Saturday, July 19, 2008

Reading About Writing

If you read this blog on a regular basis, I'm going to take a guess and say you read a lot of other blogs, too. Most of those on my daily reading list are writing related, even if the only connection is I know the person through the writing world. It can take me two hours to get through my regulars, and I sometimes question if that's a good use of my time.

I'm not working, so I can't make the argument that I have other, more pressing, obligations, but I'm sure Ibis could come up with better ways for me to spend my time. Every time I start to wonder how useful these blogs really are, the universe gets together and tells everyone to write about the very things I have swirling in my mind.

Just this week, I read an article at Writers Unboxed that says if you really want readers to care, the antagonist needs to be as developed as the protagonist. You can't have the bad guy be bad just for plot's sake; in the bad guy's mind he's doing the right thing and it's our job as a writer to show that.

When I read this, I had just introduced my bad guy. He was in the room and made eye contact with my protagonist, but the real introduction is still to come. I still need to get into what makes him tick. The article says that we probably all know this by now, but the timing couldn't have been better. I'm looking at this character differently, and I hope the reader will, too.

Several of the agent blogs I read have focused on mistakes beginner writers make, either when writing their novels or querying agents. Since I'm writing my first novel AND preparing to query for the first time, all have had a strong impact on me.

Finally, my blog friends have seemed to mirror my emotions lately, and while that may not help with my writing, it makes me feel a little less isolated. Knowing others have doubts and question themselves makes me feel like all these doubts are normal.

Does this every happen to you? Do you find the universe conspires to answer your questions, sometimes before you've even voiced the question?


spyscribbler said...

Yes, definitely! Do you use Google Reader? It's saved me TONS of time. I get to read more blogs in less time.

If you follow comments with, then that will save you time, too.

Melanie Avila said...

Can you believe I still haven't looked into those? I think the comments thing would help me because it's a PITA to keep going back, but I do like going to people's blogs for the initial post.

spyscribbler said...

I go to people's blogs for the initial post, too. The thing is, Google Reader is one place to check if anyone's updated. Then I just go through and right click "open in new tab," and then I whip right through.

Then you're not going to people's blogs and checking to see if they've updated, too. That eats up a lot of time.

I went from reading twenty or thirty blogs a day in two hours, to tracking over one hundred blogs a day in under an hour. I don't comment on all of them, though.

It's the point where I often glance at my Google Reader, and wish I had more blogs, because they'll only be a couple who've updated.

Melanie Avila said...

Ok, I think you just sold me!

Aimless Writer said...

Sometimes I have to pry myself away from the BlogOsphere so I actually get some work done. Its an addiction.

Zoe Winters said...

Absolutely! I love my blogs. And very often they will deal with something I'm dealing with at the time.

Anonymous said...

It's really interesting that you posted this just as I am also working on my antagonist's motive on my new novel.

As for reading all the blogs and wanting to do it faster, try RSS and Google Reader. It's how I read yours and all other blogs I like. It allows me to get what I want and not take a lot of time. Perhaps it will help!

Melanie Avila said...

I set up Google Reader yesterday; now I just have to remember to use it!

Janna Qualman said...

Crazy, but I have noticed this recently. And the most apt posts have been from agents, no less, just as I'm getting deep into my agent search. Cool!