The Drama Queen


Okay, so I’ll admit it – I write drama. Not fast paced action filled fantasy novels like I wish I could, but fairly drawn out dramatization of ideas that my brain cells breed. Why do I feel the need to make this declaration? Well, I’m about a two-thirds of the way through writing my paranormal novella, Aversion (did I mention it’s going to be part of a series), and I’ve been trying to bear in mind some of the comments readers have made when reviewing my other works. Most of the reviews have been positive and have enlightened me on readers’ expectations and even some aspects of the craft of writing, however there are some things I know I can’t or won’t change about my style of writing because they are what makes my work original/mine (enough said about that). Anyway, one recurring point that I thought I could try to tackle was “pace”. Apparently I could do with speeding things up a bit, throw in a few more disasters for the protagonist to struggle through, provide more conflict, that kind of thing. Fairly easy to attempt, right?

Wrong! The more I type and the more I think of ways to incorporate these elements into the novella, the more I realise that this is a false expectation for me. I write slow paced stuff, simple. And maybe I should accept that there is nothing wrong with that.  I write about how people feel, how they react to things that happen to them. How these things slowly (or rapidly) change their perspective of life. Yadidadida. And oh yes, my characters internalize things and brood a lot. I don’t know what that says about me (probably a lot) but some readers have been able to connect with this style of writing and I hope that some more will be able to do so too in future.

The problem is that trying to listen to what everyone has to say doesn’t really work but it is not easy to ignore. I’m going to have to find a way to tune out what doesn’t work for me and leave that for another writer to achieve for another readership. I’ve read many award-winning books that felt like they went on for ages and were not my cup of tea at all but the writing clearly worked for a large appreciative population. And it’s not just award-winning brainiac books. When I read the Hunger Games (after all the media rave and the movie), I realised I would never like Katniss as a character or even the pace of the three novels in most places but I wanted to keep reading the series. I needed to find out what happened to her and Peeta. Even the Harry Potter books dragged a lot of times but I kept reading because I wanted to know how the books ended. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I hope I can achieve that kind of appeal with my work, get people wrapped up in a world I have created and keep them wanting more. Fast pace or slow pace, drama or action, it almost doesn’t matter as long as I can get my readers to a satisfactory end – then maybe I’d know I’ve done something right.

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  1. Kenechi, I see that we have a similar problem–people are always telling me to move faster, and I want to give lots of description and character building. I have found you by searching “Fantasy” on WordPress and I look forward to reading your work. Best, Beth

    • Hi Beth, I guess we just have to stick to what we do best and try to produce work that is to the highest quality, irrespective of pace. It’s funny how the simple things tend to matter the most in the end…

  2. I guess every writer has their own market.. so no matter what your style is, you would have your own grp of fans.

    • I’m beginning to appreciate this more and more. I’m hoping I can improve on my craft and keep my fan base happy at the same time. Time will tell :)

  3. Many readers are good at giving critiques. Like you said, you found several successful books to be dry in places, with characters you couldn’t connect with. Just because a reader doesn’t like something doesn’t mean another reader won’t. A good critique partner will look beyond that and focus on the fundamentals of language and story. They can see beyond the parts that may not appeal to them, and find the parts that will actually stop a story from appealing to anyone. My advice is to take everything with a grain of salt, and find someone with a track record, and a reason to believe what they say. Good luck!

    • Thanks Daniel. The key is definitely finding someone that can provide the right kind of critique for different styles of writing. I just read your post on “Today” by the way and I’m retweeting it. Brilliant stuff.

  4. I agree with there being a level you won’t go past when changing stuff about your work; if you change too much from what you actually intended to write, there’s a high probability that you won’t enjoy writing it anymore.

    I understand what you mean when you say, they say you could speed up the pace. But like you said, your stuff is more on the drama. & the only way I can think of to make that read more…vibrant is to use wit in a lot more of the lines.
    That’s already the staple in most ‘fairytale fantasy’ stuff & since a lot of your stuff falls into that category, you might as well jump on that band wagon, trumbone playing & all.

    & finaly, as for keeping people hooked even at times that they aren’t completely interested in what’s going on in the story: I’m thinking your characters are the key.
    They bond with a certain character enough they’ll persevere through much more of stuff they don’t want to.

    Good luck finishing the paranormal stuff; looking forward to reading it

    • Thanks Ethan. Not sure if I want to be a band wagon gal but that might be the way forward (cringe, I hope not). The novella is only going to be 40,000 words or so and I’m trying to keep it snappy yet flowing…not easy. You’ll be getting a draft copy soon to rip apart :) Maybe it’s about time I post a draft synopsis on here too.

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