Summer’s nearing an end, at least for those of us with back-to-school type schedules. Ah… 😦 Anyways, it’s time for another Insecure Writer’s Support group post. If you haven’t already checked out this great group of supportive writers, then you’re missing out. Click the picture above to find a list of their websites. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll probably wring your hands a bit, but you’ll see how much talent is out in the great wide web of writers.
Now time to dish on my own insecurity, or should I say progress against it.
Well, as I’ve mentioned in several posts of the last year or so, maybe some of them in my own mind ;), I’m revising/editing/giving birth to my first novel. The process is long, eye-opening, and sometimes quite challenging. I’ve lamented about my struggles with time, the work not quite meeting my standards, and an assortment of other failings, either perceived or real, but each time I picked myself back up, dusted off, and put butt back in chair.
It’s what we do, right?
Well, each time I feel like I learned something about how to be a writer, how to get the words closer to my vision. And I like that, I like it a lot.
So, a couple of weeks ago, it happened again. The rewrite became challenging, and I was feeling stuck on one particular POV character specifically. I chased squirrels for a few days, dusted my keyboard with a duster instead of my fingers, and wore my teeth to a fine point from grinding. And then, I did picked myself up, dusted myself off (maybe there needs to be more cleaning time in my schedule, but I digress :)), and I put my butt back in the chair. I changed tactics, and I once again feel inspired to finish.
And (come close for this one because I’m whispering so I don’t jinx myself), the tactic change has produced a breakthrough in my character arc. *quiet fist-pumping and dancing woo-hoo* It doesn’t mean I’m anywhere near finished, and I will hit further roadblocks, but the work is better. And that means the world to me.
So, my questions for you are: what do you need to change to get you closer to your goal? or do you already change tactics, habits, etc…to ensure that you make it over the river and through the woods?
Please share what works for you. We all have moments where we need to hear about the journeys, successes, and even failures of others. It helps, it really does.
Thanks for reading, oh, and by the way, if you see the dust fairy coming, close your windows. That stuff gets everywhere. 🙂
Book Release: CLOAKED IN FUR by T.F. Walsh
Hi Kim, thanks for having me on your blog.
You’re welcome! I know you’re excited about the book coming out, but I’m curious about how it started. Can you tell us about where you get the ideas for your stories?
Story ideas are pretty much everywhere if you know where to look. Walking down the street, visiting friends, watching TV, reading a newspaper, overhearing a conversation, and even dreams offer a number of ideas. But fleshing out that single spark of originality is a completely different beast. Every author approaches this differently, and today I thought I’d share a bit of my approach.
For me, my creations always start with world building or a character with an issue. I’ll let the concept mull around in my head for a good few weeks, thinking through different possibilities. Then I sit down and start typing things. It looks something like this:
Write a rough synopsis of story, genre, length, WIP title, and usually incorporates the big plotline. (this usually changes by the end, but is a good start)
Establish main characters, their incorrect core beliefs and their conflicts (internal and external), and subplots.
Flesh out characters (including images – I’m a visual person), plus their goals and motivations. I also write a few random paragraphs from their POV to get a feel for their voices.
Flesh out synopsis into a plot incorporating characters, inciting incident, conflicts, character encounters, obstacles, climax, and how it will be resolved. This part usually takes a while.
Then I print out the plot and start marking on it where chapter breaks should happen, cause and effect, along with any new scenes needed.
Once updated, and chps are broken up, I take a couple of weeks away from it. I want to come back to it with fresh eyes and see what I’ve missed. Plus, it gives me time to mull over the best possible way to start chapter 1.
Then for each chapter, I ensure I add the goal, conflict, unexpected turn, reaction and a new course of action for each character who has a POV scene.
Now, I’m ready to start writing the first draft.
Thank you for sharing your process and best of luck on book sales. Thanks for dropping in, T.F. 🙂
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cloaked-in-Fur-ebook/dp/B00DV0XJ4A/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374635978&sr=1-1
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cloaked-in-fur-tf-walsh/1116059078?ean=9781440571619
Crimson Romance Books: http://www.crimsonromance.com/upcoming-releases-romance-ebook/cloaked-in-fur/
Publisher: Crimson Romance www.crimsonromance.com
About The Author
T.F. Walsh emigrated from Romania to Australia at the age of eight and now lives in a regional city south of Sydney with her husband. Growing up hearing dark fairytales, she’s always had a passion for reading and writing horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and young adult stories. She balances all the dark with light fluffy stuff like baking and traveling.
