Tag Archives: stories

The Next Big Thing (and the Pain of Beginning)

I’m going to keep this short, because I have places to be. Things to do. People to create.

Yep. Starting a new project today. This one is a story concept that came to me as I was falling asleep one night back in the fall (summer? I dunno), and I somehow hung onto it until morning. I made notes and had to set it aside to get Sworn finished and then to participate in the Skeleton Key book series. No regrets about either of those things, obviously, but I’m SO glad to finally be getting to this one.

And yet… It’s always hard to start. No matter how much preparation I do, how solid my outline is, how well I think I know my characters, or how excited I am about this story, it’s hard. My brain wants to procrastinate.

One more cup of tea.

I should call the insurance company about the thing and probably make that optometrist appointment I’ve neglected for three years.

I should work on that character’s motivations more.

I could start tomorrow…

Nope. I’ve done this enough times to know that it won’t be easier tomorrow. That blank page is going to be intimidating no matter how prepared I am. My characters are going to surprise me and take the story places I didn’t expect, even if I plan every scene down to fill-in-the-blanks level.

It’s not going to come out the way I want it on the first draft if I start it today, tomorrow, or two weeks from now.

And the best way to get over this fear is to just start writing.

Wish me luck.

Screenshot 2016-03-07 08.51.12

 


Notebooks

Confession: If I could choose a store to have a shopping spree in, a good stationery store just might top my wish list.

Further confession: Honestly, I would accept Staples/Business Depot.

I love notebooks. I try not to buy more than I will use, but they make me so happy. A nice pen is always a great mood-booster, too, but notebooks…  *sigh*. A new notebook is just a tiny world of infinite possibility, isn’t it?

This is me trying to cut down:

20130212-112525.jpg

(AND wearing awesome argyle socks. Does that count as successful multitasking?)

I have more… my journal is in the bedroom, and the quotations notebook has gone off on a magical adventure someplace else. There’s another book for notes on things my friends like, and the one I keep in my purse in case inspiration (or a grocery-list related emergency) strikes. All we need is these, though, if we’re talking about writing.

I do all of my actual writing on the computer. My hands can’t keep up with my brain when I’m writing longhand, and there’s also the fact that I’m just going to have to type it up later, anyway.

For everything else, there’s notebooks.

I can’t make notes and plans on a computer. Tried it, hated it, couldn’t make my brain process the results. Something about having a pen in my hand opens my imagination up in a different way. I’m not saying that my method will work for anyone else, but I always like insights into how other people work, so I’m throwing mine out there. Ready?

Let’s start with the little purple one- it should be beside my bed for middle-of-the-night inspiration, so I don’t have to much up my journal with that stuff. Right now it’s blank. Moving on.

The big ones: The one with the green stripes on the left is for expanding on ideas that have been jotted down elsewhere- short stories get their outlines in there, and the back section has concept, plot, and character notes for another novel that I won’t be getting to for a while. I like to try to focus on one thing at a time (though short stories do make a nice break when other work is getting frustrating), so this is a place for the other ideas to rest and incubate, kept safe until need them. I would definitely forget them otherwise, even the good ones.

Next over is…  Oh, that’s my notes on Bound- plot notes, mostly, and random ideas that did or didn’t make it into the most recent draft. Brainstorming, notes I make while reading it over (AGAIN), notes I’ve had from my Beta readers, random doodles, and anything I just need to jot down while I’m working- wouldn’t want to forget that one horse’s name, or exactly how many mer-children there were running around that one night, would we?

The one with the orange stripes is very important, and needs to be replaced. It’s everything about my fictional world- geography, history, politics, laws and theories of the magic system, animals and plants that live there, geology, characters and their relationships, notes on names I might use some day, character arcs and plot planning, what’s going on elsewhere while my characters are living out their stories (but only if it might apply to future works. I’m not obsessive, guys, jeez). It’s useful, but it’s out-of-date. I started this book during the first draft of Bound, and so much has changed. Every main character has a different name from what he/she started with. Ditto for most towns, provinces, and one of the two principal countries involved. Rowan’s much more competent than she was in the beginning, Aren’s more eviler* at the beginning, especially if you factor in the prologue (which we’re not, of course…). It’s time for a do-over on this one.

The fancy blue one is for Torn what the zig-zaggy one was for Bound, which right now means plot notes, new characters, and notes from my read-through of what I got done during NaNoWriMo last November (which I don’t even count as a first draft, but it’s a fabulous outline/place to mess around and figure things out).

That’s it. That’s my system. For the actual writing I use my little acer netbook and Scrivener (which is a great writing program- anything that doesn’t organize in chapters and let me move scenes around drives me bonkers, now). Oh, but I use Yarny for short stories… I don’t know why, they’re just a whole different game.

As for this guy…

20130212-115449.jpg

…I don’t know what that one’s for yet. It’s my new favourite notebook (and has unlined paper, wheeee!), which means that I refuse to mark it up with notes or drawings. We’ll have to wait and see; I just wanted to show it off. LOOK HOW ADORABLE THAT DRAGON IS!

 

*really? Spellcheck will accept “eviler” as a word? Huh.


Anastasia Writes

politics, engineering, parenting, relevant things over coffee.

Beth Camp

Writer of historical fiction and teller of tales . . .

rogerbloomsfield

An Aspiring Author's Adventure

TBN Media

Life, writing, books, dragons- not necessarily in that order. Home of USA Today bestselling Fantasy author Kate Sparkes.

Allie Potts Writes

Author, Writer, & Inventor of Worlds

Ultimately Useless Stories

If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. ~Lord Byron

The Wordy Rose

"Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing." - Benjamin Franklin

Shan Jeniah's Lovely Chaos

Finding Yessings and Blessings in Lifes Messings!

Little Rittwolf's Book Blog

I thought having my own blog would help me....Squirrel!....stay more focused. I could be wrong.

The Sword of Air

Stunning new multitouch iBook by breakthrough author R.J Madigan

CHOUETT

Read it! 📖 Spark it! ✨

Benjamin Wallace Books

Books written by Benjamin Wallace

Denise D. Young

Wild Magic. Wild Stories. Wild Souls.

chestnut book blog

Read. Recommend. Revel.

B E L I E V E 🦋Life is Never Fair

I gather strength from life’s storms -Jonathan L Huie

inkedrainbowreads.wordpress.com/

LGBT Book Reviews, Cover Reveals & More! We are a group designed to help promote and review LGBT et al books. We were created out of seeing a need and wanted to have that need filled. We pride ourseles of having opinionated reviews that are unique and helpful to the author. Welcome to a world of the best LGBT et al books out there!

Dionne Lister - Author

I love sharing my stories, but I wish they wouldn't keep me awake at night.

Avid Reviews

Fantasy and Sci-Fi Reviews For Both Self-Published and Traditionally Published Books

Author Jen Wylie's Blog

Welcome to my mind... Blog for fantasty author Jen Wylie