I’m not sure how I even stumbled upon this, but the idea behind the Authorly Bucket List Tag is to list three to seven things you, as a writer, need to work on (as in weaknesses) and three to seven things you’d like to work on (as in super fun projects outside of your comfort zone.) I’ve been doing lots of book-related tags lately but haven’t been able to find so many author/writer-related ones (if you have links to some, gimme gimme gimme!) so I really wanted to take a moment, get introspective, and give this tag a try.
So. Without further ado —
Things I Need To Work On
Squishy Middles. Right now I’m fighting with revisions for a book that definitely lacks a toned, taut middle. This middle is as squishy as a spare-tire gets. (The kinds that hang off stomachs, because to my knowledge, actual spare tires are pretty solid? hopefully, at least, since you might need them to drive yourself home…) There are two chapters in particular where I know what needs to happen, but can’t decide on a good sequence for how it happens, and it’s killing the momentum of the plot. Squishy middles can lead to unsatisfying endings, because you lose that breakneck pace, and maybe haven’t employed all the foreshadowing and build-up your ending really needs!
Speaking of that … Satisfying Endings! The first book of the ~fantasy series~ I’m writing doesn’t have the robust, satisfying ending that it needs to have — a huge reason is because the story continues in the next volume, but I need this thing to have a juicy, satiating, satisfying ending all on its own! I’ve heard “if you have a problem in your third act, it’s because you have a problem in your first act” so this ties in with my general problem with plot — I have so much fun telling the story, I forget to make it all story-shaped. Were I better at that, at honing in on exactly what a book needs to be to make its ending satisfying and complete, I would be heads and shoulders past where I’m at now.
Basically, what I need to work on is plot. I love dialogue, I love characters, I love settings and relationships and action scenes and drama, but I definitely write all of that first and find my plot afterwards. Which leads to lots of rewriting, and panicking, and cobbling together what I can only cross my fingers and hope is a satisfying ending. I would love to really study plotting and get much better at it.
Things I’d Like to Try
Historical Fiction. I love period pieces, I love history, there’s so much I’d like to do. As Meat Loves Salt was deeply satisfying to me (and also a punch to the throat, but anyway) — I love the idea of entrenching a character drama in a historical setting and getting to teach a little history as you tell your story. (Because I love learning a little history as I read my stories. Even the ones that punch me in the throat.) A Jane Austen-esque period romance that’s m/m; something set in WWII, or Ancient Rome … so many possibilities!
A book about a dysfunctional family during the holidays because for some reason these are my favorite movies ever?
Straight-up horror because, again, these are my favorite movies ever. (A horror novel set during a dysfunctional family’s christmas gathering???)
A romance set in a coffee shop because, frankly, with the number of coffee shop AUs existing for every single fandom — there’s clearly a gold mine waiting in here.
I’d also like to fulfill middle-school!Christina’s dream of writing something to do with people with super powers. I have several drafts in ye olde back logs of my ninth grade attempts at these things. A boarding school for super powered children that’s really secretly training the kids for a militaristic takeover was the BIG ONE in high school — then I had an m/m romantic comedy where a guy gets electrocuted so many times he suddenly becomes able to conduct and control electricity. (This is a project I have so much dialogue and character stuff for — but no plot!! No story, no conflict. BLARGH. Frustrating!!)
This tag was a lot of fun! I don’t know who out there is a writer as opposed to primarily a book blogger, so I’m going to say — if you’re a writer, and you want to do this, I tag thee! *waves feather quill wand* Go forth and self-examine, little writerlings out there!