Wednesday, 5 March 2014

March IWSG: But is there any substance...?

Guys, just going to apologise now if this post is a little short/rushed!

Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG)! On the first Wednesday of every month, authors from across the world/interweb post up their fears and insecurities about their writing, and we all provide support/tea/cake/virtual hugs to encourage all your lovely authors to keep writing.
IWSG was set up by Alex J. Cavanaugh (you can check out his blog here) and there's now an official IWSG website, which is full of helpful tips, tricks and encouraging posts – you can check out that awesome site here.

So this month I'm focusing on my actual plot line – I'm currently halfway through writing a proper detailed synopsis for my NaNoWriMo novel (which I'm praying will turn into my first actual real novel) and something struck me as I began to flesh out each scene: do I have enough substance in my story?

I'm pretty sure I know who my characters are, what their motives are, where it's going to be set etc, but as I wrote out each scene, I began to wonder which of my scenes were essential to the story (which I'm hoping will be all of them) and which ones were 'filler'.

I hate the thought that 75% of my book might be made up of those awful, stilted dialogue scenes, or scenes that describe in minute detail of how my MC got up, stared out the window, made breakfast, ate breakfast, put on her socks, had a completely random argument with her parent(s), brushed her hair exactly 100 times, put on her shoes, picked up her bag, stared soulfully at her reflection in the mirror (enter convenient description of MC's physical appearance here) before finally running out of the house and catching the bus to school. Or something along those lines. You get the picture.

Are there some scenes you should leave in so the reader gets a bit of a background of your MC, or should every scene have a specific purpose? I personally prefer the latter option – but I'm just hoping that my opinion on what's essential to the storyline doesn't differ too much to my reader's!

So that's it for now! Hopefully I'll get a chance to blog more often this month – there's a couple of book reviews I'd love to write up for you guys to read :).

Until next time - happy writing!


  1. It's hard to tell without reading it. Some things are necessary and some aren't. That's where CPs and betas come in. ;) But, even working in details, every scene should have a purpose and ultimately move the story forward.

    This might help:

    As far as overall plot and structure go, Jami Gold has some wonderful worksheets on her blog just for writers. You can plug your story into the plotting sheets and see if everything matches up.

    Good luck! :)
    IWSG #268 (until Alex culls the list again or I goof and get myself deleted. :P)

    1. Thanks Melissa :)! Wow, those worksheets look amazing - I'm excited to start writing this weekend so I can use them! Haha, don't worry - don't tell anyone, but I got myself deleted last year ;)...whoops! So now I'm trying extra hard to remember to post!!

  2. There's probably more there than you think. I've always heard every scene needs a purpose. Maybe that will be challenge - giving some of those scenes more meaning.

    1. Thanks Alex! I think I'm just over thinking/freaking out a bit, but you're right, I'll definitely have to try and make it a challenge to see how I can rewrite those scenes!


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