Writing Through Fear

“Write what disturbs you, write what you

This quote by Natalie Goldberg has gotten me thinking about my writing a lot lately. Where am I going with my work? What is my purpose in my writing? So many thoughts and questions.

The novel I’ve been working on is stalled. I’m not sure where to go with it. I’ve been reading Annie Dillard’s, “The Writing Life” and one of the her thoughts is that when this happens, something is fractured in the story. There is something wrong with it.

Am I being too nice in my writing? The main character in my novel is a teen who has lost everything, which as you can imagine, changes her world. Apparently as I’ve reached the halfway point, I have been helping her heal. This is a good thing in my day job but not so much for my writing. No one will want to read that.

I have a thought in my head that I’m not too sure where it came from. I am picturing one of my writer friends saying it. “Its my job to put my MC up in a tree and then throw rocks at her.”

It sounds funny but appears to be true.

So for the next few weeks I will be looking at my novel and my MC. I will be looking at characterization and plot. I actually have an outline that will still work, I just need to figure out where I became derailed. It will be interesting.

Do you write what disturbs you? Do you have the courage to write the deepest fears?

May Day

writer-605764_1280Today is a new day based on an old holiday meant for union. The holiday means little to today’s post. It was just a way to begin to discuss the things that have been on my mind for my life in the next couple of months. First a look back:

I’ve finished both of my challenges for April.

The A-to-Z Blog which was a challenge to write a blog post for each day of the alphabet. The result was posting six days per week on all manner of topics. It has been a great experience and I’ve learned a lot. I am excited to see how this challenge will help me as I continue with my writing life.

Camp NaNoWriMo was an official success. Camp NaNo, as you remember from previous posts, is a take-off from NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. During NaNoWriMo the goal is to write 50000 words in 30 days and is held in November each year. Crazy time but a good for growth.

Camp NaNo differs only in that each person is allowed to chose their own goals. Camp is held during April and July each year. My goal for this year was 20000 words working off my November novel. I accomplished my goal and am still working to finish the entire thing, hopefully by June. I’ll keep you posted.

Some goals I have set for myself for the months ahead:

1. I will finish my novel.
2. It is my intention to join in a flash fiction challenge in July. I love to write flash fiction but when I am working so much on blogging and my novel, my flash stories get pushed to the back burner.
3. My blog will go through some changes. Since I am relatively new at this whole process, I am still in growing mode. Look for some changes in the next few weeks.
4. One thing I’ve decided is that I will blog nearly daily. I’ve enjoyed the daily posts and it will be interesting to see how I do outside of a challenge with prompts.
5. I also hope to add in some of my own photography. I am very much an amateur but I like taking pictures and sharing them.

Wow! Once again I’ve taken on a lot. Having goals is incredibly helpful to me. It keeps me on track. I hope you can join me on this crazy journey.

What keeps you on track?

Ready, Set, Go…

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Today I outlined the last two novels in my trilogy that I never thought I would write as I originally thought it would be a stand alone novel. Its interesting the things that evolve when you write everyday.

I am gearing up for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo. At this point I am ready to write even though it doesn’t start for several more days. I have built worlds and even done some research. Not a lot but definitely more than I did for my original novel.

Before November I discovered an interesting way to outline to get started. I was anxious about attempting something as big as a novel, never having done it before. Generally, I write flash fiction and there is little need to plan out a story like that so this was big for me and I kept looking for all of those “secrets” to writing a novel. I wanted to be prepared. Somehow I stumbled onto Dan Wells through his youtube video’s. You can find them here: Dan Wells on Story Structure https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcmiqQ9NpPE

Through watching these (more than once) I was able to give myself a general outline or at least a direction to go in. It wasn’t hindering in the least, though my story has busted out of my original plan for it.

His basic premise is that you should have at least an idea for your story and always begin at the end. He states that you need to know where you are going in order to write how you get there. There is also a midpoint, a couple of plot turns and a couple of pinches on your MC that turn up the heat. I would recommend that you watch the entire series of five videos. I plan on watching them again before April gets here just to help get things moving again.

Whether you are a planner or a pantser (writing by the seat of your pants), having a good idea to begin with is probably a good place to start. If you are wondering where to go from there, check out Dan’s talks on Story Structure. It may help bring some of those thoughts that have been floating through your mind to order and the writing will flow from it.