Before we can avoid writing her, or accidentally scare ourselves into a corner and avoid writing women altogether, it’s important to ask: What exactly is a Mary Sue, and why don’t we want one?
Though it has its many positives, there are certain pitfalls any writer can run into when writing a series. Taking these precautionary steps in advance will help you to minimize the challenges down the line and, hopefully, to produce better books.
Still, as someone who obsessively plans, outlines, plots and interviews, one of my most beloved tools of writing has stuck by me time and again. It’s not uncommon or revolutionary, not now, but it’s gotten me out of more sticky plot issues and setting questions than I care to admit. Behold the power of the storyboard.
I’ve also written stories in some pretty unique and odd places, scribbled out conversations, speed-typed a strand of dialogue onto my phone while I was supposed to be paying attention Chemistry. My odd writing experiences have taken me a great many places, here are just a few of the weird and wonderful spots where I’ve stopped to jot down ideas.
For a writer, reading is the equivalent of a carpenter keeping his tools sharp, a baker trying new ingredients, a computer specialist downloading new program updates. Reading isn’t an escape, it’s an education, it’s how we as writers continue to write.
They’re all right. Every single person who told you that writing was going to be full of obstacles and challenges and rejections, every single one of them is right. Writing is hard and you should be able to fall back on other skills, and yeah, you probably will be broke, at least for a while.
But the truth of it is, writing – the whole writing process – that’s the easiest part.
Plotters plot and pansters fly by the seat of their pants. I have done both in many genres of writing, including both fiction and nonfiction, and let me tell you–I will never be a pantser.
I used to think I could research my books as I went. I used to delve into plot and character development and setting and think ‘I’ll get to that later’. I used to believe that research was secondary to the fundamentals of writing a story.
I used to be very, very wrong.
These characters are the lens through which a tale is told, and who they are–and how well the author knows them– directly influences that story. You’d be hard pressed to find a writer who didn’t understand the importance of heroes and heroines.
The same can’t always be said of the villains, however.
Because there is a fine line between being alone to write and being lonely.