Navigating still waters…

 

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My writer’s journey began nearly six years ago when a story emerged, took hold and wouldn’t let go until every word found substance on a page. I reveled in the sheer madness of the joy of creation.  It was as if inspiration were white water rapids, and I was flying downstream, barely in control. I screamed for joy as each scene burst forth. It was electric. It was one hell of a ride.

And then.

And then I helped bury two beloved family members.  A few months later, my sweet mom was diagnosed with cancer and passed away. Too soon. Too quickly. Before I was ready to let her go.  2013 was the year from hell.

Thinking I could resume my life as before, I started again on that story, but the words emerged tortured, twisted, angry or wounded. My heart was broken and so was my creative spirit. I put my writing aside for clearer days.

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Quiet set in. The rapids disappeared, leaving me drifting on a tepid pond. No wind, nothing but glassy surface rose before me. No need to glance back. I wasn’t writing. There’d be no wake reflecting movement or forward progression.

And I was okay with that. I let inertia win.

Time passed. I used it to ease those painful memories. I learned to sit quietly, to read and draw inspiration from others, and when a word or two demanded acknowledgement, I’d give it life on a page.  Not much. No pressure. A simple scene sketched here. A dabbled paragraph there.

But as time expanded into years, I became impatient waiting for the cycle to pass, for energy to flow and inspiration to return. I began pushing myself, shoving those words out, demanding they coalesce and become something, damn it. Enough of this writer’s block!

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Last month, a thought seeped in and wouldn’t let go…

How does one navigate still waters?

I pictured those rapids, that free-for-all, those days when words were my partner, not my enemy, and remembered the feeling of cutting a path down the rapids, letting inspiration direct me onward.

 

And that’s when the next thought struck…

Navigation needs forward motion.

But how? How do I claw my way through that drifting water? What does it take to reignite that dreamworld of flowing sentences, breathless excitement, characters and stories that sweep me into their realm, blotting out reality? Questions without answers batted through my head – each demanding an answer I couldn’t quite seem to find.

And then.

Then I sat, taking deep breaths, calming these churning emotions that anchored, not freed me to start writing again. And as I breathed, the solution came in the form of acknowledgement.

I’m not the same person from five years ago. Gone are the late, burnt dinners, the kids whining I’m hungry, and me, head bent to the page whipping words along before they vanished in the storm of family life.

I’m someone different now, both as a writer, and as a person.

I held those precious few papers, re-reading what I had managed to scribble out during those tortured years, and found them richer, deeper, perhaps more mature even. Imagine that? I’d developed a stronger voice, and just when had that happened?

Perhaps if I could re-wind time, I could’ve acknowledged this was just my journey and saved myself all the heartache. I would know the rapids of life and inspiration might come again,  and I’ll get caught up in the excitement of creation.

But if it doesn’t, if inspiration is quiet, like a clear pond, I can navigate to places unknown if I honor my creativity, allowing it to grow, to flourish without judgement or condemnation.

I wish for you all, clear vision.

Sue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Judy’s Bumpy Road to Publication….

Hi, all!  Sue has been a blogging/writing friend of mine for a while now.  I admire her work, so when she asked me to write a guest blog about my publishing journey, I squirmed, because I’m sure NO ONE has taken more detours and taken as long as I have along the way.  But then again, maybe some of you have war stories, too.  So here it is—my long and twisting road to publishing.

 

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My Bumpy Road to Publishing

I started writing long enough ago that a writer could put a finished manuscript in a BIG envelope, add an SASE and a cover letter, and send it off to an editor.  That was in the days of smaller publishing houses, before they were gobbled up by bigger companies.  You didn’t have to have an agent to submit.  And if an editor saw any promise in you, he/she would make a comment on your rejection slip.  More magazines/editors bought short stories, too, so an author could gain some name recognition writing those.  Things have changed since then.

In some ways, it’s easier to get published these days.  A writer can self-publish if he’s willing to put in the time and effort to write, edit, buy covers, and market.  The trick is getting readers to find you in the vast sea of other writers.  You can’t submit to a big publisher without an agent, and agents are hard to get, but authors can reach them through pitch wars on twitter and get feedback faster than before.  They can find writing advice at the click of a key. If they don’t want to bother with agents, some authors choose small publishers.  In truth, though, writing has never been easy.  No art is. 

