Posts Tagged writing

Moving Forward or Standing Still?

NOT Moving Forward

I feel very embarrassed about this posting. Like when writing an old friend that you’ve neglected to write for a long time and feel guilty about not contacting.  All good intentions have failed to keep you in touch with the one(s) you care about.

It’s been a month since I last posted, something I’ve neglected to do during the month of June. And yet, it was almost expected with all I had going on: a sixteen week class crammed into four, various writing group meetings and workshops, SoonerCon21, work deadlines, etc. Yet, does that really make up for not writing my postings here? Maybe, maybe not.

I hate getting all maudlin and guilty over things, so we’ll just move on, shall we?

I know the reason I haven’t posted is that this blog is about my progress with writing my first novel. Since I didn’t work on my novel this month, it only stands to reason why I haven’t posted.

Well, my first class this summer is over, although I have another online class this month. In addition, I still have my magazine articles to crank out and another writing conference planned for this month. However, it should definitely be a slower month, allowing me to get some writing done on my novel.

I don’t feel June was a waste, as far as my novel goes. I found myself learning some things in class that will be invaluable to continuing my book. So while I may not have written any further, the process continues despite the lack of words recorded.

At the end of May, I found myself floundering with planning and figuring out where my novel should go next; I had no idea where my plot was going or how it would end. I still don’t. However, I gained some tools in class to help me with this and I can’t wait to try it out.

For instance, in my Sci-Fi/Fantasy class we studied and practiced using the three-act structure to flesh out a short story, beginning, middle and end. Exploring the use of this basic structure cemented a process in my mind and helped me to overcome the obstacles I was encountering. I have to admit I work better with a plan or structured environment. This framework only helped me to get past my mental block and continue on.

When it came to critiquing, I could see how I had improved in my writing, which was a great encouragement. I wasn’t perfect, but I wasn’t hearing basic mistakes I had heard in past workshops. Now it was more about “voice” and “setting the tone” type comments.

Therefore, I may not have written anything more for my book, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t working on some important tools I’ll need to make it a success. Therefore, in a way I was working on my novel all along.

What I came away with this month is this…even if you aren’t writing that doesn’t mean you aren’t still pushing forward toward your goals. Without my class, I’m not sure I would be able to move on with my story.  Even when you feel like you are standing still, you may find you actually have moved forward.

One writing milestone I have to report is my debut as a Freelance Journalist in the July issue of Edmond Outlook magazine, a local Edmond, OK magazine. I have so psych’d to be published and have a job that utilizes my writing skills. Writing is writing, right? It’s great seeing my byline in print! I have four articles in the July issue. Find them on pages 18-20 and 24 of the online digital edition. While I’ve found myself enjoying doing news articles, I retain my ambitions to write one or more books. But it’s nice to get paid to do what I love!

Check out a great blog post I recently read. I think you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Fighting for my writing life by Suddenly Jamie

Happy Writing!

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Allergies, Bananas & Dramatic Suspense

Imagination At WorkWhat do allergies, bananas and dramatic suspense have in common? Well, read on to find out…

Quite often I find myself watching or reading a news article and asking myself “what if?” What if I put my characters through this or that? What if this happened to them? What would happen next? How would they react or overcome this problem? Where would it take my storyline? Best of all, how would it create tension or drama in my story?

I’ve seen quite a few things on TV lately about peanut allergies. I didn’t really pay much attention since I don’t have that problem myself. That is, not until I had my own allergic reaction to bananas last night. This got me thinking about using something similar either food or some other type of allergic reaction in my novel.

Think about it. It would add several admirable elements to an exciting story. Tension, protagonist bonding, drama; these are important elements in any great novel. There are many ways to do this and there are ideas that surround us on a daily basis that can provide the fuel for the ideas we use to create this dramatic feel.

For my own novel, which is Sci-Fi/Fantasy Romance, it got me thinking how I could use some type of allergy idea and if it would fit. Despite an advanced technological society, if you are not located someplace with access to it, you could still perish without human intervention. My protagonists are traversing a jungle to reach the main city. While they have medical and technical advances, they are far from civilization. So, an allergy could fit in to my story very well. I have the setting to create tension with this idea.

This idea can also create a bonding experience between my main characters. It is an opportunity to build their relationship and rely on each other for survival.

We’ll see how I use it…or not. My brain is perking as we speak. These situations can provide some much needed tension and drama. The possibilities are endless. This just goes to show, there are ideas permeating our surrounds every day. All we have to do is keep our eyes open and our imaginations humming.

By the way, I promised more relationship article links. Here’s one that just popped up today.

15 Things Men Really Wish We Knew

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