Once again, after thinking about how to answer yesterday’s Romance Weekly blog hop questions, it got me to think about my own writing, or at least about me as a writer.
The question that did this was which season I did my best writing in, and I said winter. That has nothing to do with me as a writer or my writing in general, but I did start to think about time and place in my writing.
For me, I think the real issue is opinion again. Those past critiques I received that messed with my mind and made me start to loathe my own style before realizing how wrong they were and then having to slowly but surely make my way back to me as a writer.
As proof of their being wrong, from The Editor’s Blog:
Use setting to make fiction authentic. There is a time and a place for your story events to unfold.
Setting is one of those areas that requires not only deep thought but a willingness to convey imagery through words. I loved doing this prior to receiving negative critique about it, and now I need to retrain my brain to get back that love.
While thinking about setting and my writing, I realized a few things: I always begin every story in late spring or early summer, and I tend to create some wide gaps with time throughout the story.
There are a lot of times when I find myself counting fingers and toes, too. If she becomes pregnant, for example, then I need a timeline so the story doesn’t confuse the reader. Age differences — counting the years in order for dates to coincide and make logical sense.
What worries me most is the gap thing, though.
As an example, in my current WIP, Liv and Neal reunite in late May — the start of the summer tourist season in Northern Lower Michigan — even though I don’t go into any detail about scenery when maybe I should.
Neal leaves because he has to attend the VMA awards, which are usually held some time in August. This is a huge time gap and yet only a few incidentals occur between May and August.
Liv has to fly to Hungary and reunite with her long-lost relatives. This will take at least a week if not two to settle. Then Neal ends up deciding to confront his father, who lives in England. I had him detour to Budapest, though, because he’s concerned for Liv since he’s aware of her history and background issues — which has them now planted in late September, but is that right?
So, to finish the blog’s title: it’s about time I slap my face . . . and pay closer attention to this muddled bit of aspect importance.
I suppose it’s as easy as going back and changing time-frames, seasonal aspects of surroundings, and tightening up the description to make it more cohesive and not as wide-gap as it is now.
But, why do I do this in the first place?
It’s almost as if I’m so anxious to get into the plot and make the characters move that I push myself and them a bit too far. I realized, even before the questions were posed yesterday, that too much time goes by between episodes and that it wouldn’t be realistic to have lovers separated for such lengths and not be affected by it in some way.
It’s all part of the editing process, and at least I’m aware of the problem. Shaking my head in wonder, though.
If you have a quirk with your own writing; something about it that bugs you or makes little sense yet you continue to do it, I’d like to hear about it!