How much of your writing is filler?|Writing Fiction

Hi Friends!

So, I had to come to the blog for this. I started working on an old manuscript yesterday. I fixed up the 10,000 words I’d written previously, and all I had to do was just continue. Just continue! But no! Lo and behold, started rewriting it in third person POV since this morning. I honestly don’t know why I do this to myself. Ok, I do know.

As per my research, the market demands first person present tense POV. Not my out dated third person POV that still includes tons of old English words. I always keep coming back to third because it’s my narrator voice. It’s what I’ve always written and what I’m most comfortable with.

Although sometimes first person can be tricky and suck you in. I enjoy writing both now but…let me share a thought or two. So, I started re-writing the same exact story in third this morning, and I had to remove some things entirely. Now I notice this in other books too, but I don’t often talk about it.

I feel like some sentences, especially the inner dialogue isn’t necessary at all. And can be done with! I think I struggle with creating such a uniformed kind of story that choppy, messy sentences make me jittery.

Anyways, how much of your writing do you believe is filler? I think some of the narration is redundant and over explanatory when writing in first person. Because we’re basically writing the way we speak. Or the way we think we speak.

Example 1. Overthinking. Inner dialogue. Our thought process on a matter doesn’t really last a full two paragraphs.

Example 2. Oversplaining(i know that word is not real) basic actions. He looks at me, then turns around. He turns back around. Or she looks at him, her eyes widening. You can just say her eyes widened. We understand that conveys surprise or shock depending on the context it’s used. 

When I write first person, I often find myself stuck at creating entire chapters for multiple characters. And then I’m using all kinds of filler to fill in gaps that I think should have something. So I busy my character by making tea, or walking down the street for ten seconds longer than they should have. I get that first person allows the reader to step into that immediacy, and I’m not saying all books written in first person drags or fills. Read My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier or Garden of Shadows by VC Andrews. Both are told in first, and it’s done exceptionally well. I think a person has to really know their craft to be able to do this. Another point is, when your plot is not enough, you tend to fill. So work on the plot to flesh your story out instead of filling it with stuff that’s not purposeful to your story.

I’m off now. Just wanted to share that. Tell me what you think!

xo Kat

Reading Slump!

Have you ever gone through periods where you’re not finishing books because they don’t seem to hold your interest? It’s either the excitement tapers off or the writing needs work. It’s always something. For the past year I can say, I’ve been shelving more books as DNF(did not finish) more than finished.

As a lover of books, it’s affecting my life. I feel sad, withdrawn. I read the premise of a book and although it sounds inviting, I’m scared to enter. There are so just many stories, more so the writing that’s not doing it for me anymore.

I’ve actually been feeling to read authors I read growing up, like RL STINE, or the classics. I think repetition and a particular style of writing is turning me off more and more. I hate to sit here and say that bad writing is infusing its way into our books nowadays, but it truly is. I have no issues with simple writing if a writer can tell a good story. But when most of the content is filler. Two hundred words to describe the same action or feeling. Honestly, it’s getting to me. And I’m losing faith in what I pick up to read.

This kind of writing takes away from the story…from the core plot. Which brings me to my next point. There is no real plot. Nothing is happening except two main characters unloading their feelings for each other on every page. Now pardon me in advance for saying this, but I grew up reading a lot of romances and I can’t remember them being written like this. There was always a story, a cast of supporting characters and something going on. I remember Mill & Boon books, always having some kind of plot unique to the characters and stories.

You know what the problem is here? Insta-love. That’s what I think is taking away from the stories. With no real journey, there’ll be forced and unrealistic sub plots.

I’m in such a deep slump where reading is concerned these days, not even my favorite authors are pulling me out of it. Oh well, in time it’ll pass.

Does this happen to you too? Please recommend a book to take me out of this slump. Thank ye in advance.

Please Note: I read across all genres. Fantasy, Horror, Thriller. Romance has just managed to be the culprit that sent me into a reading slump this time.

xo Kat

Should Book Reviewers be Censored?

Before becoming a part of any online community of writers and readers like myself, I have never felt pressured about writing reviews. I don’t think I’ve left comments that bash an author or their work. I don’t believe in that but similar to having an opinion on a movie, us readers have opinions on books. The general public needs to understand that one person’s opinion does not affect the success or failure of a person’s book. Not every book will be loved or perceived as a great piece of writing by every reader. And we should have these discussions.

