Wednesday, May 30, 2012

An "Off" Week

Let's face it, sometimes life changes our plans.  This past weekend was Memorial Day.  My husband and I planned a road trip and I was going to bring my notebook along to write in while on the road.  A few things happened along the way and we chose to be with friends and family who were going through very difficult times.  Why am I making a point to mention this?  Because life brings challenges and setbacks.  Difficulties must be worked through.  Sometimes my writing, as important as it is to me, will get set aside for the love of a friend or family.  That's okay, there will be time for me to catch up on my writing.  There may not be time to see that loved one again.   Mary Kay Ash put it well when she advised her salesforce to put "God first, family second and career third."  One of my favorite scriptures states it best:  "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:"  Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Writing Without Distractions

One of the most difficult things for me as a writer is writing without distractions.  It seems as though I love to create stories in my head all day long, when completing other tasks: walking on the treadmill, baking cookies, doing laundry, cleaning house.  But when it comes to sitting down and focusing, I find it challenging to stay in one place and write.  Sometimes I wish I could carry around a recorder and record my thoughts all day.  The problem is, people might stop to stare, especially if I did so in public.  However, I know that some writers use recorders, although it is more common with non-fiction, such as interviews for articles and biographies.  Another thing I have started doing is using pen and paper versus the computer.  This past week I have started using the old-fashioned way of writing, so I can get comfortable on the sofa and avoid any computer distractions.  It is slower, and requires the second step of typing it all up, but I can consider that as my second draft if I make changes as I go.  I'll give it a try and see how it goes.  I like the idea of being able to record my thoughts anywhere, at least on paper and write wherever I may be.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Inspiration This Week

My goal this week is to make substantial headway toward completing The Inheritance Inn.  It currently sits at 56,000 words, and my goal is around 80,000 at completion. I had hoped to be a little further by now, but I tend to edit as I go.  I can't stand leaving typos, incomplete scenes, and convoluted sentences for later.  Sure, there will certainly be plenty of edits and corrections needed in the next round, but I like my first draft to be as clean as possible.  One of the things I had to do this week to get my word count up was to write a scene that occurs later in the book.  I knew how I wanted the scene to go, so I decided to go ahead an put it at the end in a different color.  That way, I know it goes elsewhere, and can continue working until I'm ready to weave it into the story.  Another thing that took some time was an idea that came to me this weekend while I was visiting my mom.  I wanted to change up an earlier scene in the book.  That meant writing the scene, but also looking for places in the text before and after the scene that were affected by the scene change.  There needs to be coherence.  Making those changes, however small, was a tedious but "worth it" process.  The thing is, I know how I want my current WIP to end.  I know the general sense of the conflicts that are present.  But I'm not sure how those conflicts will be resolved.  Sometimes as I write, the characters just tell me as I go.  Maybe that sounds crazy, but if you're a fellow writer, you'll understand.  Back to the keyboard for me.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Writing Is...

Writing is hard work!  I know that probably sounds like a given, but it is something a lot of non-writers might not think about.  I don't think I could write if I didn't enjoy it.  I enjoy getting lost in my fictional worlds, composing characters, messing with their lives, and working hard to find the words that will engage my readers.  Just yesterday I was working on a scene in The Inheritance Inn when I decided to take that scene in a completely different direction: which means that I had to remove it and start all over.  Just so nothing is lost, I keep a file of "out-takes" where I copy and paste any major scene that is taken out of my work-in-progress.  That allows me to feel free to make changes without worry of losing something should I choose to go back and change things again.

Right now, I'm about to go into my "writing mode" and try to work through the rest of that scene and work into the next few pages.  I have nothing to distract me at the moment, which is the best time to write.  Unlike other writers, I keep no daily targets: some days I write little, others a lot, but as long as I can make steady progress toward completion, I'm happy.