I started by writing short stories.  At first, I sold to small magazines and often was paid in copies.  Each sale—even if it was to a magazine no one had ever heard of—boosted my morale.  They kept my dream afloat.  Eventually, I sold to magazines who offered me 1 cent a word, and then I started selling to bigger markets.  I was in two WomanSleuth anthologies and a few Barnes & Noble anthologies, and then made it into Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock mystery magazines—no easy feat.

I decided to try to write longer fiction.  I sold my first novella GOURMET KILLINGS (20,000 words) to a small publisher that bought a second one, and then went out of business.  I wrote three cozy novels that editors loved, but wouldn’t buy, explaining that they loved my writing and the stories, but that no one was buying cozies—they were considered “dead.”   Markets do that.  When a “trend” takes off, every publisher scrambles to find similar books, and then the market gets glutted and dies for a while.  One editor asked if I’d send her a serial killer mystery, so I wrote one—it took me a year—and sent it, and by then, the market was dead.  She apologized, but the word had come down—no more serial killers.  Lesson:  Beware of writing to trends. 

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I sort of liked writing darker, though, so wrote a YA dark fantasy and sent it to Zebra (I think.  It was a long time ago).  They’d started publishing YA horror back then, and the editor was excited about my book and asked to hold it for a year, because if the horror line went over well, they were going to start dark fantasy next.  I waited and waited.  A year and a half later, I asked about my manuscript, and she’d lost it.  The horror line fizzled, and she’d moved on to something else.  Lesson:  Don’t take rejections, etc. personally.  You can write a great book, but there are so many things outside your control, part of getting published is just luck.

I wrote one more dark fantasy (adult this time) just for the fun of it.  It was so off-beat, editors passed it around in their offices for others to read, but wrote me back that they’d have NO idea how to market it.  And that’s the next big Lesson:  Marketing matters.  If a publisher doesn’t know where to put your book on the shelves, it’s a problem.

 

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One editor who really liked it, though, asked if I’d be willing to send her an urban fantasy.  I had no idea what urban fantasy was.  I told her I’d try it if she defined it for me.  She sent a list of what she wanted, and I sent her a novel.  That first try was a miss, so she sent me lots of notes, and I tried again.  That was close, so I sent a third—and she loved it.  She took it to the table to pitch and told me to keep my fingers crossed, BUT it got shot down.  Another editor had recently bought a novel that used Tarot cards for the supernatural element, and the sales team didn’t think they could pitch two Tarot novels at the same time.  Just goes to show you.  Lesson Reinforced:  Success or rejection often doesn’t have a thing to do with your writing. 

 

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A week after that, my editor left Tor to pursue something else.  And that’s when real life interfered with my writing.  So many things happened at home, writing was the last thing on my mind.  I threw manuscripts and lists of places I wanted to send to in a drawer for a few years.  Lesson:  Life can interfere.  And that’s all right.

When the dust finally settled, I sat at my computer again.  And guess what?  Writing is sort of like riding a bicycle.  You remember the basics.  I wrote a “soft” paranormal because that’s what had been bouncing around in my head for a while, and sent it to agents because I’d lost track of what was going on in publishing.  And an agent wanted it.  Not just any agent, but a really good one.  Now, I’d had two agents before, and that was a Lesson, too:  A bad agent is worse than no agent.  Just because you have an agent doesn’t mean you’ll get a contract.  Agents only know so many editors, and when they send your manuscript to the ones they know, and none of them want it, your manuscript is done.

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Book 4

Even my top agent couldn’t sell my paranormal.  The market was shrinking.  Urban fantasy and paranormal had hit big, and it was on the downswing.  I wanted to try them online, and she wasn’t happy about it, but let me.  Dystel and Goderich formatted them and put them up.  I did everything else.  But my agent really wanted me to find a traditional publisher, so asked if I could write romance.  I’d never tried.  I pretty much thought I’d suck at it.  But she asked me to give it a try, so I did.  And Kensington bought it for their e-books line.  I had a three-book contract for my Mill Pond romances under a pseudonym: Judi Lynn.  Then I signed for three more.  My editor liked my books and thought I’d be good at mysteries😊  He asked if I’d like to write three more romances for him or try my hand at mysteries.  I’d started in mysteries, so that’s what I’m working on now.  I’d taken an up-and-down path full circle.

