Posts Tagged ‘ rewrites ’

Fresh Starts

rewritingYou’ve gotta know when to hold and know when to fold…For the past several months I’ve been working on writing a YA novel. I had an idea and ran with it. Then I hit a wall. I wasn’t sure where to go with the plot and the characters I had been developing seemed flat and insincere. So after already writing several thousand words, I scrapped what I had been working on and started over. I made more notes, developed a new plot line that I thought would flow better, and rewrote where I wanted the characters to go and how I hoped they would develop. Then I started fresh.

After writing for a few more months, I hit another wall. Once again I was discontent with how my characters were developing and where my story was headed. I pushed on each time because it’s really hard to throw everything away after spending so much time and thought on what I had already written. I got to a point where I either had to say this isn’t working out and begin again or push forward and hope the issues I was having would sort themselves out. The first time I restarted it was because I was excited about what I was writing, the story and the characters. But now faced with the “do I continue?” dilemma once again, I realized that I’ve stopped looking forward to what I was writing. Writing had become tedious and more work than fun. I had ceased making time for my writing.

So I’ve decided to start over completely from scratch. New genre, new ideas, new characters. While I still have hopes to return to my YA novel, I’m moving on. You may notice that I’ve reset my word count widget to track the progress of my new book. I’m very enthusiastic about this new book and I’m hoping that this fresh start will reinvigorate my writing. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go write! 🙂

 

How to Start Your Story

  Last week at work a woman began talking to me about a book she wants to write, but wasn’t sure how to start. My brother has told me about an idea he has for a novel, but there always seem to be something blocking his path. In talking with other writers I hear of people who have great writing aspirations, but never quite move forward with their goals.

One of the problems that many of these writers seem to face is actually sitting down and starting to write. Between life’s obligations and forming the words, it can be a daunting task! Before I wrote my first novel, I had a hard time moving past the first paragraph.

Here are a few tips that helped me move past my road blocks and hopefully will help you with yours too!

1. Make the time – get up before work/kids/daily obligations or stay up later or make every Saturday morning your writing time then make it a habit!

2. Prioritize – How important is writing your novel? If you want to write it, turn off Being Human and write instead.

3. Figure out who your audience is and what makes your story important to tell

4. Outline your main ideas, then write to fill in the blanks. Don’t worry about having all the answers before you start writing, you’re bound to change some things during your rewrites anyway. 🙂

5. And most importantly – just write!!! If there’s one piece of advice that I’ve read over and over and one that I try to adhere to above all it’s write. The more you write, the better you will get and the more it will become a habit and allow you to reach your goals.

Happy writing! 🙂

To Outline or To Not Outline That is the Question

  I don’t know which side I’m on when it comes to novel outlining. I’ve heard and read compelling arguments for both sides as well as read interviews with authors who go into a novel with an idea, figuring out the pieces as they move forward, or create detailed outlines that help to guide their stories. There are many different ways to outline as well – index cards, brainstorm diagrams, traditional A-B-C outlines, or even a linear chart of events.

In the past I’ve started my novels with general character descriptions and an idea of what I want the story to be about, but no specific sequence of events. It worked well for my second novel, not so much the first. Now that I’m working on my third novel I’m torn between having a plan and just running with an idea. When I first started writing I didn’t have an outline and about 10,000 words later I realized that a lot of action I want to show is part of the back story. That’s no fun! In order to pull my readers into the action and suspense of what’s happening in the novel I need to rewind and start telling the story at a different time. Could this have been avoided by writing an outline beforehand? Maybe. It’s really hard to tell what ideas could have been planned and what comes about just as a natural part of the writing process. If there’s one thing that writers are in agreement on it’s that it’s very rare to get your story right the first time around. Rewrites are just as integral as the first draft, if not more so!

I’ve come to the conclusion that while I want to have a better idea of the main sequence of events that I want to happen in my novel, I also need to trust the writing process. After all the practice of writing helps to make one a better writer so if I’m hung up on following an outline, or deliberating whether to write on or not, and I’m not actually doing any writing that’s counter-productive too.

Outline or not, have a great week of writing! 🙂