Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Back to Basics

Yesterday, Lindi talked about writing the middle of the book. Heaven forbid any of us experience the dreaded "sagging middle." And that's not a reference to my waistline either :-) A-hem. . .anyway, so your in the middle of your book. You know what's going where. You know your scene. It's a good scene, but why isn't it working? Something about it just doesn't feel/sound right.

I've experienced that lately. Then I had one of those 3 AM duh! moments. You know, those times when you go, "Well, of course. Why didn't I think of that before?" This time I was reminded of scene and sequel. That circle of goal-->conflict-->disaster-->reaction-->dilemma-->decision-->goal--You get the picture. My scene didn't have a clearly defined goal. Once that was in place I could ramp up the conflict to the point of disaster, and so on and so forth.

I've heard many multi-published authors say, "you never stop learning," and they're right. Yet sometimes, it's not so much about learning as it is about remembering the basics.

One day, I was sitting at my desk struggling to pound out a mere paragraph. Every word seemed forced. I was frustrated to say the least. Time for a chocolate break. I keep a bag of Dove Dark Chocolate Promises in my desk drawer for such occasions, and this was definitely a chocolate moment.

As I removed the square from the foil wrapping and popped it in my mouth, I read the message on the wrapper. It said, "Don't think about it so much." I laughed so hard I nearly choked on my chocolate. At that moment, I knew God was speaking to me through that wrapper. He can use anything, you know :-) I taped that piece of foil to my computer monitor and it's still there.

Don't think about it so much. Stick to the basics and let your creativity soar.

On a side note, my post last week was about the rare snow event we had here in Texas and how I felt like God had brought it just for me. Well I'm here to tell you, God wasn't finished. Thursday afternoon, He knocked it out of the ballpark. We received 3 inches of snow, but not just any snow. These were some of the biggest, fluffiest flakes I've ever seen. They covered everything. Waiting at the school to pick up my sons, they were like tiny snowballs, exploding on impact. It was the most incredible sight. And as far as I was concerned, it was God showing me His Glory. Even more amazing, Dallas, only 15 minutes to our east, didn't see any snow.

Yep, God has a plan. And it's bigger and better than any of us can ever imagine.


  1. "Don't think about it so much." Love it, Mindy! :)

    I finished my manuscript the other day. (Yay!!) And now I'm reading it through. It's waaay too long, so I'm really being critical of each scene. On the scenes I'm thinking of cutting, I'm finding that there is some nugget in them that needs to be in the manuscript, but usually it's something I can insert somewhere else. It's not enough info to earn its own scene. Each scene has to earn its place in the book, has to earn its right to the page count.

    Yes, we keep learning and learning with each book! That's why we need to keep cranking them out. Don't beat a dead horse and work the same one over and over. Keep moving forward (preaching to myself here.)


  2. First things first. I LOVE Dove dark chocolate. I keep a bag in my refrigerator for all occasions!!
    Okay, that's out of the way....
    I sometimes start a scene having no idea where it's going or why I"m writing it. I was writing one last week....thinking this is the siliest scene. Why am I writing this? And bingo!! One thought led to another and so forth and I ended with a nice hook.
    Just keep on pounding the keys and like Dove says...don't think about it so much!!!