There are books that I loved and other readers didn’t, and I didn’t feel entitled to pressure them into liking it. I didn’t give them a long list of reasons why I liked the book and why I think they should like the book. Nothing in life works like that. Similarly, I’ve come across a lot of books that I couldn’t get past page one and these books have tons and tons of five star reviews. Bear in mind that readers come in all different age groups, cultures, preferences etc. What works for you won’t work for them.

Then why am I feeling so pressured when it’s time to leave a negative review? Not even negative but like a four star. I feel like if I’m not fangirling as hard as other people, they tend to get on your review and bash the crap out of you. Basically, you are bullied for not having the same opinion as the masses. Hmmm, why does that sound familiar? Look, Goodreads ain’t Facebook and it shouldn’t be a breeding ground of hatred. Writing is an art form, an expression of an author. It can be interpreted in many different ways by many different minds. A reviewer should not feel the need to censor themselves or falsify their reviews to please the majority. No. Instead, take these kinds of reviews as analytical feedback.

I don’t know about you but even if I read a few bad reviews and the book sounds interesting to me, I’ll still give it a chance.  As a writer and a book blogger, I feel like I often need to censor my opinion on a piece of writing in fear of being shunned or bullied in online groups. I think it’s unfair. Criticism should be taken in two forms: With a grain of salt, or for improvement. That’s just my two cents here.

Disclaimer: This post is in no way defending book reviewers who leave fake 1 star reviews or spread hatred towards any author. 

A reader should be free to express their thoughts and feelings about a book, whether it be in favor or not. One should not be attacked for having a different take on things. Like I said, one bad review doesn’t make or break a book. Good writing or bad writing does. And it will show eventually. JK Rowling was rejected by publishers. Until this day, there are people who don’t like the HP books. I recently heard someone say Chronicles of Narnia was boring, and that they almost walked out of the movie. There is no greater place for my  imagination as Narnia. So you get my drift?

I’ll leave the post off from here, because I do want to discuss good writing vs storytelling but that’ll need its own post. Also, in relation to this post, I will be discussing Goodreads as a platform for readers and writers alike.

Thanks for reading, and hope you guys an a fantastic Friday and awesome weekend ahead. For my fellow bloggers, how do you deal with leaving negative reviews? Have you ever been bullied?

xo Kat

 

Am I getting bored of reading romance?

Let me begin by saying this post is in no way meant to bash romance writers, readers or books. Till date, it remains one of my most read genres. However in the last few years, I’ve closed book after book, after reading only a few pages. There were a few of them that stuck, and were enjoyable to me personally. And I say personally because we all perceive stories in our own way.

I think what I’ve been coming across lately has also impacted my contemporary romance stories as well. In a more negative aspect.

I’m a different kind of  reader, as we all are. I particularly enjoy romances like the ones Nora Roberts writes. Why, you may ask? Aren’t they all the same? Boy meets girl, sparks fly, happily ever after. While I agree on the formulaic expression of a romance book, I like the deep plots, and also sub plots. I enjoy the characters, flawed or searching. Good overcoming evil. It sounds cheesy but most books have this concept. Let’s not stray. Coming back to why I’ve been having a hard time finishing romance books for the longest time. I think it’s in the writing, more than anything else. I appreciate flawed characters, damaged ones. So it isn’t the art of storytelling that’s putting me off. It’s the way the story is being executed.

One of the reasons why I feel it difficult to just publish my stories out into the world, is because I feel like they are not ready. As a reader, I want to aspire to be a writer like the ones I admire. And my work is not up to par. I believe most content in a book should be meaningful, every dialogue should be progressing the story. I have no problems with mundane dialogue here or there. Don’t get me wrong. I love descriptions and visualizing how an author builds their world, be it realistic or fantasy or dystopian etc.

The core problem I face with reading some of these books are the meaningless filler content. Over descriptions of one character’s actions. Over description of one’s thoughts and feelings. After a few chapters, it get’s redundant. I get that it’s easier for some to write in first person, and while it’s amazing to get inside of a character’s head. The entire book can’t be a monologue where only one character thinks or feels. There’s too much repetition using beautiful words and phrases to convey the same feeling or thought–the same personality–all throughout the book.

Every line of dialogue is followed by a physical reaction one character makes. While that’s not incorrect, it shouldn’t be overdone. A line of dialogue can tell the reader exactly what mood or kind of person the character is.

Have you ever heard the main character’s voice in a whiny tone in your head? It happens to me more often than not.

