Just Another Blog

my random ramblings about crafts, writing, books and kids

How not to write angst?

summerlist_cover

cover made by me using various digital scrapbooking supplies just for fun

The question mark is correct. This isn’t an article on how not to write an angsty novel. This is a request for tips to get out of the habit. My NaNo novel was intended to be a light-hearted, silly summer read about a boy and a girl that don’t get along who are forced together to do the Summer List to win a prize eventually falling for each other.

I’ve written (and rewritten because the tense/perspective was wrong on the first go-round) the first act and I’m checking my notes for the second act and have realized I’m already firmly into teen drama-angst land. I want there to be a little of that but this has gone way overboard.

I think I’m going to have to slap my hand every time I start to write something melodramatic or overly-angsty. Also, I have a tendency to show the feelings from an early start. In the book the two main characters aren’t supposed to to start liking each other until half way in (their internal thoughts) but they aren’t supposed to notice/now the other likes them back until the end. Already have them flirting (at least in the way they do it) and glancing at each other. Blah.

I have to rethink the entire outline. Which I’m not going to do during NaNo. I really need to learn pacing and tone. And theme. I suck at understanding theme. Luckily I’m going back to school in January and will be majoring in creative writing-fiction so… maybe I’ll figure it out eventually.

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One thought on “How not to write angst?

  1. I am the wrong person to ask on the “How not to write angst?” question. Because my characters? they do their own damn thing and they run all over the place with their angst and their drama and you know what, on a first draft, I let them. Because editing and revision will take care of that, in the end.

    Theme? Eh, see, this is where that discovery writer thing vs people who need to plan is such a crucial thing. I never figure out a theme until a piece has been completed. Once I have that, I can keep it in mind while revising for pace and content.

    As for characters showing their attraction right away? Yeah, don’t ask me how to do that. Slow burn (as my friend Victoria would put it) is a thing I Can Not Do. Jazz and Savin have insta-chemistry. Jazz’s attraction to ANYONE is pretty immediate and obvious.

    Perhaps you can play off their interest in one another as just that — pure interest, and not romantic/sexual attraction? Perhaps that’ll ease things in terms of the angst, as well.

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