Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Welcome again! Winter is trying hard to hang on. It has been a long one. But I have hope that spring will appear. I can finally see the top of my five foot hedge along the front drive. But, my poor witch hazel is struggling to have its winter blooms after being shattered from ice falling off the roof.

But, a new book is in the plotting stage. I love the plotting process, the writing process and the editing process. I guess that adds up to the whole picture.

Each stage seems to take on a life of its own. Plotting takes me time. I worry about who the characters are. Why are they involved in this story? What are their motivations? How will I create situations that will force them to change? Sometimes I come around a corner of my house and run smack into one of my "people." They live here with me.

Then, I write. They seem to speak at times for themselves. My fingers and brain are almost separated. The fingers take over.

Then, I edit. We all do. I actually very much enjoy the editing. It seems to come in stages. First, does the story make sense? Where are the holes I missed? Then the next level--what are all the clutch words that seem to jump right in there on their own (just, push, pulled, ran, hand, and more). Could the sentences be shorter- tighter? Are the page breaks and scene breaks in the right places? Do I need an extra chapter? Again and again. I seem to do many iterations.

Letting go is hard for me. Relinquishing my "baby" to the world. Stephen King said it well when he described his first draft as one that stays behind closed doors- it was for him. The second draft had to be for the reader- public. I'm still working on that.

But, then there is always the next story waiting to be told.

Chime in. I would love to hear from you.


  1. Haha, I love how you say that you run into your characters in your home. That is so true. They do live with us every moment of the day. Even though they aren't physically there, they are always on our minds and we put so much detail into them that they actually become "real" people. I believe that this is part of what makes a book believable and provides readers with characters that they genuinely care about.

    You listed great plotting questions that I will definitely use to grow as a writer. Thanks and good luck with your new adventure <3! :)

  2. I am so glad spring is on its way. I still have a ton of snow outside, but just knowing it's less than two weeks until Daylight Savings Time -- I'm definitely hopeful!

    I enjoy editing more than I used to. I go through and look at the big picture, the way you described, and then narrow it down. If I do it right, I'm tired of the book when I'm done! LOL


  3. I have lurking characters too. I don't mind them much, neither does my family until I start talking to them. It's the characters that keep me from sleeping that drive me crazy. Have you ever had one of those books that the minute you lay down, the whole thing is right there moving at warp speed. I have a notebook next to the bed, but it doesn't help much in this situtation. It's like some of my characters like to torture me as much as I like to torture them. :)

  4. You guys make me laugh. And to think they actually have psych diagnoses for folks like us! Yup, I talk to my characters, interview them out loud, and question why the dickens they are doing something that is "too stupid to live." My Goldens also wonder as they look up at me and tip their heads to the side.

  5. At least there's more green showing on the ground than white. That's encouraging at least.
    It is amazing how our characters take on a life all their own. Hopefully, only in our mind.
    It's when, like you said, that we start talking to them and even sounding like them the pets worry. My collie long ago accepted my weirdness and the cat is slowly starting to.

  6. It has been much too long since I have posted here. Much has been going on. I leave again for Italy in a little over a month. I have high hopes of bringing back great stories. If anyone has travel stories that have influenced your writing SHARE. We want to hear them.