Thursday, February 27, 2014

Joy is Kicking All the Ass

I looked at my browser bookmarks and I felt JOY. You know, Joy, don’t you? Maybe you make fun of Joy or sing about her only during the holidays, but Joy is your best mate. You should let her into your life more often. I felt JOY while looking at my bookmarks because seeing the list of my resent research items made me happy to be a writer. I held on to that joy for a moment because it’s a gift.

Don’t knock Joy.  She’s BAD ASS

You may or may not believe in God(s).
But I find that prayer - even if it's really only directed to the higher power in you - is helpful for every human and especially human writers.
I subscribe to the Anne Lamott school of prayer:


These are excellent prayers for writers. 

HELP! (I want to give up; I don’t know how to go on; I don’t know if I’m wasting my time; I think I suck; I know I suck; I should get a real job; help me have more faith in myself.)

WOW. (That was so beautiful – how can simple words burrow into my heart like that?; I didn’t know I had that kind of insight in me; I didn’t know you had that kind of beauty in you; WOW, you showed me your work, opened yourself up and I am amazed.)

THANKS. (Thank you for words and for every way they connect me to you; Thank you for human expression because sometimes I swear it’s the only thing keeping us from doing only bad things; thank you for the burden and the honor of being creative, because I can touch others with my words and I can let them touch me.)

So, thank you for all the help and WOW, to all my writer friends – you are amazing. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Drinking All the Plotting Kool-Aid

I didn't know. I really didn't understand.
I'm just sorry I didn't believe.

So, I just finished the outline to my MG WIP and sat down to write the first draft. I'll admit, it felt weird and somewhat restrictive. I knew there were points I had to hit according to my outline. I didn't feel that 'magic' feeling of discovery that I've felt before when starting a new project - without a clue as to how to proceed, in a frenzy to discover the story. I'd already *done* that. Cue feeling of somewhat deflated balloons.

At this point I was wondering if Plotting was really for me. But I love my story idea and my CPs and agent are jazzed about the idea too, so I wanted to get into harness and start cranking out words.

TWO PAGES IN I realized that the frenemy character I had in mind - one I'd spent time creating a backstory for, mind you - was completely superfluous. I just cocked my head to the side and said to my WIP, "You know what Anushka? You're not really needed here." DELETE. Sure, Anushka was pissed, that's the kind of girl she is - she doesn't take slights well. BUT I knew two pages in that she wasn't going to work - NOT 200 pages in. See?

I am a Plotter*, dammit.

Kool Aid guy and Ben Franklin because History is Kool, Kids

*Reserving the right to retract, alter or deny knowledge of this statement if all goes horribly wrong in 100 pages. I will probably say that my Kool Aid was spiked with a Mickey Finn and that I don't remember anything.

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