Monday, November 29, 2010

Totally Opposite

My life and my writing are totally opposite. What are you talking about you ask?

Well here it is. My life is totally cluttered while my writing is totally lean. So this is what happened. My daughter came over Friday to help me do a little cleaning before the big family Thanksgiving dinner we have every year at our house on Saturday. A little cleaning turned into purging! She said I have clutter and asked me did I need this? That? How about this Mom? Mom---you don't need that!! And it started. And we threw away this and that, and I managed to keep a little this and that---but she made a place for all the this and that I decided I couldn't bear to part with. I'll admit it feels good to be a little less cluttered---but in my opinion I'm okay with a little clutter.
So why can't I clutter my manuscripts? Why does it take two or three revisions before I feel like I even have a setting? Emotional turmoil? All I seem to manage in my rough drafts is a whole lot of dialogue. It's crazy!

I can crowd my calendar, my office, my closet (Okay--I started that project a week ago and it's going to take a little while!), my car---but not my manuscript. Any advice?

Lindi Peterson
Happy Endings Are Just The Beginning


  1. Hi Lindi:

    Are you a pantser? Pantsers tend to think in dialogue. This leads to quick but thin copy. Pantsers like to write fast in an effort to get it all out while it’s still available in the consciousness. Plotters tend to think in scenes and settings. They are more visual. This often leads to slower and thicker writing.

    Perhaps the answer lies in your approach to writing and not your approach to living.


  2. I'm hearing you, Lindi. My only advice would be to keep trying and eventually you'll find your groove.

    Vince, I agree with you. I've discovered that how I approach my story in the beginning/planning stages really does effect how much work the manuscript needs in the end.

  3. LOL, Lindi, you are such a pantzer...

    I am trying to get more organized in both my writing life and my wife/mommy/working life. The first draft I wrote for my last book only took 3 weeks, but it took years of revisions to get it right. I can't work like that any longer, there is too much to handle during this stage of my life. So, for this next book, I've been spending the last few weeks (not consecutive, mind you)to plan out the scenes and know the story's path. We'll see how well this goes.

  4. very good blog, congratulations
    regard from Reus Catalonia
    thank you

  5. Vince---how wise you are!! Yes, I am a panster--but I really LIKE writing that way. I've come to accept that part of my writing life. I've been blessed to read a lot of great books lately and they have amazing details that bring the story to life. I've prayed for patience in my writing. I guess I'll have to continue to pray!!

  6. Dianna, I have such a hard time with all the preplanning!! It's nice to see you back!

  7. Christy--and yes, I know there are advantage to getting a great set up. Hmmm...

    And you are right--I am such a panster!

  8. Te-la ma Maria--Thanks for stopping by.

  9. I think you're perfect. So, you have a little clutter in your life. As long as you have time to write. That's the important part. :)

  10. Ciara--thank you!! And yes, I'm squeezing that writing time in.

  11. Lindi, I think it's because writing a novel is too complicated to be able to just produce it all in one draft. I would imagine it's rare that anyone can do that. It's almost as if we have to use different parts of our brains for each step of the way. We have the creative part and then the editing (more rational or analytical) part.

    Or maybe that's just my excuse, anyway! :)

  12. Missy, I think you're right. And honestly, the clutter didn't happen overnight. It was an over-time issue. So over time my office can get cluttered and over time my stories will get cluttered with all the layers.