Recently I read Garden of Shadows by V.C. Andrews, and I thought it executed an entire story in first person POV very well. The story was able to progress, and relate events without being repetitive. In fact, there wasn’t an instance where a feeling or thought conveyed was mentioned twice. The main character was able to describe the reactions/expressions of the other characters in such a way that the reader knew them as well. I honestly think it’s a book we can all learn from in terms of pushing a story forward without stopping in every chapter to repeat things using beautiful words.

What do you think about romance nowadays? Do you read it? I’d like to find more that I can love, so if you have any suggestions, please drop them down below. My next post will discuss erotica in romance books, so stay tuned for that.

Happy Reading Bookish Folk!

xo Kat

Cutting Back on Subplots|Writing Fiction

So I want to touch on subplotting. Not the dynamics of it per se. I want to share why I continuously need to cut back on having too many things going on in a story.

Sometimes we have to learn things, and sometimes we have to unlearn them.

I started writing poetry and screenplays at the beginning of it all. My stories come to me in the form of several sub plots involving the same characters in one story. This isn’t unheard of. And it can also be executed very well if you’re an experienced writer. Despite writing for most of my life and training myself to do what I love to do, I am not a very experienced writer. Simply because I write for myself, and I’ve only now worked up the courage to share my work with others. I’m still having trouble with that. It makes me nervous as hell. But I’m bending my mind to change all of that soon, hopefully.

Feedback and critique is essential if one wants to take writing seriously.

For me, writing a novel and a screenplay which is basically dialogue is vastly different. With a novel, I have to pay close attention to my character’s body language and observations of other characters. The story doesn’t only evolve via conversations. In fact, there is less dialogue in novels. Acting instructions and scene directions are completely different from what goes on in between dialogue in books.

When the concept of my story comes to me, I see every detail in my head as if it were playing on a screen. When I begin writing, I tend to realize what an absolute mess I’ve created. Too many crazy sub plots and twists that would annoy any reader to no end.

Recently, I’ve been trying to be better at outlining before the writing begins. There’s always immense need to cut down on my little stories within the big one. I over plot. If that’s even a thing. My brain isn’t equipped to roll out a saga or a five book series, so I need to take it down a notch.

Well there it is. The how and why. Although I can’t omit that I’ve read a ton of books with no real plot. Most of the content was just fleshed out repetition. That scares me as a writer and I tend to create too many conflicted situations before my story can climax.

This post might have been all over the place like my manuscript (hehe).

Thanks for reading.

xo Kat

Am I obsessed with twins?|Writing Fiction

Like many other writers, I have this little book of ideas. It’s raw, undetermined. Most of the thoughts in there may not even reach full on story level. I have noticed, however, that there’s more than one plot involving a twin.

There’s a twin dynamic in my current work in progress so I’m getting a chance to explore into that relationship. I don’t have a twin, nor do I think I’m friends with twins so it got me to thinking…what is really my obsession with this twin thing.

Some of what I write comes from deep within. A place I find difficult to explore when I’m not writing. There’s a loner shadow that’s been following me all of my life. I have trouble connecting with people, mostly because of trust. And as I think about it now, I remember wishing for a twin so hard that my mind was a little confused for a while.

FYI, I don’t think this is weird. It’s similar to having an imaginary friend. Anyway, before I go off topic as usual, I believe that twin obsession starts with me wanting to connect with someone at such an internal level. Not just on the surface but to be able to touch each other’s souls. You see, I’ve never had that and subconsciously my stories write themselves with such emotional connections.

For instance, my main character references sharing a womb with his twin and how that affected him during his life. I can’t imagine a bond like that. My character also references things like a dislike of dressing the same or one twin seeming like the younger sibling. Of course as their lives progressed they developed different personalities but in the beginning there is such an intense closeness that can’t be explained or calculated by anything of this world.

Maybe my admiration for that makes me write twins into my stories every now and then. It’s definitely something to think about. I’m also inserting a small disclaimer that I may not have the most correct representation of twins but this segment is called writing “fiction”. So bear with me.

As always, Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to leave me your bookish thoughts.

xo Kat

The Dreams by Matthew R Fleming|Book Review

the dreams cover

 

Genre: Horror Fiction, Thriller

Synopsis

Five strangers wake up in an eerie forest with no memory of how they got there. As they try to catch their bearings, they realize that they are not alone and something sinister is watching them, baiting them, almost like a predator playing with its prey. They find themselves suspecting of each other especially when one of them goes missing and presumed to be dead…killed to be more specific.