 

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Book 5

If you’ve counted all of the books that I’ve written that didn’t sell, all the years I sold just enough to help me hang in there, it’s been a LONG journey.  Frustrating over and over again, but I’m hooked on writing.  And I kept coming close over and over again—always a tease to keep hitting the keys.  I think I’m good at it.  I’ve listened to lots and lots of people tell new writers, “Write a good book, and eventually, you’ll sell.”  I don’t completely agree.  I’ve written books that were good enough to find agents and editors, that didn’t go anywhere.  BUT I was never smart about marketing.  I only thought I was.  I concentrated on the writing, the words, making them better.  That’s not always enough.

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If you want to write just to write. DO IT.  If you want to put your book on Amazon and look at it and smile, DO THAT, TOO.  And enjoy it.  If you want to sell and have a career, BE SMART.  You can do it, but the stars only shine on a few people to make them overnight sensations.  The rest of us have to work at it.

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Thanks for visiting, Judy/Judi! If you’d like to learn more about her books, here is her contact information. I encourage you all to support a fellow writer. She’s amazing and her books offer a great read!

Twitter:  @judypost

giving a shout out and a little love…

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My dear friend and fellow blogger AshiAkira is publishing a book of his wonderful haiku poems. I met him seven years ago when I was a baby blogger. All those years and he’s never stopped writing and sharing his amazing gift. And now I’m happy to give a shout-out and highlight his upcoming launch. Please look for purchasing details at the end of this post.

And now, let me introduce AshiAkira, using his own words. Because, well, he says it best!

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I became interested in writing haiku poems originally in English after I turned seventy.

Born in Tokyo in 1938, I went to the United States for study after graduating from a Tokyo metropolitan senior high school in 1957.

After returning to Japan from the United States in 1963, I worked for a news agency as an English reporter, thus continuing the use of the English language I had learned in the previous years in America. After reaching the mandatory retirement age of sixty with the news agency in 1998, I continued to work for its subsidiaries taking charge of correspondence and translation, thus further continuing to make use of my English skills.

When I reached the age of seventy, I fully retired from all the chores of work to make a living and decided to live on a pension alone. My income then drastically went down, but in return, I gained enough leisure to do whatever I wanted, and I chose to spend the remaining years of my life in writing novels, short stories, poems, or anything I found myself interested in.

I then noticed on the internet that haiku writing was gaining considerable popularity in many countries outside Japan. I didn’t have much knowledge of haiku writing above the common sense level of a person born and raised in Japan, where saying things in the haiku rhythm penetrates through people’s lives. But I felt something amiss about many of the haikus written by non-Japanese writers, and I thought it would be interesting to write haikus directly in English.

When I told a friend of mine that I’d try to write haikus in English, he introduced me to a member of the haiku-writing club of a famous university in Tokyo. The haiku writer apparently discussed my plan with other members of the club, and he told me it was utterly impossible to write haikus in English or in any other language than Japanese. He said that I should first train myself to write in Japanese until I became familiar with traditional haiku writing. He said he resented so many non-Japanese poems that are claimed to be haikus simply because they are short and broken into three lines. He said many Japanese haiku writers feel the word haiku should not be used for the non-Japanese three-line poems.

I know it’s said that “poetry is what gets lost in translation,” but I also believe that the prosody is not all there is to poetry. Having been born into and grown up in the haiku-writing culture, I feel there is something in the core of haiku that can be retained in whatever language it is written.

I decided to call what I would write haiku poems, meaning haiku-style poems, instead of haiku to avoid hurting the feeling of the haiku experts as much as possible. I also decided to throw away all rules and tradition about the haiku writing except two basic ones, namely the five-seven-five syllables—rhythm—and its connection with nature, without which a haiku cannot be a haiku.

The Japanese language, when it’s spoken in five and seven syllables, gives to the Japanese ear a pleasant rhythm. I believe this stems from the fact that Japanese is always pronounced in combination of a consonant and a vowel or in a vowel independent of consonant clusters. It is also because Japanese is pronounced with the tone accent rather than the stress accent, like that of English.

For hundreds of years, saying things in the five-seven-five syllables was popular among the Japanese people, and it was called haikai. Several people might get together for a party where they would compose the haikai, mainly jokes to throw at each other or allusive sarcasm against corrupt or oppressive officials of the feudal rule that lasted until nineteenth century.