Hello there! This is kind of off topic but I need some
help from an established blog. Is it difficult to set up your own blog?
I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.
I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to
begin. Do you have any points or suggestions? Cheers
Pingback: The Insecure Writer’s Support Group – August 2013 |
Thanks Kim for having me on your blog… and thank you to all the wonderful word of encouragement from everyone… the blogging community is just amazing:) Love being on your blog, Kim:)
It was my pleasure! Congratulations on getting noticed by USAToday! http://www.usatoday.com/story/happyeverafter/2013/08/08/paranormal-romance-new-releases-august-2013/2629129/
I get stuck too. Usually I find that it’s because something isn’t working right in my plot or in a character’s motivation. The best thing for me to do when that happens is just let the subconscious work on it for a day or two. More often than not, if I back up a ways and find where I went off track, I can usually fix it by turning left where I accidentally went right before. 🙂
I’ve also used the subconscious rattling technique. Sometimes the solution will suddenly dawn on me at the weirdest moment.
Thanks for commenting!
I find when I’m stuck, a step back always helps. Dusting does too!
I agree about the step back, not necessarily the dusting. 😉 Thanks for commenting!
It’s great you’re learning so much and willing to adapt to changes in technique. Your patience is inspiring!
Big congrats to Tania! I loved reading the interview. 🙂
I’d never considered myself to be a patient person before this, but I guess that’s yet another thing that is developing as a result of learning how to be a novel writer. 🙂
I’m also super excited for Tania. She deserves all her success.
Thanks for posting, Lex!
Don’t you love breakthroughs like that?
Great post. 🙂
August co-host and IWSG #110
I do! Thanks for posting and for co-hosting.
Well done on the WIP progress. A breakthrough like that always makes everything flow smoothly again.
Interesting to hear T.F’s method of getting to first draft stage – she’s so organised!!
You’re right about the breakthrough aiding the flow.
I agree about T.F.’s organization. I suppose it may be an important ingredient to her success. Something to take note of. 🙂
Thanks for commenting!
Congrats on making such a good breakthrough!
To keep going, I set myself goals and then make them public so that I’ll be motivated to achieve them. 😀
Public accountability can be very motivating. I’ve done the same thing before. Thanks for commenting!
Congrats to Tania on her awesome book!
Like you said, it’s all part of the process. What you have to look forward to is it starts to go faster and you pick up new skills and you keep getting better. Congrats to you on keeping at it. http://mpaxauthor.com
I’ll pass your congrats on to Tania.
Thank you! Becoming better and building skills is the goal, and I do feel like I’m getting there. It’s slow, but worthwhile.
Thanks for commenting!
Everyone is different. I find that watching TV shows, movies and reading books helps me get over writing issues. While I watch or read I am re-writing the shows and books. I can’t help myself. Once those creative juices start to flow I get back to my WIP and get writing. Sounds strange I guess now that I wrote it down.
Best of luck.
There is an end.
It doesn’t sound strange at all. This summer, I’ve begun doing the same thing, and I feel like it’s contributing to my writing skills considerably. Thank you for commenting!
I get stuck now and then. Usually I’ll go exercise, bake or even read a book for a while until things work out in my mind. I’ve never chased squirrels though.
Exercise and reading are great ways to refocus the mind. Chasing squirrels is only a mental exercise 🙂 A reminder of the importance of using all of my words. 😉
If I’m stuck I try writing a scene or two out by hand, in a notebook, preferably under a tree in the woods or in a coffee shop. It makes the words seem less daunting somehow, because I have to type them in anyway, so if I don’t like them I can just leave them in the notebook.
Usually I don’t. 🙂
Congrats to Tania on Cloaked in Fur!
That sounds like a great way to mix things up. I’ll pass your congrats along to Tania.
Thanks for posting!
Congratulations to Tania – she’s awesome.
What gets me through is I plan my books to death before I ever start writing. My outlines aren’t complex, just detailed, and I can spend months on them. May seem like a lot of time, but the end result is my revisions aren’t massive and I’m not stuck with many challenges.
Thanks for being a part of the IWSG!
I agree that Tania’s awesome!
I may have to become a more serious planner before writing. I outlined generally, but then relied a lot on pantsing. The result? Many revisions and major editing. I won’t make that mistake again.
Thanks for having IWSG, Alex! I really enjoy getting to connect and commiserate.
Congrats on figuring out your character arc. I get like that too, where I can’t write unless I know how the next part goes.
Yeah, that epiphany really helped me adjust the story for my revision. As I mentioned to Alex, I pantsed for too much of the story.
Thanks for commenting!