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

Changes Afoot

You may see double entries of posts on my blog. I have transferred my other domain name (http://andreahunter313.com) to this site and when I imported all the posts, the duplicates I’ve been doing for the past year were included. No worries. Both domains now work to get to my posts! And I only have to put them up once! I will miss the cool theme I had with my self-hosted site but this will be much easier for me to handle. I appreciate your continued support!!

Mahalo nui loa (Thank you very much)!
AH313

Writing is NOT a Hobby?

It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is for me to abandon my writing to do something else — surf the social media sites, work on a bathroom remodel, write a presentation for an upcoming class, watch the news.  I have a wonderful new regimen for writing and it was working great, until I interrupted it with finishing my presentation for the class I am teaching in the fall.  Granted, the presentation needed to be finished, but during MY WRITING TIME set aside specifically for ME???????

I think I get so caught up in necessities and expectations that I sacrifice the one thing that means the most to me — my writing time.  So how is it that I can so easily give up my writing time to use for other purposes.  Well, if I knew that, I could stop it (couldn’t I?).  It makes me wonder whether writing is all that important to me after all.  How can I so easily sacrifice it to the banality of the day-to-day.

The reality of my writing life is that maybe, just maybe, I still don’t look at it as a career.  So often we are raised to believe that any artistic expression is a hobby, not a career.  As a hobby, it becomes secondary to the responsibilities of the day-to-day routine.  So I think I still have that in my mind, at the heart of the matter.  My writing, while I love it, is still a hobby to me and not a career.  So, how do I change that notion?  How do I reprogram my belief system to accommodate writing as a my career?  After all, I was a professional technical writer for most of my adult life.  Why is writing a novel any different? Hmmm.  I will have to ponder on that some.

 

-AH

Also posted on my other site at http://www.andreahunter313.wordpress.com.

Beat Yourself Bloody Writing, Plot Resolutions Will Come

I have been struggling with the “middle” part of my book for some time.  Spending a lot of time reworking the outline time and again.  Differing plot lines, subplots, new characters.  Nothing seemed to work.   Then, yesterday morning, I woke up and there it was: a new subplot that weaves in nicely, adds tension and suspense, resolves the forward movement of the main plot, and is perfectly legitimate to the story line.  Wow.  I emitted a sigh of relief and felt the surge of refreshed excitement.

As writers, we can be battered by our stories.  It’s no wonder that first novel is often never finished. You hit a wall and bang your head against it over and over till the blood is streaming down your face and you writhe in pain.  Then, without notice or ceremony, the wall just suddenly crumbles and the view beyond opens up new possibilities and resolutions! Graphic, yes; true, for me it’s a resounding YES! Fortunately, I have some great support and I am not one to give up.

Of course, you have to go through all this pain to allow the resolution to formulate. For me, some of this new subplot contains small elements of some ideas I came up with while outlining, repeatedly. So all that battering is not futile.  Just painful. You think you’re never going to come up with another decent idea, then wham! The idea hits you over the head and you feel better!  At least I do.  I know that all the work is worthwhile and not every idea will be great.  But it does keep your juices flowing so you can get to the good ideas.

So, be battered, be in pain, but don’t give up.  The writing is important and necessary.  The book is important and necessary.  So, stick with it and reap the benefits.  No matter what, continuing the writing keeps the idea mill working and the rewards will pay out!

-AH

(Also posted on my other blog: https://andreahunter313.wordpress.com)

Thursday Thoughts

Sometimes I think I will never have another idea for another novel or story or poem once I finish this project.  I understand this is a common thought among new writers. But a lack of ideas is not possible for writers or any creative artist, unless you wallow in your doubts and fears.

Have you ever noticed that when you are writing your mind begins to explore and more ideas follow?  Creativity is like you body, it needs exercise.  Unfortunately, I can go for long periods of time without writing anything, so I really notice that when I do get back on track, the ideas just begin to flow, and I write more and more.  For me, the trick is creating time to write.  I get so caught up in other life stuff that I don’t get to it every day.  I need to stop allowing that and make a promise to myself to carve out writing time, no matter what.  I know writers who work on their projects late at night or early in the morning (I do that on occasion) and they are prolific writers.  Then I see tweets from other writers who worry about the same thing as I do — will they ever have another idea?

Well, I think the amount of ideas you have is directly related to the amount of writing you do.  These prolific writers never seem to run out of ideas.  Creativity need exercise.  Case in point — this blog post.  I started with a kernel of an idea about 8 minutes ago, thinking I would finish this by tomorrow (Friday)  and now I am up to 272 words. I wrote almost 1200 words yesterday in a couple of hours. So, exercise pays off.

Now I do have to keep up with household and life things, but the lessons of creating time to create are well-learned.  In addition to the creative muscle getting stronger and more prolific, those endorphins kick in too and create happiness within.  Just like physical exercise. Hmmm. Could be on to something here?

More writing equals more creativity.  Let creativity overflow!

-AH

Note: This post also appears on my other blog site: https://andreahunter313.wordpress.com

I have to make my cupcakes…

…but I decided to write a little bit first. I am really no good at keeping up with my blog, but I do try.  I have been semi-retired for a week now and my days still go by so fast I hardly know what I’ve done. But, when I stop long enough to think about it, I have accomplished some things.

While I am not currently writing pages in my novel, I am thinking while I do other things.  I am happy to say I have completed an initial draft of my latest article. Now I am letting it sit, so I can go back and edit. I have also gotten my husband onto some social media and am working to create a blog for him.  Then there’s catching up with friends and family.  Been a long time since I sat down and had a cup of tea with my neighbor or lunch with my good friend who lives in Kapahi.

So, while it’s Valentine’s Day and I am not writing about love and flowers, we are going to a party tonight.  So I just thought I’d exercise my writing muscle and do a quick blog post before I go into the kitchen and make my cupcakes!

By the way… HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!

-AH