It was Matsuo Basho who made the revolutionary achievement of writing poems of artistic value in the haikai form in the seventeenth century. There was no such a word as haiku in Basho’s days. It was not until about two hundred years after his death that the writers of artistic haikai began to call their works haiku to distinguish them as an art from jokes or allusively ironic pieces which then began to be called senryu or kyoka, respectively.

The counting of syllables in an English word varies from speaker to speaker. The word poem pronounced by some English speakers, for instance, sounds like a one-syllable word or by others as a two syllable word. The word poet, however, is pronounced almost always as a two-syllable word. Thus, the haiku poems I write in English often follow the five-seven-five syllable rule loosely.

Connection with nature is another basic core tradition in the haiku writing. The reason for this would no doubt call for heated discussion by experts. But as a full-blooded Japanese who received more education outside Japan than at home, I must ask for others’ permission to say that the haiku artists feel that nature is the ultimate ruler of all living things deserving our due respect. We all came into this world by the natural power in disregard of our own will. And in most of the cases, we leave this world when the time for each individual to do so comes. Before nature we are powerless. We don’t know what nature is as we don’t know what life is. But we can have a glimpse of what happens in nature as its work. For example, the blooming of flowers and birds flying and chirping are works of nature. By catching a glimpse of nature’s work, only a momentary spark, and jotting it down in words as a reflection of our mind, we may get closer to knowing it. The five-seven-five-syllable poem, or close to it in any language, is a handy form of poetry to capture the works of nature when noticed. Doing so could be a way to bring the unseen power of nature into the human consciousness.

I have written around two thousand haiku poems in nearly a decade, and I have randomly selected and edited 496 of them for this publication. I plan to publish all the rest of them, in addition to other forms of poems I have also written, in the future.

Finally, since so much must be squeezed into the seventeen syllables, I take full advantage of poetic license to disregard grammar or any rule of the language. Since I intend my haiku poems to appeal directly to the imagination of the readers through words only, the use of pictures or illustrations is avoided. And like any other form of poetry, each haiku poem, although it’s so short, is meant to be independent. I would be honored if the readers read them as such.

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AshiAkira’s book will go into full global distribution networks, including Amazon.com and BN.com in the next 6-8 weeks. For the time being the book can be purchased directly from Lulu, and the link to the page for the purchase is:  http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/haiku-poems/20836642

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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image credit: pixabay.com

It’s been a busy summer, but I’m not complaining. The Hermit Thrush haven’t scooted south yet, the sun still warms my skin. Maybe I wish I had a little more time, but who doesn’t?

I’ve been hard at work on final edits on my YA fantasy “Fairless.”  I participated on a Twitter pitch fest a few weeks ago and now I have an editor over at Entangled Publishing waiting to read it. Yay, me!

If you have a finished story, whether it’s YA, MG or Adult in any genre ready to pitch, you really need to head over to brenda-drake.com. She’s hosting a Pitch Wars. Here’s the deets:

“What is Pitch Wars? Is it another contest? Oh, no, it’s so much better. Pitch Wars is a contest where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions to shine it up for agents. The mentors also critique the writer’s pitch to get it ready for the agent round. Writers send applications (query and first chapter of manuscript) to the four mentors that best fit their work. The mentors then read all their applications and choose the writer they want to mentor for the next two months. Then we hold an agent round with over a dozen agents making requests.”

Pretty cool, right? And once the Pitch Wars are done, they have an agent round to be held November 3-4 where you can pitch that polished, dandy manuscript to an agent/editor and maybe, hopefully, find publication! Yay, us!

In the meantime, I’m also working on shifting blogs from wordpress to my author site at  www.suebahr.com.  Time to make more time.  It looks like this site, but to “follow” my blog and receive my posts, you need to enter your email and subscribe.

I hope you are all enjoying these wonderful days of Summer. I hope you are smiling, reading, swimming, writing and loving on your families.

I wish you all the best!

Sue

A Rebel with a Cause…

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I’ve always approached editing as a linear progression. Roll up my sleeves and start at page one, word one and sweep through the manuscript, cleaning up chapter by chapter as I go.

And it works, for the most part. Until I reach the middle of the story, then fatigue sets in. The words drag together, the plot blurs. I let weak sentence structures slide by, thinking I’ll fix the mess on the next sweep through.

And I do, for the most part. Round two usually proceeds much like round one: start at the beginning and work forward, leaving the middle to sag much like my sad, sad waistline.

