Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pet Peeves? Evil laugh.

What? I can only choose one? 

But there are so many great ones such as: 

Running into a plot hole the size of the Grand Canyon. Did I mention clichés?

Or how about when an author sets things into motion, building tension, everything heading toward a certain logical conclusion and then BAM! POW! Holy Hockey sticks,’s a badly executed plot twist.

And then there is its close cousin...silly and frequent misunderstandings between the hero and heroine for the sake of tension.

Or weak characters that just allow things to happen to them.

Oh, wait! There’s another huge one I almost forgot--->>A strong female character suddenly loses her mind and starts acting in ways that make her Too-Stupid-To-Live. However, I’m totally okay if the protagonist makes a choice to save her loved ones, even if doing so jeopardizes her life. I believe the heroine has as much right to be a ‘hero’ as the hero.

The list goes on. And I’ve run into all of them at one time or another while reading. (And editing my own work. ::gasp!:: But isn’t writing about learning to better one’s craft? You bet.)

But my biggest pet peeve is not being able to get a novel written in a reasonable amount of time. This one ranks highest partly because I like to keep goals, but also because I’m disappointing readers. (No one was more surprised than me when I started getting blog comments, emails and facebook friends asking when the next book will be out.)

Myself, when I’m reading a series, if I have to wait too long for the next installment, especially if it’s written as a continuing story, I tend to get cranky and turn into this---->

Sure, stuff happens—life, the day job, family commitments, and let us not forget book promotion. It all eats into writing time. But every author has those problems, and what works for one person doesn’t always work for another.

What works best for me?

Writing it out by hand. Yes, really. A couple months back, I decided to write a novel out by hand, and to my great surprise the planning, drafting, and writing just came so much easier. For whatever reason, when I write it out by hand, it just comes out as a cleaner draft, the characters and plot just ‘work’ that much better. It wasn’t until I stopped to wonder about this that it became clear why.

There was no internet.

No facebook. No Twitter, email, pinterest, or blog posts.

Yes, yes, still need to take part in all that. But if you’re scatterbrained like me, you need to dedicate an allotted time to each of those tasks without letting it eat up all your writing time. My brain just works better if I can allow it to focus fully on one goal at a time. This might not work for everyone, but if you’re having trouble meeting deadlines, give it a try.

Thanks for stopping by and happy writing!

Lisa Blackwood is the author of Betrayal’s Price (a romantic epic fantasy)


Wendy said...

great post, Lisa. You've had us run the gamut here. I'm with you on the last one. Must go back to hand written plots, that has worked for me before. Thanks.

anne stenhouse said...

Gosh, Lisa, it's quite a thought that people might one day ask when the next book's coming along. They do now, but it's social chit-chat, Anne's a writer ask about writing sort of ask.
I have sometimes started up again after a holiday or crisis break by writing manually. There's something about that act of creating letters on paper. Lovely post - how do I get the red highlights, please? Anne Stenhouse

Lisa Blackwood said...

Hi Wendy,

There's only one downside of writing it out by hand, I have to type it all in later. LOL.

Lisa Blackwood said...

Hi Anne,

There is something about putting pen to paper. We do it so little now days--at least, I do, that I almost had to relearn how to write by hand. Just about everything in done on computers, and the little I do by hand (like lists, memo, note etc) is very short and usually a mix of printing and writing. No idea why. LOL.

As for changing font color in the post, I just underlined and then highlighted the whole thing and changed the font color--works the same on blogger and email as it does on Word.

Victoria Roder said...

I'm guilty of the time sucker activities, but write by long hand no way. I'd never be able to read it. I have terrible handwriting!

J.Q. Rose said...

I like to write poems with pen and paper. The pen seems to link to my heart and the emotions and thoughts flow through it to the paper. But to write an entire novel by hand? I haven't done that since seventh grade!

This winter my 12 year old grandson and I have been writing letters to each other via snail mail. It's a rewarding task when his letter arrives in the mail box addressed to Grandpa and Grandma. Very special this handwriting business.

Thanks for sharing your pet peeves and I'd say you have a few!!!

Sherry said...

I'd have to be able to read my writing. That could be tricky.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,
Loved your post. What a great idea to write out in longhand! Just off to switch off my laptop and get out a pad and pen. No more distractions!

Marsha said...

Clever post, Lisa. But I'm with Victoria, above. I can hardly write out a grocery list with a pencil on paper anymore. My brain runs faster than I can get words down, then I forget what I was going to write. LOL Even though I'd written short stories and plays as a young person, I'd never have completed 6 novels with the first one getting published this summer without the computer. Thank heavens for cut and paste. :)
A friend of mine and I share your dislike for the brainless heroine. Makes you wonder what some folks are thinking.

Marsha said...

P.S. Thanks for posting the reminder on the MIU Author loop about the blog.

Lisa Blackwood said...


You do have to be able to read your own handwriting. LOL. I'm fast at writing by hand, which helps. Though, typing everything out is a bit of a downside, but I'm fast, so it doesn't take too long.

Pat McDermott said...

Wonderful post, Lisa. I like to keep small notebooks here and there so I can jot down ideas. I can't always be near the old keyboard, and writing by hand does change the flow of thoughts, at least for me. Happy writing to you, however you do it!