Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What Kind of Writer Are You?

I'm all visual. My scenes are primarily action and dialogue. If there isn't much to be done, said or experienced, it isn't much of a scene to me. And I usually let my scenes, especially really intense ones, play in my head for a while before I write them down, and this gives my writing a more cinematic feel.

I don't like build-up scenes or ones that show characters getting somewhere, unless that ride is interesting. I don't like reflection scenes, where characters stop to mull over what's happened. I prefer to move fast, and not give readers much time to breathe and or relax.

I prefer to write scenes that are truly scenes, with characters doing something or talking with someone. Description and introspection are written with a delicate hand. I give the basics for orientation and that's it. You won't hear me going on and on about some meadow, unless something dangerous is lurking therein. You won't see my characters moaning and complaining for five chapters, doing nothing, being passive. I don't like wallflowers, saps, blobs. So I don't write about them. You won't see my story standing still.

I love to skip all the pleasantries and get into the heart of things, drop readers right into the middle of scenes, and I fully trust that they'll get it. I usually have to go back and add a little introspection and surrounding narrative in order to provide a better flow.

In YA, word economy is so important, so I don't like to waste words on unimportant details. When you only have about 80,000 words to tell your story, and that's the top end where everyone starts to get squeamish about book length, I just can't bear to keeps pages of fluff when the complexity of my plot is far more important.

So, what kind of writer are you?

~ Signing off and sending out cyber hugs.


  1. You know, I don't know if I can answer this question. I have to admit, I approach writing from a cinematic viewpoint. I'm very visual, always have been. I love drawing and sketching and do a quite a bit of that when I have time (HA!), and I learn best by being SHOWN something rather than TOLD something. So I like to describe, I like to show, I like to pain pictures. But I can also get too heavy-handed with that and have more than once been told I need to amp down the descriptive passages and adverb/adjective use. (If one is GOOD, three must be AWESOME!)

    Great question, and a real head-scratcher for me. I don't know if I put enough thought into how I write, what kind of writer I am.

  2. Thanks. I didn't know you were an artist too. Me too! I didn't really give this writing method much thought either, but I answered a forum question and decided to blog about it.

  3. Hmmm, I know what you mean about not wanting to get bogged down by descriptions and all that. Right now in my editing, I have a character who's not really taking the bull by the horns, but is kinda just paddling along, going with the flow. At the end, I'll probably need to print her chapters out and make her do a lot more than just thinking. :D The good thing is though, her thoughts have a lot to do with active scenes, it's just that she kinda lets life run her over while she's being blue.

  4. I do like description, but not pages of it, not an entire paragraph, describing an outfit, which I have seen! I like showing action and things happening. Writing about rest or a solitary soul is very difficult for me.