Monday, September 19, 2011

It's Decided

In a recent post I mentioned that I was having trouble focusing on which WIP to mess with next. I've been waffling around for a while now. However, I've made my decision on which one to focus on. I had pretty much made up my mind almost two weeks ago, but I still didn't really get started on it. I just let the main character and her story simmer in my mind for a little.

Last Sunday I presented my critique group with a short story for a contest. It was a good thing, too. I feel like I'm a little too involved with Midnight Raynne at the moment and I need to get some distance. So, I've put it on the shelf for a little. I hope to come back to it soon. I really see the potential there. I just feel like I'm too invested at the moment and can't see through the haze. That was part of what made me decide to move on to another project.

Back to the meeting. While there one of the members, Kimmy, mentioned a book that she uses to help her with her manuscripts. My wonderful parents gifted it to me and it arrived in the mail this past week. I've officially pulled Barely There off the shelf and started moving forward with it, using this book. The book? First Draft in 30 Days by Karen Wiesner.

I try to stay organized when I write, but somehow I still feel scatterbrained. I have binders for every project I'm working on or gathering research on to start later. Yet, I don't outline. I detest outlining. I can't stand to sit down and outline. Up until now I've been using Blake Snyder's Beat Sheet from Save the Cat! to do a sort of outline. It gives me the freedom to change things as I want. Yet, it doesn't tie me down to a scene by scene outline. I've tried that and it didn't really work for me. I veered so far from the outline that it was pointless to even spend time working on it.

So what's different this time?

Well, I've already started Barely There. I had the idea simmering last fall and started writing it in October of last year. Then NaNoWriMo came along and I ditched it to rewrite Stone Magic from scratch. It had been driving me mad, much like Midnight  has been doing lately. Then I went back to it in January only to hurt my wrist and be out of writing commission for a while. Then Midnight Raynne popped into my head. I've been really wanting to get back to Barely There, but I just seem to be busy working on other projects.

This past week when my copy of First Draft in 30 Days arrived I went right to work reorganizing my information. I now have a spiral notebook with all of my character sheets, scene sketches, and plot sketches in it. I've been working on it for days trying to get everything just right. I started to notice something while I was working on these character sketches. I don't know if it was because I've had this particular story simmering for so long or because I've already started it, but I could see other scenes springing into being as I wrote my character sketches.

I'm itching to get writing, but I'm also determined to follow the method in First Draft in 30 Days. I still have more work to do before I can get back to the writing. Hopefully my critique group will get to see the first chapter or two at our next meeting.

Your Turn -> Do you find you need to approach your writing process differently occasionally?


  1. Hi Heather! I also bought "First Draft in 30 Days." I read through most of it, but decided to just use some of the worksheets and such. I knew that if I got too wrapped up with everything that I would be exhausted by the time I started actually writing. But I admire you for sticking with it! I'm excited to share my writing and really excited to see what you come up with. See you at the next meeting! =)

  2. Hi Christine, Thanks for dropping by. Since I wrote this blog post I took a little detour. I am definitely not sticking to the time line at all either. But, I'm using a bunch of the worksheets. Some I've left off, because I don't need them right now with this book.

    I can't wait to start reading your work! See you next month. :-)