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the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

from redsnake05

December 2nd, 2007 (02:49 am)

I like this meme. Even though I'm sure those of you who have read a number of my stories and going "you think THOSE are your biggest repeating mistakes? Oh, honey, let me tell you." I'm sure I'm oblivious to my real, what shall we call them, personal quirks. But it was fun to think about nevertheless, and I hope lots of my writerly friends steal this.

Ten Ways You Can Tell a Story Is Written By slammerkinbabe:

1. It has lesbians in it somewhere. This isn't a particularly good one, actually, because I may not tell you the lesbians are, in fact, lesbians. But I know who the lesbians are inside my own head, and I do not remember the last time I wrote a piece of fiction with no lesbians in it, no matter how fleeting their role.

2. The sentences are entirely too complex, with tons of semicolons, colons, and em-dashes.

3. One of the characters sounds exactly like me.

4. There are at least three metaphors that sound like the author was drunk when she conceived of them. One of them is likely an extended metaphor.

5. There is insufficient visual description, especially of the main characters in the book. Occasionally this gets broken when visual description is central to characterization, but characters' looks are not described unless the story cannot be told without said description.

6. Mental illness is a prominent theme, someone is probably in therapy, and it is highly likely that someone winds up in a psych ward at some point. There is also a high probability of a suicide attempt. Someone on the psych ward probably has an improbable affair with their roommate.

7. When and if the plot gets blocked, someone gets drunk and unblocks it by saying or doing something stupid and/or revealing.

8. Attention to researchy details seems to be good at a glance, but that is only because I only write about things that I have personally experienced. See also: #6, #3, #1.

9. If the characters have to eat something in the course of the book or story it is almost inevitably chicken over pasta.

10. There is a hot butch character somewhere in the book - someone that I would sleep with in real life. Even if there is no actual sex in the story, this is apparently necessary to maintain my own interest. (Oddly enough I think the Jane book broke this rule, but I'm back on it in the Beth book.)

With the exception of #10, I've been working really hard to keep most of this out of the Beth book. In particular, it was okay to let 1, 3, and 5 go in the Jane book, but I have got to make some major changes in writing the Beth book or it will be clear to me as well as everyone else that I am a one-trick pony. So I'm trying something different. Eek.

Comments

Posted by: Instruction-free poison (redsnake05)
Posted at: December 2nd, 2007 09:18 am (UTC)

I love number 10 and number 3. My original short stories (such as they are) always, always feature a character who is unbearably hot and who is as studious/adventuresome/compassionate as I'd like to be. And, while I don't always have a lesbian or gay character, in my mind, everyone is up for everything.

Personally, I think that if you're writing young adult fiction, number 6 is a great recurring theme to have. Seriously. Or not seriously, as the case may be.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: December 2nd, 2007 09:32 am (UTC)

Haha! My YA books are all (at least so far as I have currently envisioned) set in the same universe - a high school for troubled teens. So far both of my protags have shared the same therapist, as she works closely with the school (Spectrum, as it is called). So, yes, it is safe to say that #6 will be recurring quite a bit. :)

Posted by: Ginger Honey (sweetgingertea)
Posted at: December 2nd, 2007 01:02 pm (UTC)
big damn heroes

I have a suggestion- I think you should put Ring-a-ling in one of your stories. You know, when the drunk character leaves the bar and is about to say something stupid or revealing.

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