Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Playlists, pictures and writing

Whoa! It's been a while. As usual, life has taken over my summer. I finished a manuscript and needed a mental health break. A story can take you over and suck the life out of you. I'm trying to start something new and rework a fantasy I started over a year ago. Writing is funny like that. Inspiration can take hold of you and a squeeze you dry. It's a strange feeling when creativity takes a back seat. The whole rollercoaster ride on the tracks of writing. I'm a visual writer. I see a lot of the story in my head so I need to find things to ignite an idea.

I have one idea that's been in my head for a year. The problem is the character isn't really talking, only showing me snippets. It can be frustrating, but I write down what this shy lady is showing me. What has been a wonderful help is music. It amazes me how a certain song will spark the mood, voice, and scenes of a story. For me this is key. It gets me excited about an idea. I will play an inspiration song over and over till I get something. It's funny how it can just click. I will go into a distant stare and let the vision take over. Don't do this while driving though.

Anyway, this idea is starting to take shape, which is a good thing. I currently make playlists on Spotify. I can label which book they are for and add songs to each. I have made playlists for every book I've written. It's crucial for my process.

Another thing that's good to do is make a visual chart. Pictures can help you visualize your characters, scenery, even clothing. Pinterest is my go to for this. I have a board for each book and put inspiration photos under those headings. You can also use Scrivner for this.

Getting outside is another help. Even visiting a new place helps. It opens your eyes to the world and people. I tend to observe more than I interact. It helps when writing your characters.

Well, there you have some tips on reigniting your muse. I'm sure I've written about this before, but it always helps to be reminded.

Any tips you have to make an idea pop?

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Working through the kinks.

Writing is one of those things where words can be flying onto the page one minute and turn bone dry the next. I've been working on a manuscript for about a year. The first draft mind you. I'm not super proud of that time line but it's something I'm trying to figure out. I was super passionate about the project when I started. I did get feed back early on, which may have slowed my process and hindered the flow. I put it aside for many months, hoping that I would get those fuzzy feels for it again. It took a while and now there are some tingles in my belly for it. I am struggling though. I think I'm overthinking things as I always do.

It's the first draft fright. I'm a reviser. It's what I like to do. First drafts scare me. It could be the perfectionist in me, but I like revising. First drafts are messy and disorganized. You would think I would be an outliner, but no, total panster. This might make you think I would love first drafts. I don't. So how do you survive them? I don't think there is a straight answer. This is my fifth novel and I still squirm when I open a blank page. I listen to the voice and plug along, but then that scene comes where you have no idea how to connect it to the ending. Did I mention I write out of order? Yep, guilty.

Right now, I'm at that point. I have 43,000 words. The beginning, most of the middle, and the end are written. I just have to connect (think big climax) the middle to the end. I know what has to happen, it's just getting something down so I can read through and fill in and polish. My brain is having a hard time with it. My solution is to keep going. Even if I develop a twitch in the corner of my left eye, I have to accept that I can write the word "transition" or "needs something here" and continue on. It's okay to do this.

Working through a first draft, for me, can be tedious. The thing is-- we all have our own process. As we hone our skills and write our babies, we figure out what works best for us. It's getting over fears or at least calming them down, taking a breath, and jumping in. So here I go. I'm off to write a big battle scene.

How do you get through your first draft?

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Happy New Year!

Well, it's a new year. I have to say, I'm in good spirits. I think I'm at a point where I'm settled with my writing and with my life. It's always a juggle but I've come to a point of accepting things and dealing with them.

Writing seems to have taken on new meaning for me. It's about strengthening. That's my focus. My focus is not on validation or racing to publishing. It's about honing those skills. So this year is all about becoming a better writer. I have plenty of material to work on so whipping them into better shape is what I'm going to do.

What I'm going to do with this blog, I'm not sure. I've focused on many things from teaching what I learned to promoting others to life and feelings of a struggling writer. I'm not sure what to put on here. For a while, I felt as if I was repeating myself. I did enjoy the community I once belonged but many of them have left or are busy. So what to do next? Not sure. I don't call myself an expert and I still need to own the title as writer. It's something I struggle to call myself. It's a lack of confidence/imposter feeling. I don't even know when one can call themselves an author.

So here are a couple of questions for you.

1. What are your goals for this year?

2. What is the blog world missing? What would you like to see?

3. In your eyes, what is the difference between an author and a writer? To me it's if you are published or not, but I could be wrong in that line of thinking.

I'm hoping to start doing something here again, I'm just not sure what yet.

Happy New Year!

Have a great day!!