Wednesday, April 6, 2016

IWSG: That Siren Muse


Don’t you just hate it when the book you’re committed to finishing isn’t the one that’s calling to your imagination? As you’re dutifully pounding away at chapters, scenes filled with other characters, chasing along other plot lines, are flirting in your head. They intrude upon your sleep, co-pilot your drive home from work, sneak into your idle moments when fingers drum aimlessly on the keys. Because your mind wants to go in another direction than your intentions.

I’m 75K into my WIP. So close I can taste the last page. So why can’t the next book in my rotation leave me the heck alone?

I used to just ignore those whispered snips of dialogue thinking I’d remember them when I began that first chapter of the next project. But by then, of course, those dynamic paragraphs were forgotten, those witty repartees, MIA.


To silence these taunting demons, I started doing something that had my OCD soul screaming. When the pieces of plot started talking . . . I wrote them down. Simple, you say. But not for this hardline start-to-finish gal. Post-It notes littered the inside of my purse. Half pages of dialogue started filling up my lunch hour at work. I opened a file and started filling it with sections of plot and action and scenes. And suddenly I had a third of that next book written! Out of order (shudder) but ready to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle (I like puzzles!)

Moral to self: When you’re on a roll, roll with it. Inspiration sometimes only knocks once. Don’t keep it standing out in the cold. Invite it in and put on more coffee.

How do you deal with those pesky plot bunnies?

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!


Twitter hashtag is #IWSG 

IWSG awesome co-hosts for the April 6th posting will be Megan Morgan, Chris Votey, Viola Fury, Christine Rains, Madeline Mora-Summonte, L.G. Keltner, Rachna Chhabria, and Patricia Lynne!

17 comments:

  1. Fantastic post! I keep telling myself I need to write more notes when inspiration hits, but like that comic, it's usually just as I'm falling asleep. :) Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

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    1. Then I forget where I put the notes . . .

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  2. I do exactly that. My next book always starts shouting at me when I get toward the end of the one I'm still working on.
    Susan Says

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  3. I must try that. Right now I am trying to work out in my head 5 books that will form a contemporary series. I have never written a series knowing I was going to and I thought this would be a far better start, figure out the characters, plots, etc. before I started first book- less glitches, right. Except it's proving depressing and very stressful to be thinking of five different plots at the same time. Your idea might lessen that. I am going to try it.

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    1. Suggestion from a series author - Start a series Bible- listing character with their description, when they're introduced and how they relate to plot and other characters, do a timeline: day of week, time of year, year events happened, etc. I'm always fumbling for eye color somewhere along the line or when he met she for the first time, or parents' names, etc.

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    2. Good tips. You should write a book. I do some of that and where mine will be a mother and four sisters, how they relate to each other and their mother. When I realized that family and some of the characters descended from my earlier Arizona historicals, I added a timeline. I started doing timelines when I was taking the books through too many years and lost track of the ages or where they were born. I think a contemporary (which this one will be) should be easier... ;)

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  4. Hah, this is so me! What, nearly finished with current book? What about THIS SUPER SHINY IDEA FOR THE NEXT ONE?? I do what you do - write everything down in a separate file so the moments of inspiration aren't lost, then force myself back to the less shiny project until it's done :)

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  5. Some of my best ideas come in the middle of the night - and like a ghost, disappear with morning's light unless I get up & jot them down when they occur. Not conducive to a good night's sleep, but it's the only way I can remember them!
    Another great post, Nancy! I've learned so much from you. Many thanks for doing what you do and continuing to offer advice & inspiration to others. :)

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    1. Post Its on the bedside table! Saves stubbed toes and tripping over cats on the way to the office in the dark!

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  6. The muse/inspiration can be wicked sometimes, so what you are doing is perfectly normal and acceptable. Post it notes is the way to go. Better a jumbled up manuscript than nothing at all. I have done the same as you, written bits and pieces of one story while working on another.

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium

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    1. I guess it helps to be a Gemini, too!

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  7. I would not even blink if you said you opened a split screen and wrote them simultaneously. You're super woman!

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    1. LOL! The ultimate right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. I need a bigger monitor!!

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  8. Making use of dropbox, I take ideas for stories and write them down and save them for later. If I think of a scene that just stays with me for a little bit, I write down either as much detail of the scene I see in my head, or actually write it. I know I will forget by the time I need those ideas. I have a lot of folders with ideas waiting for me to use them, most of which I have forgotten. Without looking, I don't know what is there, but when I do look, I'll have quite a lot of ideas to choose from.

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