Another month, come and gone. Was it a success? Depends on how you look at it. I wrote a lot, that is for sure. But now I feel it is time to focus more on the quality than the quantity of my words. They are down on paper now, so that is a good start. I have gotten a lot of that pesky Writing out of the way. Time for some edits and more preparations for publishing!
I find that I use a lot of words. I don’t mean that in a good way. I mean I use more words than are probably necessary to get a point across. Not to say verbosity is a bad trait. And there are times when repetition of a phrase or sentence is used as a device to punch something home. But I often find myself Writing the same thing in several places unintentionally, as if I had forgotten putting it down in the first place.
I am not alone in this, so I don’t feel all that bad about it. Everything can be fixed in post! There was a time I was not aware of this though and I did feel like an idiot whenever I would reread my work and find I had stated the same thing, at least twice, in paragraphs not far from each other. Not with the exact same words, but putting across the same sentiments.
I find this is because my narrative is driven especially by the internal thoughts of my characters. Those thoughts are definitely affected by many external factors, but getting into the heads of these people drives my story more than anything else. Which makes it difficult when I had an idea for the plot, but my character no longer naturally goes in the direction that plot I had outlined goes.
Out of all problems to have, I think I’m okay with that. I can workshop a plot. Fix it up. Finding out you have a character problem seems much more like a big deal to me. Going through a story and halfway discovering that the character writes more naturally in a way that contradicts how they were at the beginning? Much more of a trial for me than realizing I need a key for this door. Characters must go find key now. Oh no, more character interactions and thoughts!
That last part is sarcasm, as Writing that has always felt more natural to me than mapping out the type of trail the characters must go on between waterfalls. or even down a single city street.
Yet I find it different when I read. Perhaps because I’m so character-oriented, I can often make excuses for a characters actions if they seem out of line. Not always and sometimes a later scene will disprove the excuse I have come up with that would make sense of a previous scene, but it is easier for me to rationalize an inconsistent character than a leap of logic in the plot.
I guess that brings me to a question for you all! For Writers, do you have mistakes you prefer to make while Writing (because they are easier to find and/or fix in post or not)? For readers, while both are bad things, what bothers you more: inconsistency in a character or inconsistency in the plot?