Writer’s Lift Wednesday #15

This is a writersliftwednesday blog, sharing the works of fellow writers, poets and persons random. All re-blogs will be linked appropriately to their authors.

Writing is no easy calling and nothing easy was ever worth doing.

I found a lot of advice articles useful for writing and blogging. I was humored by the first article as it listed my number one character flaw cliche: clumsy, more so to describe a cute but bumbling adolescent girl.

I appreciate and agree with Hugh Roberts (2.). It is worth your effort to create an “About Me” or “About” page. I go to find more author/blogger info all the time and the information is just not there. You are your own advocate. Take a minute to create or update your About section, please.

Support each other. Share and reshare.

Christina Schmidt, MA

1. 5 Fake Character Flaws to Avoid by Sara Kopeczky via A Writer’s Path

You know this one: in order to come up with relatable characters for your story, you have to give them some flaws. Flaws make characters human, and the fact is that humans are far from being perfect. That being said, in recent fiction I have seen so much of what I call “fake flaws”, because they are not actually flaws: instead of adding depth to the character, they only add to their charming personality (boring).

This happens when the writer falls in love with his/her creation, instead of worrying about the readers who will start yawning at the endless descriptions of how perfect the character is. Anyhow, here are my top 5 most common fake character flaws that I’ve noticed in recent fiction:

Being clumsy: This particularly refers to girls. When you have a young female protagonist, and want people to like her and relate to her, especially if you are writing YA fiction, you cannot go wrong with giving your character a tiny little flaw of being really clumsy. Make sure she trips over things several times during the story. Seriously? They couldn’t come up with anything better? I doubt it.

Being nerdy: In bad writing, being into technology and/or science fiction makes you an overly intellectual person a.k.a. a nerd who is unable to hold a conversation with people. In real life, people are rarely that simple. If the biggest flaw a character has is rambling too much about tech stuff or just watching a particular TV show, it is still a flat character.

read the full article here

2. Why Every Blogger Should Have An About Me Page On Their Blog by Hugh W. Roberts via Hugh’s Views and News

Simply put, it’s a page where the owner of a blog gives some details about themselves and their blog. If done correctly, the ‘About me‘ page can be one of the main vehicles for building trust and connecting with your audience.

Take a look at the image below. It shows the stats (as on 24th May, 2020) of the most viewed articles on my blog. I’ve highlighted my ‘About me’ page.

read the full article here, also includes screenshots

3. Why Writers Should Read Crap by Larry Kahaner via A Writer’s Path

All writers get the same advice. Read the great writers; study the great works. Learn how seasoned, professional, and successful authors get the job done. All true, but I maintain that it’s also crucial for writers to read crap to learn what not to do.

How do you know what’s crap? It’s not a book that didn’t sell well, although that sometimes may be a clue. It’s not one that received bad reviews either. Some of the world’s greatest books have garnered negative comments from critics. Crappy writing is like the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on what constitutes pornography. You know it when you see it. And you know it because you’ve mainly been reading good writing.

More concrete indications of bad prose are sections that make you go “Huh?” or that make you laugh because they’re so ridiculous even though the author meant it to be serious. It’s prose that’s boring, even if you can’t articulate why your mind is wandering. Crappy writing just doesn’t sound right to your ear.

Other bad writing signs include no variation in sentence length, too much telling instead of showing, overshowing, no drama, no emotion, backstories that are too long, unnecessary detail, and on and on. I’m not talking about mechanical problems with grammar or lapses in POV or tense but simple, bad freakin’ writing.

read the full article here

Published by Christina Schmidt

I'm an author and live in the vibrant city of Austin, Texas. Cheers, y'all.

7 thoughts on “Writer’s Lift Wednesday #15

  1. Synchronicity! Reading a couple of Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski novels recently I’ve realized Paretsky has V.I. tripping multiple times in each novel (and it’s starting to annoy me). Thing is, the character is a runner and generally pretty physical, so I don’t understand why she’s always tripping over stuff. (The other thing I’ve started to notice is a filth motif. V.I. isn’t just always falling down, but often falling into the mucky Chicago river or other wet muck. Maybe it’s intended as part of Paretsky’s Chicago noir. When stuff crops up in every book…)

    Got the About page. Even got Who and Why pages for good measure. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sage post. Yes, I need to get on that About page. And, the flaws. Ohhhh the flaws… I came to an impasse point on a novel I’m writing. Strange, that it took 18 months to get to a ‘dafuq” point of why it suddenly wasn’t flowing. It’s only 18 months in, though reading this, I realized in places it was too clean. For 18 months on my BITCh method regimen — Butt In The Chair — it was reeling out, editing and pulsing back in just fine.

    It was fine for the 1st 18 months as the character maquettes and story were brushstroked down. Though…

    The filth. The flaws. The vices. MISSING by being overly accepted and integrated by each character. Excellent as a start, though time to fuck ‘em up a bit at their higher octaves… their new baseline.

    This post sparked the, “OH! Eff Yeah!” That 1st 18 months of the novel was pure, getting characters in, and expressing the story, basically Production Managing the stage… EXCEPT… ALL to date from their own, indefatigable, accept themselves warts and all perspective. That’s not really their life. More like they’re in top form for the temp time of being interviewed. Yup, time to award them their jobs.

    THANKS! I’m going to turn back in the other way, so the characters (maybe me, too) don’t get such a heady heartfelt voice FROM themselves, so they get colored by others perspectives of how they come across. Time to cross-check the characters into the wall Here and there as necessary, see what they’re made of. Hope their helmets are strong, as I foresee some helmet-to-glass shattering in their future. All just some action on the ice, well, I can say that from here. They, soon, might not feel that from there.

    Excellent Wednesday Lift!

    Liked by 1 person

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