Sunday, November 15, 2009

What I've Learned...

Christy here & Happy Sunday to you... It's supposed to be a beautiful day here in Georgia. We will be rain free and that's good news this year.

Today I wanted to share some things I've learned about myself since I started writing. You may be able to relate and I'd love to read about your experiences.

I write best when it's quiet. Distractions are distractions and I don't get much in depth writing done when there's background noise, child and/or hubby running about causing that background noise. I long for early mornings before everyone rises or snippets of time when every one's at work or school and I can steal a few moments in front of the computer to compute.

I envy those of you that can shut others out for a while. You're the type of person who can work in the middle of Starbucks, in the middle of your children playing in the evening, in the middle of anywhere that involves other people and potential distractions.

#2 The First Draft is supposed to be bad.
I've realized the first draft must be written to know where you are going with the story. Then, you review the story and see where it's lacking. Where are the low points? Where could characterization be stronger? Is setting present throughout? Does setting support the scene? Do I need more research about the town, the issue or theme within my story?

I think writing the first draft, going wherever you want with the story, will help you get it out of your system. Especially if you write by the SOTP. Write whatever comes to mind. Don't worry about word count or if the house you're targeting doesn't allow such scenes, language, etc. The point is to get it down on paper, the initial scene in your mind. It's okay if you tell the whole story. You can figure out how to "show" it in the revised version.

At some point, we Pantzers must get organized, especially when you realize there's a part of your first draft that doesn't flow. We've all been there.

Recently, I've learned the more research needed for a book the more plotting is important. One thing can't happen before another and if you haven't plotted diligently enough and haven't researched enough, someone is going to call you on it. Better plot heavily now than have an error pointed out after the book is in print.

#4 Procrastination is Fear

I haven't found a solution for this one yet, but I suppose the first step to conquering is admitting you have a problem and facing it. Now, who's got a cure?

I've learned more things than this, but in my Thera-flu medicated induced fog(that I'm still in, carried over from last weekend), this is all I can share today.

But, how about you?
Have you faced a challenge, accomplished something important - whether writing or otherwise - and took away something valuable?


  1. I've learned that those who plot must learn to pantze around...especially in the highly charged emotional scenes. I've discovered I like plotting better, but those emotional scenes must be character driven so I have to let my character tell me what to do not the other way around.

  2. Now I remember why we're twinkies. Ugh! Like you, I need quiet. I can't even write to music, no matter how low it is. Yeah, yeah, likewise with 2, 3, & 4. I can't tell you how much I'd love a month ALONE in a remote cabin. Do you realize how much I could accomplish? Sigh. But since that's not happening, and I DO want to be a writer, I guess I'll have to adapt.

  3. I get so in the zone that even TV doesn't bother me. Although sometimes I do have to turn it off to get started, to get into a scene.

    When I did my last Author Alterations, I worked at Starbucks that's inside a Target store. I read the whole book straight through. I was so in the zone I forgot where I was. When I was packing up to leave, the worker apologized for the noise she made during the day. I said, "What noise??" LOL

    As for fear and procrastination, I wish I knew the answer to that! I think you need good writing friends around to cheer you on. Or to kick you in the rear when needed. :) That always works best for me.