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reality: n. something to be tampered with only after several cups of coffee.

Road to Writing
When I first started, I thought all you had to do is write a book. Can you say *naive*, boys and girls? Join me on my journey as a pre- published writer looking to see my name on the cover of a book. I'll talk about all the bumps, bruises, joys and frustrations I encounter along the way.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

You call this progress?

WARNING: This entry's a bit long-winded, but, what the hell. It's been somewhat cathartic for me.


Day 3 of BIAW, and my third day of trying the First Draft in 30 Days method. Because I'm working on the half-finished (and stalled) BMO, I decided to use chapter 8 of the book: Creating an Outline for a Project Already in Development or Re-Outlining a Stalled Project. Makes sense, right? On days 1 and 2, I followed the book's instructions and printed out the scenes I've written so far, starting each scene on a new page. No problem.

Next the book says to evaluate the previous draft. Hm. Okay. I read through what I've got so far and tried to determine if all the scenes were necessary. As far as I could tell, yeah. They were needed. But obviously, something's wrong because the story just stopped.

So I read through the scenes again. Nothing changed.

Now, I was doing this last night while sitting on the floor of my husband's studio. Lucky for me, I planned ahead. I'd read the chapter and knew what was expected of me, then trolled the internet for information about scenes. I jotted down some notes on things scenes must do in order to be effective, hoping they'd help me later.

As I result, there I sat, on the floor, books on one side of me, my scenes and a notebook in my lap, and my carefully written notes at my other side. (There was also a bottle of water behind me, which prompted me to complain about needing longer arms when I realized I couldn't reach it. My husband thinks I'm insane.) And I studied my scenes. And I struggled. And still, nothing changed.

I tried filling out the "scene capsule" forms--basically a summary--for each scene, thinking that might help me see things a little more clearly. No dice.

So I tried a different approach. I went over each scene one by one, and at the top of the first page jotted down things about the scene that helped it to meet the scene criteria I'd jotted down. Okay, so now we're making progress. Matter of fact, there were a few that I marked as "sequel" as defined by Dwight Swain. I felt like I was getting somewhere. I'd have patted myself on the back if I had longer arms.

Unfortunately, all that work still garnered the same results. To say the least, I was extremely frustrated. What was I doing wrong? I blamed my lack of knowledge. 2.5 hours of work yesterday that really got me nowhere.

Last night, I climbed into bed, and instead of fantasizing about my favorite slurpilicious male, I puzzled out my next step. Where was I going wrong? How could I correct it? What should I do next?

I finally made a decision, smiled to myself, and let my favorite hottie visit my dreams.

I took a little break from the writing this morning, and instead watched The Incredibles on DVD. Then after I picked my son up from school, I got down and dirty.

Okay, maybe not down and dirty, but I did get to work.

I decided that what I needed was to follow the method as though BMO were a new project. I filled out the character charts, easy to do since I'd already been getting to know my characters. I moved on to the setting sketches, again, easy, since I'd been working with these settings a while.Next worksheet is the Plot Sketch. Where I'm supposed to note things like the story goal, romance threads, subplots, tension, etc. Pretty much the skeleton of the story. As I moved along with this form, I started to smile, then giggle. Thank goodness my husband wasn't home, or I'd have been on the receiving end of that look again.

Anyway, where this long-winded entry is going is I finally had some SUCCESS! *insert happy butt wiggle here* Not that I figured out why the story stalled, but I did manage to brainstorm a couple more ideas for the story and a new subplot that will clear up my black moment problems.

2.5 hours of work so far today, and this time I know I've made real progress. And I'm not done yet! Next step is a free-form chronological summary of introductory scenes, and after I scarf down some dinner, that's what I'll be working on.

Tomorrow I'll pick up a folder for storage, print out what I've done so far, and depending on what happens while I work the rest of tonight, may even do a joyful butt wiggle in the middle of my living room.


  • Well, you got to brainstorm new ideas for the story, so it wasn't all a total lost of time and energy. *g*

    How do you like the book so far?

    By Blogger Silma, at 9:05 AM  

  • Hey Silma! So far, I really can't complain. It's got me moving on the ms again, so that's a really good thing.

    By Blogger Lynn, at 1:18 AM  

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Location: Atlanta-ish, Georgia, United States

I'm a wife, a mom, an operating room nurse, a writer, a hobby photographer, and a music lover who knits and crochets. And I'm fairly certain I've lost my mind.

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