Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What Kind of Writer are You?

What I'm reading: Silks, by Dick Francis and Felix Francis

What I'm writing: Chapter 22

Before I forget: I'm interviewed at Joan Reeves' blog, Sling Words.

The writing process continues....

The idea is to stay with it. The idea is that writing is a life-long learning process. Remember that: process. The thing you write, the essay, article, book, is the product. What gets you there is the process.
~Lauren Kessler
The Writer, Aug 2008

Another quote:

Character is the leading element in a story. It's what you're revealing. And the purpose of the story, the event of a story, usually shines light on and reveals character, which is what you're really delivering, I think.
~Ron Carlson
The Writer, July 2007

and what about this one?
The most important thing to keep in mind is that no plot, however "suspenseful," will hold the reader's interest for very long unless the characters themselves are compelling. _They_ create the suspense; without them the novel is like a car without an engine. For if you don't care about them, it's of little consequence whether they get kidnapped or lose their job, fall in love or suffer a painful breakup. Construct them as carefully as Frankenstein did his monster, and you may be rewarded with a monster hit!
~Eileen Goudge
The Writer, July 2007

I totally agree. I LOVE characters. I need to know my characters. When I'm stuck, I put my characters into a room and let them talk. And I love dialog. My characters babble as much as I do sometimes. So my writing process should be based on characters, right?


In yet another instance of synchronicity, while I was over at Murder She Writes yesterday, Jennifer Apodaca posted a "What Kind of Writer Are You?" quiz. It was short and didn't ask questions about genres I'd never heard of, or make me feel old and clueless, so I played along. After all my explaining about how characters are so important for me, and how I never really get into plotting, the quiz results said I was a PLOT WRITER. HUH? I felt like I'd flunked a quiz about ME. But, judging from the comments, a lot of people thought they got the "wrong" answer. Why don't you pop over and try it. Let me know if you got the results you expected. Here's the link:
Meanwhile, I think I'll take it again and see if I get a different result.

And although the quiz results threw me for a loop, it's just a fun quiz and I'm definitely not worried that I'm writing "wrong."

On another note: I did get a couple of those wonderful emails yesterday--the ones that keep you carrying out the process.

Terry, your earlier books were so well-written and enjoyable that my family has been eager to learn when you would publish another. This is great news! Your release date makes this book the PERFECT holiday gift for my family and friends!

My girlfriend has been reading your books up in Tallahassee. She loves em.


Jess said...

Well, considering the brainstorming sessions...there was a lot of "plotting" going on before words were on paper!

Nancy said...

According to the quiz, I'm a narrative writer. I think so. I think it fits.

Congrats on the positive reader feedback, Terry!

Terry Odell said...

Jess: what we 'plotted' was character back story more than plot.

Nancy, glad the quiz was more accurate for you than it seemed to be for me.

And feedback does help keep the momentum going.