Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Novel Beginning, Weeks 14 & 15

These weeks of my writing journal involved some time management issues due to the holidays but I was writing whenever I could find the time.  I was also researching more about writing advice, building a platform and how I would eventually make contact with agents.  The first thoughts of finally starting a blog came into play, as did the fear of making my writing life so public.   It was also during these two weeks when I realized I was closer to the end of the book rather than the beginning. 

Week 14

I found a terrific new blog with some very useful information and the best part is he regularly writes so there are always new and useful tips.  My Name is Not Bob is the name of the blog, written by Robert Lee Brewer.  I have found many useful entries on his blog.  There are other blogs I have checked out and some I still visit but overall his is my favorite right now.  At some point it is apparent I will have to start a blog, rather than write privately here in my Word document but the whole concept makes me anxious.  Who would want to read what I have to say?  What do I have to offer?  How will I keep people interested?  All valid questions and what I will soon be researching before I decide to jump in feet first.


I’m on the downhill slope towards the ending of my book and while that’s an awesome thing to admit, I’m frustrated by the fact that I’m not quite sure how I want to end one of the stories inside the story.  I had an idea but haven’t quite figured out if that idea is going to work.  It’s great to have a sounding board at home with my husband as he lets me bounce ideas off him and he gives me feedback, while at the same time saying, ‘now don’t let what I say determine what you finally write!’  I have to remind him I’ll write what I want…I just like his opinion and I enjoy discussing ideas with him so I can hear myself speak them out loud.  I have been writing without overanalyzing too much but now I’m getting to a point where I feel I am thinking too much and it is slowing me down.  I had been able to just let the story come out as it wanted to but recently there were some issues with the murder in my story I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to deal with.  I think, now that I’ve discussed those concerns with my husband, I have a better idea of what I want to do.  If my idea is a good one, it will easily work itself into the story.  So, off we go…

Because I am still new at writing and I feel I must learn from those who have already mastered the craft, I have been reading various books, blogs and website material on writing tips and techniques.  I have to say, I cannot take everything to heart or my mind will explode from all the possible ways I can potentially screw everything up!  However, I do take to heart what others say has worked for them and if it’s something I think is a good idea, I try to use it and learn from it.  I do find some writers more agreeable than others and I suppose it’s due to how I find myself writing anyway.  One of the details of writing where there appears to be some disagreement is how much detail to put into a story about a character with regard to their appearance or what they are wearing.  I have come to the conclusion that I don’t mind offering some limited detail, such as hair color, eye color, vague height and build…but I will not go into great detail about their clothing or other personal descriptions unless it is absolutely necessary.  I feel that many readers often know someone who is similar to the characters they are reading about so that they quickly form an impression of the character in their imagination.  As an avid reader myself, I really don’t enjoy having to focus too much on the details of a character’s description or what color pants they happen to be wearing at the time.  I do agree with mapping out in my notes a character chart so that I myself know what my characters look like, act like, etc.  But I’ll keep that information to myself and divulge what information is necessary at the time it is necessary, if it is necessary.  I will not, however, go so far as to describe the shape of a character’s eyes, the length of the lashes and the shape of the brows, which was actually suggested by an author offering advice on writing.  I would rather give readers the right to use their imagination so that they lose themselves in the story and not in the details.

Oh, the holidays are here and they sure do throw a wrench in the writing schedule.   I’ve been able to write about every other day but really, I need to write every day.  For anyone who loves to write and who writes well enough to make a living at it, I am both jealous and in awe.  As my story moves along, I find myself already mapping together some ideas for two more books.  I shouldn’t be thinking ahead so much, maybe, but the thoughts are running through my mind and one way or another they have to be put down on paper.  Now that I’m getting close to the end of my mystery, I find myself looking forward to beginning another in that series plus a book on one of my new ideas.  Can I do both?  I expect writing more than one book is difficult.  When I write and I have to leave, especially if I’m in the middle of the scene, I find myself thinking about the scene, seeing the characters and moving the story along in my head.  Can I do that with two books?  I don’t know…but I’ll try. 
Week 15

I decided to purchase some additional writing books today.  I have a number of them but these two books will apparently provide more information on building my platform, which is something I have put off due to fear of the unknown.  It’s also something I’ve put off because I haven’t yet gotten used to the idea of telling everyone I’m a writer and I hope to someday be published.  Some people will be surprised, others will not.  Eventually, I’ll have to let the secret out…I want to publish a book someday but until then, I will continue to write and write and write.  I think it’s the fear of failure that possibly stops me from telling everyone I know that I’m writing a book.  If you tell everyone and you don’t finish or accomplish your goals, you feel like a failure or maybe, you’ll just jinx the whole idea by letting the cat out of the bag.  I’ll have to trust some individuals who are close to me because I will need an honest opinion of my book.  Oh, the thought of letting anyone read it is…terrifying!  Do I doubt myself?  No, I believe I have a good story with likeable characters and an interesting plot but opinions about books and writing are very subjective and while I should take criticism seriously, I also fear that I’ll receive various opinions that may not only confuse me but make my head spin. 

I have one more month to finish my book if I want to edit it before entering some book contests.  I’m up to 266 pages and the word count (according to Word) is over 75,000.  I also hope that I’ll be able to submit my work to some potential agents but I’m not yet sure how I’ll go about that.  I’ve been researching and reading on that part of the writing process and I hope to come up with a list of potential agents I might possibly be able to send my work off to for review.  For now, I need to continue with a regular writing schedule because the holidays, winter break for my boys, Christmas shopping, my youngest son’s birthday, a funeral for my great aunt and who knows what else might come up, will certainly cause this month to be limited when it comes to the amount of time I’ll be able to write.  Life gets busy but should not completely dictate whether or not you have the ability to write.   It is, after all, life’s experiences that should give a writer motivation and inspiration to write. 

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