I know I’m not alone. I read it every day when I pick up a published book. Few, so precious few authors, hold onto tension in the middle. The story often drags, the scenes are lackluster. My stories certainly follow this course.

Enough I say! Who writes the rules governing editing? Who says an author must start at chapter one, word one? Maybe it’s the rebel in little Ol’Sue, but the last time I began editing my Irish story, Summoned, I decided to start in the middle. It was time to skip those over-polished first chapters and give the middle section a much-needed workout. Seem silly? Maybe, but let me share 4 things this achieved:

1) Fresh perspective. It’s a bit like taking a scene out of context and viewing it from a different vantage point. It’s astounding how much I cut from chapters after realizing the scenes or sections are dragging the pacing or killing tension.

2) Enjoyment. Really, I love attacking these middle chapters guilt free. It’s like being the second or third runner in a relay race. I’m fresh, aggressive. I don’t have the start or the finish line in sight, just these pesky, fat chapters in desperate need of trimming.

3) Edge. I push characters. I strip away their defenses. I remove light banter or chitter-chatter. I think some of this exists in books from shear author fatigue.

4) Bliss. Okay, maybe that’s pushing it, but there’s something about the insurmountable task of plowing through an entire manuscript, screening for grammar, plot, character and pacing issues that wear me down. Focusing on the middle section seems so… doable.

I’ve completed edits on the mid-section of Summoned and loving it. The characters are stronger, the pacing is tighter, and though I still have a ton of work to go on this bad-boy, at least I’m confident the middle is no longer the weakest section.

What do you think? Care to give it a go?

Happy writing!

Sue

 

An open letter from a reader to an author…

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image credit: pixabay.com

Dear author,

Books are words in motion. Stories vividly told take me to worlds unknown. They let me fall in love, make me hate, sweep my emotions to the highest heights or darkest places.

I read to lose myself. To shove my daily worries aside so I can breathe again. No more family worries. No more teenager stress or financial woes. For the time that book is cracked open and sometimes long after it’s closed, I’m free.

Each story is unique. Each one has potential. I root for every book I endeavor to read.

Nothing disappoints me more than a story that doesn’t reach that potential. Sometimes I press ahead, determined to discover the golden nuggets buried within. I act as an invisible editor, sweeping all those “murmured, mumbles” confusing POV shifts away so I can continue. So I can finish what I’ve begun.

Sad when a story suddenly deflates, leaving me with no choice but to close the book for good. Tragic when a decent editor could’ve helped that author keep that story on track.

So, as a reader, I beg you… move mountains for me. Cast characters that my heart absorbs right off the page. Give me imagery so compelling it lingers long after I’m done. But please, please don’t bore me.

I promise I’m on your side.

love,

A reader

Why I love, love, love….Wattpad!

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image credits: pixabay.com

Most authors have a favorite social media site. For some, it’s blogging. For others it may be Facebook, Twitter, or even Pinterest. For me, it’s Wattpad.

With the crazy my life has become, I’ve little time to spend in front of a computer. That means less time to write and less time to catch up with all you wonderful bloggers.

But it doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. Promise!

For those unfamiliar with Wattpad, allow me to extol its virtues.

Wattpad.com is a site dedicated solely to writing. Authors can create a free account and upload as many of their books (chapter by chapter) for readers to read. Authors can discover new authors, and read, comment and vote on their chapters. Many readers join Wattpad solely to read and discover the next big thing!

 

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hmmmm…. sounds like a win-win situation to me…

And that’s because it is.

I’ve been working on two stories: Fairless, a YA fantasy; Summoned, an historical fantasy. Both have gained readership with each chapter uploaded. Like all social media sites, one must follow and support others in order to gain followers… which for me is super awesome as I get to read some great books!

But here’s the icing on the cake… the kicker… the extra scoop of sprinkles…

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Wattpad allows you to see who is reading your books. How awesome is that!!

They’ve installed nifty demographic pie charts which show you:

1) percentage of readers who are male/female or unidentified (must be a dogs have learned to read).

2) percentage of age ranges reading your story

3) what countries they hail from

4) stats showing when your readers are reading

Here is what I’ve learned:

1) Fairless is read primarily by women over the age of 45 (go figure!)

2) they hail primarily from the US

3) is read by mostly other writers on Wattpad

4) Summoned is read by women primarily from 13-18 years old (really?!)

