I’m really hoping that when I finish this “masterpiece” I’ve been working on for so many years that the next one will be better organized.  It’s really disheartening when you realize that you’ve been focussing on the wrong area for the ENTIRE MIDDLE OF YOUR STORY!!! Could I have been more thick-headed?  It’s no wonder I couldn’t move forward — I was concentrating on a section too far forward in my plot.

Unstuck? Hmmm…

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The Monster Cries Out

Watching a favorite TV last night and I was dumb struck. One of the characters was speaking about another and said those magic word: “He is a very talented writer.”

After all these years I’ve been trying to complete my novel, writing poetry and short stories, I have NEVER heard those words from anyone. Makes me really wonder why I am doing this. Am I wasting my time??? Feels like it. Am I feeling sorry for myself? No. I’m trying to figure out where to go with this realization.

I guess the bottom line is that I do love to write. So that in itself is reason to write, regardless of what anyone else says.  Quash the monster…

Writing silences the monster.

Writing silences the monster.

Aloha to New Changes

For many years, I have written under a nom de plume that I created back in 1986.  Well, It took me 30 years, but I’ve decided to write under my own name — sort of — from now on.  My author name has changed to NC Overton.

My greatest challenge right now, though, is whether to abandon this blog address and create a new one or keep this one (I cannot rename the web address).  Hmmm.  Changing feels like starting all over.  Well, I will decide that later.  There could be some perks in moving to a new site.  Like getting a fresh start, right?  Although, I really don’t feel like I need a fresh start, just a change.  So, I will ponder this question for a bit and will post my update another day.

I hope whatever I decide, my readers will stick with me.

Regards,

-NC

(Yet Another) Year in Review

What is so amazing to me is that I have NOT been writing as I planned!  I have a new short in progress, and I have figured out how to move forward through the middle of my novel — middle muckiness is apparently quite common for novel writers — but I have refocused on my “real” life the as few months.  Reason for lack of new posts as well.

In my real life, I reactivated my real estate license, so I have been focusing on that.  I think I am now ready to divide my time between real estate and writing.

As for a review of my year, I didn’t accomplish half of what I wanted to with my novel, but I have high hopes.  I WILL FINISH THIS NOVEL, just in it’s own time.  I wish you all super success in your writing endeavors also!!

Hau`oli Makahiki Hou!!

P.S. Some shameless advertising here… if you are ready to buy property on Kauai, please visit my site at Homes on Kauai.  You can connect with my writer side through Twitter and Facebook.

Separating Plot Lines

It’s no big surprise that I am still struggling with the middle of my WIP.  It seems no matter where I go with it, I dislike it, scrap it, then write something else (usually some maudlin poetry) just to keep the fires lit.  This vicious cycle has gone on for a few months now.  Needless to say, I am tired of it.

Angel Orchids

Being the determined person that I am, though, I refuse to give up.  I’m fully invested int his project and I cannot just let it go.  I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reading and I think I may have come up with a solution.  I generally write in a linear fashion, creating the manuscript as I go. (Even though I have already know the ending, I haven’t written it yet.  It’s only documented in long-hand notes.)  I do this because it gives me a sense of clarity.  One day, I discovered this nice little feature of Scrivener which I never fully utilized before:  You can write out a chapter entirely in scenes.  Okay, admittedly, I have paid more attention to the writing than the finer points of the software I use, but that’s for another post.

This nifty feature, when selected in the compilation, will print the scenes in the chapter AND it allows for easy reorganizing.  Earlier this week, while rewriting a recent scene, the lightbulb went on: write the plot lines separately, then worry about weaving them together later!  What I’ve come up with is simple.  I created a folder called Plots.  Within this folder are the sub folders containing the main plot and the subplots.  Within those will be the scenes that formulate the individual plot lines.

I think, after all is written out, these scenes can be moved into chapters and weaved together more effectively.  I can also fine tune each plot without having to search for it within the chapters.  I’m hoping that this approach will offer me the clarity I need to survive the middle of my WIP and bring the project to fruition.

I have high hopes that this will get me back on track!  I’ll keep you posted.

-AH

Post Writers’ Conference Hitch

Oh my goodness.  How am I supposed to get back to normal?  Attending my first writers’ conference in early May was a dream come true.  Really.  I learned so much more than I ever thought I would.  There is one little hitch though.  Now, I over-analyze everything I write.  Every sentence, practically every word.  It’s starting to get in the way of the plot because I am focussing too much on the words and structure.

So, exactly how am I supposed to get back to normal?  I mean, every time I write a few sentences, I start to think that they aren;t punchy enough or I have used the same word too many times or the structure isn’t right.  I am even finding myself fixing previously written text to accommodate what I learned at the conference.

Am I just over-editing?  Will I return to normal soon?  What am I supposed to do if all I think about is how mundane my writing must be?  Oh the conundrum!

As usual, writing things out, especially issues I have, seems to help me come up with solutions.  My first thought is to get back to writing and worry about the editing later.  Somehow I have to trust that my story is more important right now than which words I choose and how many times I use a word.  This has always been difficult for me, but now, trying to add in the nuances I learned about at the conference, is making me crazy!  Not to mention, the “Doubt Monster” is really tearing at what little confidence I have in my own writing abilities.  I almost feel as though I cannot write at all.

OK, ok, stop whining and practice not editing. See how that works out.  Hopefully I can return to some normalcy in my writing soon.

(also posted on She Writes)

Perfectly Placed Eye Lashes

I have a distinct appreciation for make-up, eye make-up to be exact.  I can get drawn in by the flawless application of color and lashes.  I look closely at the details. I focus on the closeups to see how the color was applied, where the shadows are, and how the lashes blend into the eyeliner.

smokeyeye1What has all this talk about eye make-up got to do with writing?  Nothing, on the surface; but if you think about it, it’s the same as writing a great story.  You draw your readers in with the flawless application of plot and characters.  Your readers will fall into the perfection of the scenes.  As a writer, I read other authors closely.  I scour the details, focus on the events, how the action is applied, and how the subplots blend into the main theme.  The meat of the story is in the details. It’s how I learn to write better.  It’s how I understand the structure.  The finishing touches, the satisfaction of the ending, reminds me of perfectly placed eyelashes.