What needs work?


Today’s journal post is about what I believe I need to work on, in regards to writing. Right now the two major issues that come up for me are
a) Finishing a piece of writing, and
b) Characters

I’m pretty good at coming up with scenes, first chapters or even several chapters (or 60,000 words of a novel) but I suck at actually pulling those initial ideas into a cohesive whole. I’ve written basically one short story in my life. It was around 7000 words, it was written in the last few months, it had a beginning  middle and end (mostly), but after the initial excitement they whole piece just sort of limped along.

Sometimes I have an idea where a story is going, but then I just can’t figure out how to get there, how to build an entire story with a believable plot and characters that are interesting and grow, along with figuring out what other characters I need and who the Dickens they are. Which leads to my B-side. I feel that I know how to write one character, that’s it, just one, and she’s based a great deal on myself (fact and fiction).

I’ve decided, or at least mostly decided, that I’d like to try and spend the next few weeks working on writing characters that are nothing like me. I’m possibly going to base them on Myer Briggs personality types to get a basis for the character. Perhaps even write a male and female version of each character, maybe even different age versions of the characters to try an develop them further.

I’m hoping this will also force me to write characters I don’t like, another area I tend to struggle with. If I read a book that has chapters from the bad guys POV, I may actually skim or skip the entire chapter. I just don’t like the bad guys. Oh crap… I think I may have to make my first character assignment a bad guy.

Ok, that’s it then. June is going to be character exploration month, usual blogging routines from this past month will be altered or suspended to accommodate.


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More stories by Tracey Ambrose @ traceyambrose.com
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Tracey Ambrose
"Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment." Ralph Waldo Emerson


  1. I think ‘they’ say there is a sticking point about half way through a novel when the initial excitement is replaced with the daunting task of maintaining momentum. I find it useful to have just enough tangents to then fold back into the story, enough loose threads to tie.

    1. I’m starting a new approach this month. I’m working on the full synopsis of the story, figuring out the entire thing from beginning to end before I even put a single word down to start a chapter, hopefully that will actually help me and not hinder.

  2. I have been in your shoes and I found that the important thing is to finish the work no matter how you think it sucks then go back and use whatever techniques you have to fix it. If you have 60,000 words let the characters have their way in the story and let them interact enough to carry it to the end. I’m just saying

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