5) Most are from the US

6) Almost all are on Wattpad exclusively as readers

In a world where knowing your reader can help you sell books, how valuable is THAT information! Like I said before…

I’m in love!

Happy writing… and if you’re interested in scoping out my work, I’m on Wattpad under the name Vermontwriter. Just sign up for a free account and look me up. And who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love with this delightful social media site too.

Cheers!

Sue

 

 

 

 

A Plot for Panster-Sue…

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image credits: pixabay.com

If you’ve been around writing long enough, you know all about the labels of plotters and pansters. Some of you proudly embrace your title. Others refuse to be categorized as either. Some lucky ones have figured out how to be both!

Perhaps you’re all about plotting. You have the major turning points laid out, the chapters titled and organized for maximum impact. You’ve completed character wheels for every character, including the baddie…

control-427512_640Look at that outline, all neat ‘n tidy. If I sound snarky, it’s just because I’m jealous…

 

Or maybe you’ve accepted that will never be your style. You have to write organically. You need to write the story to know the story. Your characters have to show you the way, so you jump without a parachute…

 

 

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Okay, so I couldn’t find someone jumping without a parachute. Probably a good thing, anyway…

It’s a no-brainer where I fall. Yup, my brain lives in pantserville.

I’ve fought the pull of plotters. I’ve lived in mad envy of a well-oiled story. I’ve beat myself up for failing to plot one too many times.

So last week while on Sabbatical, I dove into my failed NaNo novel, Drift. I’d finished the first quarter of the book, right up to the first turning point, but was stalled on the mid-section of the book. I have tried everything to plot this story…

1. I outlined.

a. I figured out the major turning points or disasters.

b. I wrote them down.

c. I didn’t know what came next.

2. I created a Excell spreadsheet listing every chapter with summary.

a. Well, every chapter up to the first turning point. Then I got lost because…

b. I didn’t know what came next.

3.  I gave up and pretended not to worry about plot structure at all, believing it will all work out in the end.

a. I wrote some stuff.

b. I still didn’t know what came next.

4. I heaved a BIG SIGH

I’m not sure if it was the Sabbatical (which entailed a break from my computer for writing as well as for social media) or if I stumbled on an unused part of my brain, but for some reason, I finally figured out how to plot!

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yeah, me!

Now, to get back to the subject at hand (pun intended). As I said, I was stalled. I knew the major turning points, but what to do with all that stuff that goes in between?! Since I was going old-school, I took a piece of paper, wrote the turning point scene at the top and left it blank. Then it hit me – I knew what should come right before and right after that point. Out came more paper – each noted with basic information on top and left blank.

I continued this way until a full scene materialized. So, seeing as I already had a blank piece of paper and pen in hand, I wrote that scene. This led to the next and the next, and well, within the span of an hour or so, I had the middle and end of Drift plotted.

I’m not sure why this worked for me and why I couldn’t simply draft an outline like most able-bodied writers can. Something about physically seeing the chapters as separate pieces of paper clicked. And, as a side benefit – I was able to insert transitional chapters or move some around…

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Just think. All this goodness happened without staring at a computer screen. Lucky me!

And so, for those of you who roll up your pants and wade in, only to find yourself stuck mid-way through, I encourage you to give the Sue-thingy (that’s a real term – you can Google it) a go. You never know. Might work for you, too.

I wish you all the best!

Sue

 

 

 

 

a simple challenge from Sue…

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 image credit: pixabay.com

I’m back, refreshed from my computer/social media break. For six whole days, I relied on my cell phone only to check emails and read blog posts. For six days, I wasn’t glued to the one-eyed monster. I have to admit, I missed some things… others, not so much.

This quality Sue-break gave me some perspective. There’s a ton of pressure on authors, both to write and build a platform that requires extensive computer time! Argh! (right?!).

Just how do you find time to work on your novel when you haven’t posted and you need to update your Facebook page and Twitter and Instagram

Sigh.

We authors aren’t machines. We’re creative souls and creativity needs nurturing to thrive. And so, I challenge you to do as I did last week. Take a sabbatical. Take a break from social media and recharge. Perhaps you’ll find inspiration or work out that stubborn plot twist (like I did). Perhaps you’ll discover the simple joy of jotting notes on a piece of paper (again like I did.)

For sure you’ll gain perspective on how many hours you spend on a computer… and how important it is to unplug and recharge that precious creative spirit.

Wishing you all the best of weeks!

Sue