Writing Wednesday: Details, Details

It seems to me that some writers over-write, getting everything down that they can think of, and editing it down later; and some writers under-write, getting down the bare bones and adding to it later. I fall into the latter category, and wish I didn’t.

My writing is very plot-driven. Only as I have progressed as a writer have I started to pay more attention to characters, and include character development as part of the plot. In the beginning my characters were cardboard constructions whose only purpose was to advance the plot. The trouble was, that no one was interested in the plot because they didn’t care about the characters.

NaNoWriMo was a huge help to me. I knew my story outline was not worth 50,000 words, so every day the goal was to write as many words as possible without getting to the end of the scene. I had to put in as much detail as possible. It really changed the way I write – for the better, I hope.

My son was amazed that, after writing three novels about the spaceship The Kestrel, that I had no idea what the bridge looked like. In fact, I didn’t know the layout of the ship at all. It didn’t seem to be important to know what the surroundings were like. You’re probably horrified too.

I am a great reader, yet never took the trouble to pay attention to how the book was written. I think it’s about time!

So now I am going through the Kestrel novels again, from the beginning, to add in the details I should have put in originally! (All suggestions gratefully received.)


About Ann Marie Thomas

Married since 1974, Christian since 1986, 4 children, 4 grand children, disabled with fibromyalgia but was working almost full time until a stroke in May 2010 changed my life completely. Writing poetry and making up stories since I was a child, I only started to write seriously when my children were grown. My main ambition is to write science fiction, but along the way I got distracted by local history and poetry about my stroke. Taking early retirement gave me the chance to concentrate on my writing. My book, Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth, was published in print and ebook at Easter 2012. The success of Alina led to the publication of Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John in September 2013, and The Magna Carta Story at Easter 2015. I am still writing science fiction - a series of novels called Flight of the Kestrel. For all my author news, see me author blog at www.annmariethomas.me.uk
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