Saturday, July 23, 2011
My blog on writing
I've taken the Magazine writing for Children's Magazines course offered by the Institute of Children's Literature and learned a lot even though I never sent off any fiction or articles to magazines for publication. I haven't even entered any contests. I read somewhere this year that contests were not good for the creative soul or something that led me to believe that. I'm basically slothful and any excuse is good enough for me.
During March break, I read that if you write something like 1663 words a day that you could write a novel in 100 days. I started writing a novel. It is coming out as an adult novel, not racy, but the protagonist is in her 40's. Work and life have gotten in the way of writing as I suspect it does for a lot of would be authors but I've managed to plunk out 20 000 words or 81 pages so far.
After having written a few chapters, I realized that writing down a bit of a plan would be wise. I wanted to make a sort of road map or guide that I could follow without being overly strict with myself. I allow myself to go down sidestreets and country roads while continuing to travel in the general direction of my plan.
I put down general ideas for the chapters on 30 some odd 3" by 5" index cards. I used index cards because I can flip through them and rearrange them if needed. When I first did this, I layed them out on a big bed all around me so that I could get a visual of the story which flows through 2 timelines. I didn't want to get lost.
When I sit down and write, I whip out my index cards and follow what needs to be written. It has helped me from suffering from the blank page syndrome so far.
I've created a setting which I love and characters which I enjoy. Last night, I read that everyone in a story wants something. I love that. My next exercise will be to go over my character studies and figure out want everyone wants. It seems pretty clear to me where my protagonist is headed but I need to find motivation for my other characters.
I registered for a book writing course with the Institute of Children's Literature because I love kid's lit. I teach middle grades and I'd love to write the kinds of books my students would love to read. I have 2 years to finish a kids' lit novel and get into a revised and publishable shape.
So here I am blogging about writing instead of writing this morning. That's just as bad as talking about writing. Time for another coffee while my partner is still asleep. I need to get out my index cards and plonk away at my keyboard.