Archive for November, 2014

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Stolen Moments

November 18, 2014

 

Writers rarely have the same process to their practice. Someone told me that Stephen King writes 10K words a day, which I don’t doubt, given the number and length of his novels. Some writers work after their kids have gone to bed, while others scribble three hours before dawn. No one way is the right way.

I write on a cyclical basis, based on my kids’ school schedule. December and August are NOT high word count months for me. I use that time to read (a writer must consider reading part of the job), edit, research and organize. Trying to develop a character’s thought process doesn’t happen with three kids asking me fifteen hundred questions a day. That said, I do find stolen moments to write during the holidays and summer months.

There are times in December that I’m alone; often snuggled under a blanket, enjoying the glitter white lights on the Christmas tree. It can be a highly few minutes to write. If it’s July, I discover stolen moments early in the morning or while waiting for a camp to finish.

Finding this free time is like unearthing money hidden in a pocket. What discovery!

At times like these, I whip out my pen or reach for my laptop, the creative juices peak. Ideas are unleashed. Ink flows. I’m not sure why it happens in such stolen moments, but it does.

If you’re like me, and unable to write at certain times of the day, week or year, don’t stress completely. You might find yourself with stolen moments. They can be the best kind. Just keep writing.

 

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Organic Writing Versus Outlines

November 2, 2014

Some writers, like myself, write like they think: rattling off words in one long stream of consciousness. It’s not a bad way to go.  When an author writes organically, the creative stream can take the book to unexpected places. However, there’s something to be said for an outline, and although I’ve never been a fan, I’m going to give it a go.

It’s not like I’ve never outlined. Once I get started and am deep into a piece of writing, I do outline chapters, linking characters, ideas, and subplots. I often color code threads that weave throughout the story with colored markers. For a visual person, this technique can really help. However, writers can get stuck in ruts; myself included. It’s time to try something new. So, here’s an outline for my outline.

Protagonist and relevant characters

Setting/Time period

Problem/quest/ wish/purpose

Inciting incident

Obstacles/challenges

Climax

Wrap-up

I’ll need to remember details, voice, and brush through the manuscript for mistakes, but hopefully the outline will limit the editing process from 999 revisions to maybe, 699. One can hope.