mar 5, 2010.

    I trying to write a middle reader's novel (between 9 to 14 say) and feel that it is going nowhere. Right now it feels directionless and just all talk. I have conflicts, but are they even interesting?

    I wanted it to be like 15 to 20k word count, and right now I'm at 6k, but like I said, I'm afraid it is too boring to continue on with it. Help what should I do, continue writing? Try to revise what I got? Or forget bout it?
     
  2. jacklondonsghost
    Offline

    jacklondonsghost Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,039
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Well I'd say take a good long look at your characters. They are the heart and soul of your work, and if you feel passionate about them and their struggles it will show in the writing. What do your characters want? What are they doing to acheive those goals? What is standing in their way? That's your story. Are you on track with that? Do you enjoy writing about your characters? Do they feel real to you?

    That's a lot of questions but I'd say that's what you ought to consider before scrapping a work or continuing. Personally, I see no point in writing something you don't feel passionate about.

    I guess, most of all you need to think about why you are writing this particular story.

    In terms of "boring" or not, I've recently dealt with that insecurity with my own work. The answer is, are your characters realistic and well developed? If so, the conflicts they deal with, no matter how small, become interesting.

    My $0.02. I'm not published or anything, but that's my take on it. Look at your characters, and try to remember why you wanted to write this story in the first place. If you don't feel the same way now, maybe it's time to just set this one aside for awhile and work on another project.
     
  3. Lmc71775
    Offline

    Lmc71775 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    26
    Well I loved my characters and thought the story was developing nicely. Til I posted some excerpts and was told the very thing I was fearing..."boring"

    And I was passionate about it in the beginning, but now...I'm bummed out because of that.

    BELIEVE ME, I want to continue. I will take another long hard look at my characters and think this over some more. In my heart I know there are good spots in the story.

    I think you're right, I will maybe put it aside for now and work on something else.
     
  4. Tigress
    Offline

    Tigress Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Tell your story. Don't let the critique from others dictate what you write. If you want to write it, then write it and worry about whether or not it's boring once you get the story told. (That's what rewrites are for. :))
     
  5. Lmc71775
    Offline

    Lmc71775 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    26

    Thanks...some really good advice. That I think I just might stick to!
     
  6. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,834
    Likes Received:
    10,013
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    [​IMG]

    You have some questions to ask of yourself. Perhaps you feel that the story is going nowhere because it lacks a foundation. A reason. I realize that you have a target age that you want to hit which is young, but that doesn’t mean that story need lack a purpose or a theme.

    Do you have a theme? A purpose?

    If not, then that is square one. If you do, then is this purpose something personal to you? What do you want me, the reader, to know about your point of view?

    Once you have the answers to those questions, then you must ask what is the roll of each of your characters in the expression of this theme.
     
  7. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    first of all, you need to learn what a novel for that age group should be... and 15-20k it ain't!... do your homework and research how to write for kids, before attempting to do so... how many 'tween' market novels have you read/studied?... how many of them were under 40k?

    read/study lots of the most successfully published ones, while you go to one of the leading children's writer sites and check out the basic info you'll find there... then learn the basics, before plunging in...

    Google best children's writing forums.

    be sure to check out any you want to join at p&e, first... they give the following site a 'recommended':
    Children's Writers & Illustrators Message Board
     
  8. Lmc71775
    Offline

    Lmc71775 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    26
    THanks Wreybies, I do have a theme, I think, or a purpose. The more I write the more it unfolds.

    Hey Maia, yes! I have studied the markets (for years in fact) Most book publishers in the Children's Writer's Market Guide (which I have handy at all times) word count varies for all of them. I've seen it as little as 2,000 word count up to 40k.

    MOST of them have a word count of 10 to 20k for middle readers. Believe me I studied this. I also have read many novels of this age range.

    But, you're right about the research thing. It definitely gives me an idea and a foundation as to how to write for that audience
     
  9. EileenG
    Offline

    EileenG Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    1
    Don't forget, a first draft is not a finished novel. You get your first draft down, then you go back and take out the boring stuff, and tighten up the scenes, and sharpen the dialogue. No-one expects you to get it right first time.

    I second the questions about the characters. If they are living breathing people to you, you can make your readers care about them as well.

    Don't be afraid to give your characters big conflicts. Push the scary stuff to the limit. 9 - 14 year olds have a huge capacity to get the big picture and understand what's happening. You don't need to soften the edges for them.
     
  10. MsMyth71
    Offline

    MsMyth71 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO
    If I were me, I'd push through regardless, then let it sit (marinade) for a while.

    One thing that I always do to try and spruce up my writing is to answer these questions:

    What does my character desperately want?
    What stands in the way?
    What do other (secondary) characters want?
    What does the antagonist want?

    Putting all of these things at odds will often help spice things up.

    Also, the best advice I was ever given in regard to characters is this:

    Write a letter from your character to YOU (the writer), explaining what's going right and what is going wrong. It's kind of silly sounding, but it works wonders for me.
     
  11. Lmc71775
    Offline

    Lmc71775 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    26
    Eileen, you're right. It is just a first draft...which I haven't even completely finished yet. I like the idea of pushing the envelope and taking risks with the reader. I have some ideas up my sleeve as to what I wanna do. So, yes, I do want to forge ahead and hopefully will.

    Hey MsMyth, those are good questions. I wrote them down as I want to do more character development. And the MC writing a letter to me sounds cool. I'll hafta try that too.

    Thank you everyone for your steadfast support!
     
  12. EileenG
    Offline

    EileenG Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    1
    If you need them, I have children that age, so if you want to run some ideas by them to see how they react, feel free.
     
  13. Lmc71775
    Offline

    Lmc71775 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    26

    Thanks, I have it posted in the novel section. The first one is titled The battle with Bianca or something like that and the next couple of chapters are "the Bianca problem". I posted them seperately and still am not sure on the title yet.

    Let me know what they think of it, thanks.
     
  14. Anders Backlund
    Offline

    Anders Backlund Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Land of Lagom
    Keep writing. For God's sake, keep writing and do not stop. You can revise what you have once you're finished. Or throw it away and find something else to do with your life. Whatever.

    Just don't stop in the middle, while you can still write. Just being able to write -just having a story to tell and the ability to tell it at all- is a luxury.
     
  15. EileenG
    Offline

    EileenG Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    1
    For what it's worth, the whole infighting at school thing does ring true to them, but even in the tales they bring home from school, there is more action. It's all full of who knew, and who told, and why did she gang with her, and not the other girl. There's also an extremely complicated ranking system, so your place in the school goes up or down, depending on how you look, what make-up you use, who your friends are, what boys fancy you, how many want to meet you (code for kissing), and lots of other things.
     
  16. Lmc71775
    Offline

    Lmc71775 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    26

    I thought I had some of that in my story...but I guess I need more action? Like what? I have Jane fist fight with Bianca in a later chapter.

    I have since then revised the beginning. Did they read that?
     
  17. Gabriel
    Offline

    Gabriel New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with jack's ghost on this one. if you feel that burning passion that you had when you started, then that will make all the difference. the other thing you can do with your characters is put yourself in their shoes and look at the current problem though their eyes.

    don't change the characters to fit the story,change the story to fit the characters.
     

Share This Page