Getting unstuck

Okay.  Last post I talked about how to start the ball rolling when it came to getting from idea to actual prose.  This next post will deal with the Now what.

So you've written out your thesis sentence and expanded it into a couple interesting pages.  What's next?  You're not sure what to do, or where to take it.  Don't feel discouraged, this is normal, especially for the novice writer.

You just need a plan.

I personally don't buy the notion that some writers don't plan anything and just let fly at the keyboard.  While, in some instances this may infact occur, it doesn't lend itself to smooth editing and revising.  So how does one plan their novel?  The strategy I employ is being shared under the assumption that you're writing a fiction novel.

Again, I'm going to assume that you've established all of your characters and have developed each respective character arc.  Now it's time for the story itself, because as the old adage goes, It's all about the story!

I'm somewhat of a closet movie-nut.  And after I developed my story ideas, I came up with the plan to utilize a "story template" to implement before I began writing.  Sort of like a game plan before the game.  I know for me, it's super important that I know where it is I'm at while I write, or else I tend to get lost, or begin to contradict myself.

Then it hit me that my favorite movie had such a perfectly developed story arc and plot-line, that I employed its model, and replaced all the characters and motives and conflicts with those of my own.  The result was a much smoother and more accurate writing process. 

So don't ever be afraid to plan, or think that planning is passe, or that it means you're an amateur.  It doesn't.  It simply means that you're serious about writing a clear and flowing story that your readers will enjoy, and you'll end up saving time by having a focused blueprint at your disposal.

Until next time, write on!


It Always Starts Small

A fetus.  A mustard see.  A brick.  A step.  A word.

At first, everything has a modest beginning until ultimately growing into something complex and unique.  The same can be said with a story, or more specifically a novel.  If a new writer tries to write a book only thinking of it in its entirety, then the task suddenly becomes overwhelming.  But take it one sentence at a time, and it starts from a more manageable bit-sized form.

The majority of people wanting to write a book often remark, but I just don't have any good ideas.  I think that's because they're thinking of the whole novel - the entire, complex being that is the book.  Anyone can write a novel if they make the time, but more importantly, if they narrow down an idea into one sentence.

I have come to love using a thesis sentence when devising my stories.  The rule of thumb is to keep it down between 15-20 words.  The thesis sentence should encompass the main theme constant throughout the story.  A good example to show is a blurb from the movie MEMENTO.  This is a great example of a thesis sentence:  A man, suffering from short-term memory loss, uses notes and tattoos to hunt for the man he thinks killed his wife.

Yes, the above sentence was written after the movie, but it's a great example of how a story can be formed.  I'm sure the writer of the movie had an idea, started simple, and then expanded.  The same can be done for anyone.  Think of something, anything, something that you might find intriguing or fun to write about, then write a short sentence summing it all up.  After that, expand the sentence to a paragraph.  Then expand that paragraph to a page.  Then that page to a chapter.  Then that chapter to a novel.

See, it's that easy.  Lol!  But seriously, if you are serious about writing a novel, don't worry about the finished product until you've narrowed down the basic premise of your story.  Things will start to flow from there.


Write. Publish. Repeat.

It's June, and that means that I'm this close to epublishing my first book.  I can't wait!  And it couldn't come any sooner.

The things you have to deal with when you're a budding writer, one of them being your brain hurts a lot and for an extended period of time (the last 3 years).  Now all it wants to do is move on to my next book which I've been planning as I've been putting an end to my first one.

It's kind of a neat feeling, actually.  My brain, knowing that I'm not in the creation mode of my first book anymore, has switched gears and begun to work out the details for my next book.  It's like two parts of my brain are working simultaneously.  One part is revising and editing, while the other is planning character arcs and plot lines for the next book.

I'm never at a loss for things to do nowadays which is such a blessing for me.  I used to struggle to fill the void of time, but now writing has come to the rescue and I've never been busier or happier.  :D


Just watering my blog

Are you like me and find that blogging and Facebooking and Tweeting have become more time consuming than actually connecting in person with our friends?  Maybe it's just me, but how do these people do it?  Do they have families?  Do they have jobs?  Do they have lives??

I thought the advent of social networking was supposed to make everything easier, save time - you know, speed things up a bit.  But what we're seeing is the opposite, I think.  Now we don't have enough time to maintain all of our cyber pages that are floating around.  It's becoming more of a chore than a fun activity.

The reality is that my social networking yard is becoming like my actual yard.  If I neglect it and forget to cut it or water it or fertilize it, then it gets overgrown, becomes overrun with dandelions, and forces neighbors to move away from me.

If I want blog-neighbors, than I need to maintain my blog.  I need to be consistent with my posts and make sure that they're neatly written and appealing, then, maybe I'll attract more people to come over for a visit.

But that will have to wait for now.  I've got to go water my lawn.