Back on Track

In the midst of the day-to-day, I am back on track writing in the early morning hours. We are experiencing our usual September humid-heat wave, so it’s been really warm in the mornings. This morning, I took my laptop out to the lanai and wrote as the sun came up. Very inspiring!

While I am trying to flesh out one of the subplots of my novel, I finally feel like I am heading in the right direction. The main plot is starting to take shape and I understand what needs to happen.

I had a realization this morning that changed everything for my MC. She will be able to make more sense of her main goal despite the chaos happening around her. I’m feeling so much better about the middle of my WIP now. Phew!

Back on track — writing and plot. Yes!!

-AH

Also posted on my other blog site at https://andreahunter313.wordpress.com 

Sunday Synopsis – Moving Forward

Another month has passed and I am so involved in this hula conference that I had, again, stalled in working on my novel. Of course, I am beating myself up about it and so my husband — bless his heart — reaches out to a friend of ours who is a published author, asking for any advice she might impart to help me get back and stay on track with my project. After all, I have been working on this project on and (mostly) off for a few years now.

Anyway, our husbands are band mates and a week ago, after a gig, everyone went over to their place for a small celebration of her husband’s birthday. During that little soiree, she and I had a nice talk and she told me that she had worked for 8 years on her début novel. She was having a difficult time writing during the day because they were running their business and she was just overwhelmed with interruptions. Finally, she decided enough was enough and she started a new routine. She got up at 4 am and wrote for two hours every morning, seven days a week, until she finally finished her book. By 6 am, she was ready to prepare for her work day.

She saw the look of horror on my face and quickly explained that, for her, it was the best time of the day because there was no distraction. Nothing going on. No phone calls, no email, nothing.  In that time, her mind was fresh and her characters talked to her and began revealing their story to her.  There was no struggle getting the words down.  After a while, she would wake up automatically, right at 4 am, looking forward to her time with her characters.

So, I resolved to give it a whirl.  I mean, what could it hurt, right?  It’s not like I’m doing anything but sleeping that time of the morning.  Last Monday, I awoke at 5 am — no need to get up as early as 4am because my workday starts later than hers — got out my computer, and in the darkness, started to write.  The first morning yielded about 300 words, the next 600, the 3rd day I wrote more than 800 words!  It has been seven days now and I have added an astounding 3500 words and 9 pages to my novel!  The last two mornings, I have awakened at 4:43 — same time both mornings — before my alarm goes off at 5am.

When I arise, I get the cats fed, my hot tea ready and turn on the computer.  By 5:20, I am writing.  This new routine is amazing and deeply gratifying.  Of course, I need to readjust my day a little and I usually take about an hour nap late in the afternoon, but the point is that I am fresh and ready to write in the early hours of the morning, every morning.  And my novel is progressing.

Wonderful what a little willingness to make a change and create a new routine can do.  I am forever grateful for the advice I received from my friend.  We are celebrating another birthday this evening after the band plays their gig and I look forward to telling her just how much of a positive impact this new routine has made for me!

-AH

(Also posted on my blog at http://andreahunter313.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)

New Freelance Writer Blog

I have added a new blog to my repertoire today… Being a freelance writer as well as a fiction writer, I decided to add my freelance writer blog under my real name and not my nom de plume. After all, the two genres are separate and I am certainly not the first to write under more than one name.

I plan to post today, so please visit me at http://kauaidaze.wordpress.com. I look forward to see you there as well as here.

-AH

New Blog

I have added a new blog to my repertoire today… Being a freelance writer as well as a fiction writer, I decided to add my freelance writer blog under my real name and not my nom de plume. After all, the two genres are separate and I am certainly not the first to write under more than one name.

I plan to post today, so please visit me at http://kauaidaze.wordpress.com. I look forward to see you there as well as here.

-AH

 

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

Differing Writing Styles

I am one of those people who writes for different venues.  I have been a technical writer of manuals and policy docs, a poet, a prose writer of fiction and non-fiction.  Each style of writing has different conventions and requirements.

I write about this now because I am struggling with switching between styles and how this affects my writing projects.  Because I am writing two different projects right now (a new article and my novel) I am having trouble shifting.  I also have such a long history in technical writing that the conventions of that style leak into all my prose.

As I write my novel, I notice my prose can become quite succinct.  This style is great for a manual or a procedure, but it doesn’t lend itself to creating the space in which the plot is taking place. So, I find myself adding more scenery and more action to the chapters as I go back to reread them.  I think this is one of the reasons it is taking me so long to write it.

As I work on my article I shift between writing the hard facts and setting the scene so the reader can get the feel of the place while understanding the subject.  While my background lends itself to writing the facts, I continually struggle with setting the scene.  I wonder if I am getting to poetic or vivid in my descriptions and if that takes away from the facts.  I have so much to learn about writing articles.

I know there are others out there who write for different venues.  How do you handle the switch between styles?

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Lemony Snicket Launches Librarian Prize

Something interesting… Librarians play an important role in our society and those that take that noble career seriously, aiming toward giving everyone the opportunity to access the works of our peers and predecessors, the history and science of our world, deserve recognition:

Lemony Snicket Launches Librarian Prize.

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

Characters Must Grow

Sometimes, rather than writing, I allow myself to get caught up in the visuals.  I am doing that now.  Changing the look of my blog sites, adding widgets, changing themes.  It’s another way that I express my creative side. But I also think it’s important to allow my blog site to reveal who I am, as a writer, as a human being.  I change, I am not static. So, my blog sites change.

As I think about real life change, I realize that story characters change also.  I received a new issue of WRITER’S DIGEST the other day and one of the titles struck me: “The Science of Character Change.” The caption reads “If your protagonist doesn’t evolve, your story will die on the page.” Oh my gosh! How scary is that?

So, of course, I start to wonder if my heroine is too bland.  How can she grow and “evolve” during the course of the story?  And all sorts of scenarios start to spill out.  Then, there’s the antagonist.  I have struggled with his outcome.  But I realize I have a few different ways he can change also. So I begin to relax a bit.

Once calmed down again, I remember that I know that characters have to change in some way during the course of the story. It’s the natural course of events.  Of course, there are those characters that won’t change, but the main characters must.  Their development makes the story real, plausible.

There are so many facets to writing a good story that others want to read.  It’s a wonder that any of us write at all. Character growth and plot development, sub plots, continuity, tying up loose ends, editing, re-editing.  A good story idea is not easily put to the page.  The thought and planning that goes into the story idea to manifest it on the page is daunting, phenomenal, exciting, gratifying, and enjoyable.  We writers love what we do and it’s so worth the effort. Keep on writing!

-AH

(also posted on http://andreahunter313.com)