Monday, November 30, 2009

The Hardest Part

It's been hard to sit out this week of writing. Ideas are zinging through my brain and I'm itching to dive into my story again, but a little self-discipline is a good idea. I know my writing habits too well by now.

One of the biggest problems I have is an ego problem Yes, I said I'm fine with suggestions, but this is a different kind of ego problem. My first vision of this story was the current opening scene. The problem is that it focuses on the wrong character. I know that. I've known it for a while. So when Kelley pointed it out, I had to nod in agreement, but still, I couldn't let it go. It HAD to be the opening scene.

Another thing I know about myself is that most of of my problems in life are caused by barriers I throw into my path. I over-complicate things, and most of the agonizing is knowing the answer but rejecting it for stupid reasons.

So if I know that it's not the right place to start the story, and can see the obvious way to fix it, why am I hanging onto the idea that my first vision of the story has to be the first scene? Ego. Maybe the stupid and stubborn phase is just something I have to go through. When I'm thoroughly tired of this useless internal struggle, I'll be ready to start the story in the right place. Until I get to that point though, I refuse to write anything.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Kelley from Sterling Editing sent back the edits on my MS, and I'm thrilled. I got exactly what I was looking for - honest critique and good suggestions to improve the novel. Now I'm fired up and ready to get back to work on it. It's not my style to jump into anything without considering it for a while, so I'm letting her observations sink in for a week before I start. Sort of. I couldn't help whipping through a rough synopsis.

Now - I hate writing a synopsis. Truly hate it. And I hate outlining. But this time it was a good way to channel my writing energy without touching the MS before I'm ready to. I'm imagining new scenes. One of the most meaningful things Kelley mentioned was that every character had to have skin in the game. I've heard it before, but when it was directed at my story, I finally got it. I have to be - scratch that - get to be much bolder with emotions and stakes for my characters. So I'm looking forward to the rewrite. No whining this time.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Editing Saga Begins

It's early in the process to talk about the job Kelley from Sterling Editing is doing on my MS, since we've only exchanged a few emails, but so far, I'm so happy I decided to do this.

If I were to join a gym, no one would be surprised if I hired a personal trainer to help me figure out the machines and get into a good routine, so I wonder why it feels so decadent to hire a good editor. I'm past feeling guilty though. This matters to me, so I deserve to invest time and money into getting it right.

My beta readers are great but they don't have the time to discuss the story in detail. That's what I'm paying the editor to do, so all our conversations can focus on my story. It's all about meeee! Ha! We can discuss every little detail, and question everything. Three of my beta readers don't write, so they don't understand when a story is put in front of them that isn't the only way it can be told. Things can change. Events, characters, the time line - everything is negotiable. I can tell them that, but they truly don't get it. An editor does.

Remind me how disgustingly perky I was about this when I groan about the rewrite later.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Not Another One!

Some writers have writer's block. I have too many ideas. I don't know which one is worse.

I've written the first of what I hope will be a four or five book series. While it's being edited, I'm reading through my teetering stacks of books and working a little on some short stories. It's good to have the time away from writing to recharge my brain. So imagine my horror (okay, not horror. how about eye-rolling exasperation with myself?) when on my drive home from work today the idea for another series popped into my head. Another five books or so.

I like to be fully immersed in a world while I'm writing it, which means not getting distracted by other stories, but this one is pushing everything else aside and sitting in the forefront of my imagination. Instead of doing something useful with my evening, I mused about characters. Specifically, how many major characters is too much? I know I can do three. But what about five? Maybe I'll have to compromise and whittle it down to four.

I have to stop this. First I'm thinking about cast, and the next thing you know, I'll be doing character sketches and thinking about plots. This has to stop. I'm not writing. I'm not. I won't.

Crud. I think I just visualized two of them.

I'm doomed.