My Thoughts

The Dreams is a horror novel that is written in true horror format in my opinion. A well-crafted plot that left me satisfied and wanting a movie out of it to be honest. My most favorite parts about this book is the building suspense and tension. I was so suspecting of each of the characters and found myself paying attention to every little detail about them. I also appreciate that the author wasn’t over-explanatory as to stray from the main story. Would I recommend? Yes, absolutely. Any true horror fan would enjoy this read. I must say although I did share a similar theory to the climax of this book, it did not disappoint at all.

Here’s the link to my newly created FB page if you want to keep up with my blog on there:

https://www.facebook.com/Bookish-Kat-582027968799821/

You can also see what I’m up to on Instagram and Twitter @bookishkat7

Happy Reading! xo Kat

Is Third Person POV Dead?|Writing Fiction

Just like anything, I’ve come to realize that writing books is a business in itself. At the end of the day we all want to be our authentic selves in hopes that at least one person will receive it positively but it’s also true that we write for an audience. Particularly in the romantic genres, in the last few years I’ve been seeing a lot of first person present tense POVs. I read it but it doesn’t always read well to me, because that’s my preference. Everybody has their own tastes even when it comes to reading.

I’ve asked the question first person vs third person in a couple of writing groups and the group with majorly romance writers and readers favored first person. Recently I read on a blog that reading in first person helps the reader connect to a character better as it reads like you’re inside of the person’s head. The blog also went on to say that when something reads like a chick diary it’s more relatable. While that may be true, authors who write in third person are still successful in publishing. Some of which I enjoy quite a bit, like Nora Roberts, Susan Mallory.

It’s mostly on the indie scene I see first person being more preferable and that’s scary for someone like me who is choosing to go the self-publishing route. I have written in first person, I’ve switched entire books in first person but I’ll tell you where it goes wrong for me.

I spend a few sentences throughout my story noticing things that my characters may not necessarily notice. For instance, my MC who is a guy may not care what the color of a curtain is or the set up of a bedroom. There’s also the self-description thing that makes me cringe. Personally, I find it hard to describe myself or brag about myself and again, not all of my characters care what they look like but I do want my readers to have a feature or two in mind. And I find that reflection thing that I see ever so often in other books is not really my thing.

My writing voice is also not my character’s voice. I enjoy using different words to describe and elaborate on things and I can assure you my main character may not always share that vocabulary. So it’s hard for me to articulate the story that I want in my main character’s voice. I don’t head hop because it’s confusing to readers and even me as a writer. I do focus on one character at a time but just in third person POV. It’s called third person limited whereas the other is called third person omniscient. This I will cover in another blog post so stay tuned for that one.

Lastly, I have been writing in third person POV as early as the age of seven. In school, I had tons and tons of essays to write and I even started writing my own stories so I had time and practice with writing in third person. It’s why it comes more naturally to me as a narrator.

What POV do you prefer and what are the challenges you face? Why is one or the other easier for you?

As always thanks for stopping by. Here’s the link for my newly created Facebook Page if you want to keep up with me there. https://www.facebook.com/Bookish-Kat-582027968799821/ I always love discussing bookish things with bookish people! Find me on Instagram @bookishkat7

xo Kat

 

 

Connect with my blog on Facebook!

Hi Bookish Folks,

I’m honestly overwhelmed by all the social media-ing it takes to promote oneself as a writer. Personally, I’m not much of a sharer other than funny or animal videos but I decided to finally undertake creating a Facebook page for my blog, Bookish Kat.

My main reason for doing this is to share older posts for readers without posting the same blog post multiple times on here. This page is also to reach readers on Instagram and Facebook who don’t have a WordPress account. FYI, you can subscribe to my blog by entering your email address as well 🙂

Here’s the link to my freshly created page https://www.facebook.com/Bookish-Kat-582027968799821/

You can also see what I’m up to on Instagram and Twitter @bookishkat7

Stay tuned for my post on Third Person POV in writing.

Thanks for stopping by! xo Kat

 

One Year WordPress Anniversary!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s a year already. I had been blogging on other platforms before but it’s been a year since I started using wordpress and working on better content. My blog has taken a different turn since I initially started it. To sum it up, I think I’m a mix between book blogger & and writing tip giver with a touch of parenting.

I just wanted to say thank you for stopping by my blog from time to time and a big HELLO to all of my new subscribers. On a sidenote, I suck at uploading content on my blog but I have good reason. I retreat to my writing corner for days while ignoring the internet.

I’d love to hear what motivates you to blog or what got you started in the first place.

xo Kat