ROW, ROW, ROW Your Words (Sunday Update)


Well, well, here we are again. I’ve had so many thoughts about blog posts this week, and haven’t actually written any of them. I have no good excuse for that, so I’m just going to move right along…

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that understands that you have a life, and thank goodness for that. Let’s see how this week has been going:

I’m still editing… kind of. Until I finish getting feedback, I’m hovering in the “festering thoughts” phase, and not actually writing. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? “Brewing” would also do, as would “cautious approach and retreat.” I have this story that needs a bit of fixing, but every time I try to sit and approach the problems head-on, they fight back. I have an idea, I try to examine it, and I realize that it won’t work. Everything I change has a ripple effect, changing other aspects of the story that were working just fine, or even changing the basic message and theme of the story.

Not so much what I was looking for.

But I think I’ve got a new approach to try. See, the problem with the problems is that most of them are at the beginning of the story. An ending would be easier to change; a beginning affects everything that comes after. When I start at the beginning and consider a big change, it doesn’t work… so I’m going to try working backwards. Start with the smaller problems and single-scene problems later in the story, then ask, “what led to this?”

It’s still not going to be easy, but at least it’s less intimidating, and sometimes just looking at things from another angle can shake a person’t thoughts up enough that a solution becomes clear. I’m also not doing and “sit and think” brainstorming sessions; it’s too frustrating, and I’m easily distracted. Right now I’m letting things percolate while I’m resting, walking, doing the dishes, etc. This works better for me, as the thoughts float around and come together like pieces of a puzzle. You know, one of them there floaty-like puzzles.

…It’s probably for the best that I’m not fixing similes and metaphors right now, eh?

So there’s my editing update.

Actually, that’s all I have to update. Oh, for those of you following along at home, I did get to the doctor on Friday, and got my prescription renewed. My hip’s almost better, and I’m back to walking the dog when I can, so here’s hoping that my mood, motivation, and creativity are all back to normal before school starts. Why? Because, my darlings, both of my kids are going to be in school in the mornings, and that means that if I can find the energy and sense of purpose I need, I’ll have time to sit and write.

It’s a little intimidating, actually. No more excuses. If I can manage to keep up on housework and everything else during the rest of the day, I can pretty much make writing a part-time job.

True, it’s a part-time job that pays absolutely nothing, but we’ll just stick a pin in that and let it rest for now. Not the point.

Wish me luck.


About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with six cats, two dogs, and just the right amount of humans. USA Today bestselling author of the Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy), Into Elurien, and Vines and Vices. Writing dark, decadent, and deadly Urban Fantasy as Tanith Frost. View all posts by Kate Sparkes

8 responses to “ROW, ROW, ROW Your Words (Sunday Update)

  • Green Embers

    Oh good luck! I really can’t wait to read your story. I recall you mentioning dragons!

    Working backwards is an excellent idea. For one of my stories that I had to re-write, I just split it up in chunks and rewrote those stand alone. It worked okay but one scene I pretty much just cut down to nothing and I still hated it. 😦

    I am waiting for some edits to come back to me and then I’ll see what I have to do but I have a feeling that scene will be… painted red, lol.

  • Beth Camp

    I’m using ‘micro-scenes’ to get started. Something happens in the micro-scene (cause), that leads to a series of reactions (effects) — the character feels something, has a reflexive reaction, a rational action, and then speech. I’m just starting a new novel, and somehow this approach is helping me get into my characters and develop the story bit-by-bit. Later, I know the writing will pick up intensity and direction, but these early days are tough. So too, starting in the middle or the end is a helpful idea. Anything to shake up the story and let it fall out in a new arrangement. And you have that luxury of morning time. Yes!

  • L. Marie

    Kate, you can do this!!!!! ‘Nuf said.

  • alberta

    Def. you can do this:) working backwards has worked a couple of times with me – and taking ‘parts’ and cleaning them up – whatever helps I say:) – time to write yay – don’t you have those glasses that mist out the housework? they are very good 🙂 all the best for coming week

  • dleonard

    You’re so diligent and industrious Katie! I too am making progress on all (or at least most) fronts, but my blogs have definitely suffered. I too have faced the spectre of the ripple effect with changes in a long ms. It generally not as much work as you fear that it’s going to be…but it does considerably increase the risk of error (ie: it never occurred to me that THAT was affected too!) If in doubt, go for it, then worry/curse about it while you’re in the process – because by then, you’re already half done and it’s too damned late to go back and or NOT do it..

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