Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: May 2015

It's the first Wednesday of the month!  Let's gather round of another meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Our fearless leader is the Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.  His co-hosts for this month are: Eva Solar, Melanie Schulz, Lisa Buie-Collard, and Stephen Tremp.

This month I'm struggling with story structure.  Even though I know prologues can be problematic, I wrote one for my WIP.  It was my main character looking back on past events, kind of foreshadowing what's to come.  I ended up getting rid of it, but the good news is I think it helped me get into that character's head.  It helped get me psyched about writing the story, so perhaps the deleted writing was valuable in that way.

I'm also trying to decide how to develop the relationships between characters.  There's a lot going on, and while there needs to be a few quiet moments, too many would slow the narrative down.  That means developing them in the midst of the action.  That's a great place to show just how much these people mean to each other, of course, and the best way to see who someone really is would be to throw them into a situation where everyone is in danger.  Still, I want to strike the right balance between action and feeling, which can be challenging.  It's a challenge that I'm enjoying, of course.  When you're a writer, struggles like this are part of the territory.


  1. I want to sign up for this but I have to find time and energy to finish my first draft.

  2. It's all about the balance.
    Even if you didn't use the prologue, that's great it helped you to connect better with your character.

  3. I like prologues, but I may be the only one. Sounds like you're having fun with the process and that's what it's all about!

  4. I love the idea of writing a prologue just so you can figure things out, since I usually don't like them in books. Sometimes you just need to do some extra writing to figure everything out, even if it doesn't end up in the book.

  5. Writing a prologue and using it to get to know your characters better is a really good idea! I like that.

  6. I've heard prologues are out of style or favor or something, but I still like them. Even if you cut yours, you still learned more about your character.

  7. I do the same with an epilogue... it redirects back... is there something I really wanted emphasized for the next chapter or book in a series?

  8. I enjoy prologues, unless they're what they call 'kitchen sink' language (such as you might find at the beginning of any book in a series, specifically of Sci Fi on a far planet involving... Well, never mind. I don't want to point fingers, and I do love that series. Where was I? Oh, yes...) If they're done with a light touch, I think they set the scene. Even if you don't put them in the book itself.

    Structure... Every book needs it, and every book has it, more or less, but don't ask me to explain it, because I am cursed with the ability to tangle myself in my own thoughts and stand there saying, "Buh, buh, buh..."

  9. Hi,
    I just came off of a week's online writers conference with Backspace. It was a call in conference so we were really able to talk to the agents and from what I gathered the thing about prologues is based on an agent's own feelings. Some agents love them and some don't. If it really gives your readers more clarity, think about taking a chance on it. One thing I definitely learned at this online conference came from Jeffrey Kleinman at Folio Agency and that was if you the writer presents him with a well written book with a prologue and it fits into what he represents, it definitely has a big chance of landing by him.
    As to structure, he recommended a book by James Wood entitled How Fiction Works. I bought it over Amazon for my iPad and it is a great book.
    Regardless, hang in there. Writing as you say is hard work but the end is so rewarding. Keep at it.