Hello everyone. My name is Loni and I have a problem with oversharing.
I recently got feedback on a chapter from my critique group and the general consensus was “too much exposition”. Easy enough to deal with. I’ve already removed two-thirds. I needed to keep one piece, so I asked for help from my gang and after discussion it clicked in my brain how to make it work. I adjusted without complaint and moved on.
The thing is… Shouldn’t I have learned by now? If someone is actively working on their craft and they keep making the same mistakes–are they just not trying hard enough?
I can’t recognize when I have too much exposition in my own writing. I can with other authors. It tormented me when I went through the prologues of the first couple of books of the Belgariad. Gah. Definitely too much for me there. But dang if I don’t have the same problem.
And I’ve heard all the advice. “Only add it when its relevant.” “Use it when it’s useful in that moment, otherwise leave it out.” I know all that, so I don’t need tips or suggestions of when or when not to include it. The problem is I’m incapable of identifying how much people-who-aren’t-me need, and to my group who have helped me with my writing for a full decade, it possibly looks like I’m ignoring all their excellent help. That’s not the case. I know I have a problem, but I can’t recognize when it creeps up.
How does one address a problem they can’t see within themselves? Because exposition’s not the only problem I have. I could also discuss inappropriately unconcerned characters, but it’s the same story–I can’t tell if the character is underreacting. I can only react to the feedback and fix it after I’m informed.
And speaking of reacting…
IWSG Question of the Month – Do you remember writing your first book? What were your thoughts about a career path on writing? Where are you now and how is it working out for you?
Once upon a time, I had thought being a full-time professional writer might be a thing I wanted. It’s not. The traditional route held no appeal and after researching, I opted to go with doing it myself. I probably shouldn’t have. My first book has so many issues that I cringe over now, and I do my best to deter people from reading it. I don’t stop them, but I recommend going in with low expectations. This next book will be better (at least it darned well better be for all the effort I’ve put into it), but I don’t intend to market it for personal reasons. There will be 3 more books, and a companion novel, and possibly novellas. But career? Eh, nope. I’m happy as a programmer.
Before I go, I will leave you with my latest finished artwork. An art discord group (Paintable) has a monthly project and March’s was Sorceress of the Forest. Ira might turn mass murderess eventually, but at the point in the picture, she hasn’t done anything to earn the label villain yet.
Have you found problems in your writing that you can’t identify yourself? Do you ever feel like you aren’t growing? What areas do you hope to grow in?