Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

Writer Recharge 2014 – Update 3


Writer Recharge 14My goal this month is to get through a new round of revisions on half of my WIP.

I’m 79% done, which means I need to push myself hard this week to finish the rest.

Last week I spent three days on one chapter and was ready to run screaming for the hills. I just couldn’t seem to de-douchify my MC’s love interest and she kept coming across as spineless.

Enter Shakespeare.

My brother was in his school’s production of “Much Ado About Nothing,” so I was naturally there opening night. In the play, there are two characters, Beatrice and Benedick, who are pretty much the original love/hate couple. They’re constantly butting heads, but it’s obvious they feel affection and respect for each other. If they didn’t end up together, I would have rioted.

It reminded me that I have to show more of the nice-guy side of my guy and that I never want my MC to be confused with a female from a Shakespeare play. It was great to watch for my bro and his classmates and their talent, but all the talk about women NEEDING men made me cringe. Oh, and hanging out with a man who is not your betrothed makes you a shameless slut and you will be disowned by your family who are ashamed to have ever known you.


No thanks to that mentality.

So that was my week. How is everyone else doing?


Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Things I like: cats, snacks, baseball, green tea, taking pictures of trees & movies so bad, they’re good.

17 thoughts on “Writer Recharge 2014 – Update 3

  1. I’m not apposed to a girl needing a guy, but sometimes it comes across as unrealistic and annoying in a story. I had/have the same issue with my characters. My female main character was supposedly this strong, strict, disciplined military instructor; but along comes her potential love interest and she’s good for nothing.
    Good luck with the remaining 21%!

  2. This is really unique article you have shared. Even as a professional writers now a days my rest has been completely destroyed…

  3. “de-douchify my MC’s love interest” <— This phrase further cements your awesomeness, and makes me cheer for you and your revision even more enthusiastically. Here's to non-douchy love interests! Best of luck with a successful final week, Jennifer!

  4. I had a similar struggle my last round of edits, to make a flaky guy loveable and not jerky. I’d veered too much into jerk and my agent said, why would a smart girl like your MC be interested in him? True! Charming guys can be sincere, but maybe a little directionless, which is what I went for. Anyway, glad you are sorting that out. Sometimes it takes someone else to point it out.

    • “Charming guys can be sincere, but maybe a little directionless, which is what I went for.”

      So true! My guy is a bit immature/insecure and it’s been hard to show that instead of flat-out, “I’m a big crybaby when things don’t go my way!”

      But I’m getting there. I hope 🙂

  5. Only 21% left? No problem, right, Jennifer? This may or may not help with your douchy/spineless character issues, but consider your struggle with Shakespeare. I think the issue is one of worldview. In 16th century England, with the societal norms and expectations of that time, those attitude were, perhaps, a lot more common than in 21st century America. In other words, if you watch Shakespeare from an Elizabethian England POV, you may be more sympathetic to the characters. Now, ask yourself: what’s the worldview of my MC? Does she look at men as something to “need” because of her upbringing, her presuppositions about the way things “ought to be”, peer pressure, her own feelings of inadequacy as a person…? Maybe you need to help the reader understand her POV, or change her POV. Just a thought. 🙂

    All the best with that last 21% this week! I’m 100% sure you’ll be done by the end of the week. 🙂

    • It really just makes me glad to live now and not then. Although I guess I wouldn’t think to be offended if I was a lady then since it was the norm 🙂 My dad and I had a similar discussion about Romeo and Juliet recently. I find it so over-the-top, but he pointed out that a lot of people way back when didn’t necessarily marry for love, but more for duty or whatever. I accept that, but still not my cup of tea. When it comes to Shakespeare, give me the treachery and madness of Macbeth any day.

  6. Ahhh, we’ve been ships passing in the night of #WriterRecharge, but I’m so glad I checked the linky list and found yours. You are making great progress this month! And I love literature-inspired epiphanies. Excellent work and best of luck getting as close to your goal as you can!

  7. de-douchify? OMG. i love that word!

  8. You had me at Shakespeare. LOVE that you used the Bard to help fix what needed fixing. Love it! Also, must agree – I love the word de-douchify! Good luck with the goals this week!

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