2020 – Week 12 and Covid-19

Welp, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks, my kid has been home because the daycare is closed, and even though I’ve been home a lot this week too, I haven’t been able to accomplish a whole lot story wise. I still haven’t met my last goal.

In fact, yesterday is the first day I’ve been able to sit down and revisit chap 7 sc 2. I made a few changes, beefed up one or two things, and since I was viewing it in word, I corrected a couple grammar issues it picked up for me. More on that in an upcoming post “Evolution of a Manuscript – part 2”.

With coronavirus having such a huge impact across the world, I’ve had to devote a lot of time this week to other things, but I’m ready to put my writing cap back on and get chap 7 completely knocked out!

So, my goal for this week is to get chap 7 sc 2 peer review ready, and complete the draft of chap 7 sc 3, which is still about 75% done.

Use the time you have at home in the coming weeks to your advantage. Start a blog, seek new inspiration, explore a different genre, or just capitalize on the time you have away from social activities to reinvigorate your muse.

As somber as it is, there are some truly eye opening things occurring around the globe. There are lots of photo galleries popping up on the web of before and after photos of normally crowded places. Take a moment to scan through some of them, or watch a couple youtube videos of people in seriously affected places, you may find something that inspires an idea.

Not to make light of the seriousness of our current time, but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out how unique it is as well. There may just be something about it that will spark your muse. So take a moment to explore, not just the world we live in, but the time we’re living in.

2020 – Week 9 and Using Music to Invoke Imagery

I did not meet my writing goal this week! Grr! I got about half of the scene tweaked, but not all of it, and no editing. So I’ll be spending some time this week doing just that and hopefully moving on to the next scene.

I had a critique meetup this past weekend and we spent several minutes brainstorming on writing strategies. One writer shared that she creates music playlists to listen to when writing certain genres or scenes, and that it invokes her muse more naturally and easily.

Before she said it, I hadn’t realized that this is already a method that has proven itself successful for me. The last scene I wrote with all the action was 90% contrived during my commute to work and replaying I See Stars “Ten Thousand Feet” over and over. For some reason, that song invoked some very powerful imagery in my head that I had to put on paper, and thus, my scene was born.

That was by pure accident though. Now that using music as inspiration has been brought to my attention by another writer, I can spend some time purposely putting together soundtracks to help invoke my muse with different types of scenes.

This is another benefit of having a writing group. You never know what tips and strategies you will learn. Writer groups are so awesome! If you haven’t already, find one. You won’t regret it!

2020 – Week 7

I completed my goal this week to get my last scene ready for peer review and get my first draft of the dream sequence done. Yay!

Well, I decided the dream didn’t need to be a gigantic scene, it’s only a couple of paragraphs, and with a little tweaking to the previous scene, I was able to just tack it onto the beginning of that one. I think that will be much better than trying to make a small dream sequence unnecessarily large, although it does make this scene even heftier than it was before, but I think it will keep the reader from becoming bored, which is really important as I’m nearing the middle of the book.

So often, novels have a very engaging setup, but then the middle ceases to be interesting. I want to avoid that by making informational bits as concise as possible so the reader doesnt become bogged down.

My goal this week is to edit the new dream paragraph and get at least the first paragraph of the next scene drafted.

Happy writing!

2020 – Week 3 and Scene Stacking

I met my writing goals this week, decided whose perspective the next scene would be, what would happen in it, and drafted my first paragraph.

There are about 150 words so far, but I have a direction now, and I’ve found that accomplishing that is the hardest part sometimes.

This scene is a continuation of the scene I just completed, and from the same POV. I usually like to move to a different character to avoid the story becoming stagnant, but I realize that nothing is really happening in the rest of the story at this particular time. I am also trying to make sure that all the scenes take place chronologically. For example, I don’t want my A character to be doing something on a Tuesday afternoon in chapter 4, and then jump to character B doing something on the previous Sunday at dawn in chapter 5. That’s just too confusing for the reader. This means stacking scenes from one character’s POV. The trick is making sure this character’s plot is interesting enough to keep the reader engaged.

Even when the character development is stellar, I have to be mindful that when having a lot of scenes back to back of one POV, there is a risk of the reader forgetting what was happening with character B way back in chapter 3. I don’t want to invent exposition to keep these characters alive per say, but I don’t want their importance to be forgotten either. I hate having to go back 30 pages to remember what’s going on. It’s a delicate balance that I’m not entirely sure I’m getting right. This will be an important piece of feedback I’ll be expecting from a beta reader when the manuscript in completed.

Even though I met my goal this week, I did not go back and edit my completed scene. I now have 3 scenes that need to be edited. So my goal for this week is to edit those 3 scenes and then send them off to a peer to review.

Happy writing!

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