Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Amazing Power of Research

In the process of editing and re-working my NANO novel, I kept getting stuck on certain plot situations. My imagination was working to fill in the gaps, but I feared I was pulling too much from embedded movie images (a downside of writing so much, so quickly).

I needed more accurate images, information and knowledge about the medieval world (for example, warfare descriptions and methodologies, and what life in a rich medieval city was like). I “stumbled” on the Byzantines and their capital, Constantinople. What I have learned and discovered is amazing and delighting and fearsome and…

I am so excited! My work is in a shambles. But, I have back story, history, and information to stir my imagination as I put some pieces back in a different order, as well as creating new pieces in this very complex puzzle known as a novel.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

And they lived happily ever...can I get back to you on that?

I've been out of the writing frame of mind since Nanowrimo. I was so sick at the end of November that when I gasped across the finish line, I just lay there on the ground waiting for myself to feel like getting back up.

The problem is that I never did.

So now I have a Nano novel of 50k plus words with no ending. I can't tell you how irritating that is to my kids, who have been waiting over a month now for the next installment. They got pretty used to picking up my binder of work-in-progress printouts that were being produced with happy regularity by myself as I was forced to kick out 1700 words a day. To suddenly have nothing new to read was trying. Fortunately John Flanagan came out with a new Ranger's Apprentice book so they scuffled over that for a bit while I was waiting for creative juices to spurt out somewhere.

Still nothing.

I don't know about you, but I tend to take the course of least resistance. That means that I'm drawing more than writing because it happy requires no conscious thought on my part. It's not really procrastinating.

Okay, so it is procrastinating, but in a sneaky productive way, because it does nothing to finish my book. So it is with a sigh, knowing that I must complete a task that I don't feel like doing, that I lay aside my 6B drawing pencil and instead pick up my pen/laptop to write something each day. It won't be inspired, but I hope by the end of February, it will be done.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

No to resolutions—yes to goals

Resolutions, it seems, have become passé. I don't know about you, but the word resolution causes me to immediately conjure up the image of a ball and chain in my mind. Perhaps it is because resolutions are usually New Year's desires that are 99% likely to go unfulfilled that they are so distasteful. Anyway, I'm not resolving to do anything in 2012.

I find goals, however, to be another thing altogether. I like goals. They feel achievable, and this being January, there have been lots of writing websites with encouraging goal (and resolution) ideas. The first four are from DiYMFA (Do-It-Yourself Writing Degree), but I found other great articles through the Writers Knowledge Base. If you want more on writing goals (and even writing resolutions), you're much better off using their search engine created just to help you find articles on writing than you are trying to Google.


: ) Beth

Friday, January 6, 2012

Three words

For some reason, January reminds me of standing at the top of a high mountain from which I can see far ahead. It's a beautiful view, even though the details are misted in haze. It's 2012, stretching before me and entirely unexplored but beckoning enticingly.

With that image in mind, during our first writing meeting of this year, each member was asked to give three words that could describe her goals for the year ahead. Here are our individual three word choices:

Laura—persistence, finalize, inspire
Beth—consistency, fun, explore
April—adventure, peace, progress
Christine—read, write, achieve
Enyth—write, gather (ideas), organize

I have to admit, I almost chose chocolate as one of mine, but with only three words max, I decided to go with more substantial choices. How about you? What are your three definitive words for 2012?