Changing Your Writing Routine

women's fingers on keyboard

Two years ago, I wrote a post about writing your story down on paper or via keyboard and Word document.

When I started writing again in 2014, pencil and paper were my number one tools in writing my stories, and all would start from a stream of consciousness.

Truly, that method was used to write my published short story, Summer Memories, my play, Falling Up Stairs, that was performed on a small stage in January 2018, and the starting chapters of my debut novel, Passage of Promise, released May 1 for print copy and May 4 for ebook. Although with the latter, I took extensive notes midway and throughout during many rewrites, revisions, added and deleted chapters.

Since 2018, I don’t know why, but my method of writing changed.

In creating my novella, Mourning Dove, and my novel, What She Didn’t Know, I took notes on both, most extensively on What She Didn’t Know.

Before each chapter, I’d write down my ideas about what the scenes would be, which, in turn, helped encourage me to get the words typed on the computer screen.

A few days ago, I listened to an excellent video lesson from fellow blogger and writing coach, Kate Johnston. She actually talked about the importance of at least having some notes on your plot, characters, and having a good idea of how your novel would end.

Having evolved and grown as a writer (as we do every day) since picking up this true passion of mine from my pre-teen years, I’d done exactly that without realizing it was the better approach for me!

I found this method of jotting down my main character(s) and plot made it more structured and cleared my mind of jumbled thoughts, as well as stream-of-conscious ideas that wouldn’t always get me through the entirety of my book.

The exception was the couple I mentioned earlier in this post.

So, I’ve transferred from stream-of-consciousness, pen and paper story writing to pen and paper for notes to prepare my next story and directly typing on my computer’s Word document.  Whatever would come into my head, the ideas would be centered around the guidelines regarding the character(s) and plot that I’d scribbled in my notebook.

Therefore, I’ve discovered you can change how you prepare and create your writing routine, and in my case, it was for the best.

What is your preferred way of writing? Stream-of-conscious/whatever comes to mind, write it down and go from there, or making an outline or notes on your characters and plot before starting to write your story? Have you tried to do the opposite? Did it work for you?

Happy writing!

 

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Pick up your copy of Passage of Promise  via Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

Me with PofP final print copy April 27 2020

WIP Joys

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Friends, I finish up running Passage of Promise, my novel through the critique group next week. The feedback I’ve gotten through my critique group has been incredibly invaluable. Then I’ll set it aside a week or two before doing a last read through and submitting it to my editor.

A week ago, I finished up all the new scenes in my novella, Mourning Dove. This, too, is ready to go through the critique queue, but it will have to wait for its turn.

As for my WIP, What She Didn’t Know? I LOVE the sisters (three main characters in the story). I love writing their POVs, their personalities. I really feel these characters are the strongest characters I’ve fleshed out as of yet. Here’s a very rough draft (not polished, obviously)…something I just wrote really quickly in order to put it through the critique queue in a couple of weeks, so you get the idea of what this story I’m working on is about:

Three sisters, Michaela, Glory, and Seraphima, grew up with an alcoholic, abusive father. Glory, who was most abused, runs away from home and isn’t seen by her mother or sisters for ten years. Their mother, Etta, wants her daughters, Michaela and Seraphima, to find Glory. Etta has a secret she’s kept from Glory and her sisters and feels it is time to tell Glory before something happens to her (Etta’s rather a hypochondriac). For each of the sisters, their childhood trauma/events affects how they are now living as adults. But when a terrible car crash happens and lives are hanging in the balance, will Glory ever learn the secret? Will she and her sisters ever heal from their estrangement and mistakes with those close to them? Only one can save them from themselves.

I’m guessing I’ve got about five to ten chapters to go to cross the finish line of a first draft. I’ve revised and edited the existing chapters at least three or four times now. The feedback I’ll get from my critique group will really help to improve and hone this awesome story. 🙂

 

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Enveloped in the Story

Ever since I finished up college, I’ve been engrossed in writing, revising, editing, critiquing, and reading. Like nearly all day.

I’ve barely had time to stop in here and write anything.

I’m enjoying the world of my characters. 

I’ve got three stories which I’m working on. I alternate from one to the other. It’s very satisfying. 

For a couple of months, I’d been working on my novel, Passage of Promise. The last half of the story is still waiting to run through the critique online group. It’ll be the end of January before submitting it is done.

But several days ago, I flipped over to my WIP, What She Didn’t Know, and reread, revised, and added a few scenes. 

Then I returned to my novella, Mourning Dove. I’ve been working on this for the past few days and am loving it. Using the feedback from the critters when I ran the story through around last spring, I’ve been strengthening those chapters.

I asked my husband questions on police procedures and medical issues a couple of days back, which opened up new ideas, new scenes to implement into this amazing story. I’ve only received positive feedback on this piece because of its wonderful message, decent plot, and likable characters. 

Here are the two blurbs I’ve been working on with my novel and novella.

Passage of Promise:

Marina waited all her life for someone like him. But failure is Marina’s middle name. Sent by her family to the Greek island of Santorini to fetch her great grandmother’s wonder-working icon for her sick nephew, Marina finds it has been stolen. She meets and falls in love with attractive Joel, a history teacher and art collector. He helps her to search for the icon. As time sprints by in the week-long search, perpetual pressure and ridicule from her mother leaves Marina on the brink of defeat. When she finds out who took the icon, the realization nearly sends her spiraling out of control. Personal, devastating failure hits her hard, and she’s left hollow. With icon in hand and lost love stinging her heart, Marina returns home to face battles with her mother and her nephew’s waning health. Clinging to a last shred of hope, will it be enough for Marina to overcome her failures and find love and healing?

Mourning Dove:

Gabby lost her husband, Andrew, in a car accident six months ago.  In the midst of struggling to emerge from her grief, she discovers Andrew’s cousin, Jordan, is homeless. With strong determination, Gabby strives to help Jordan in any way she can.  While sifting through clothes in her closet, Gabby discovers notes by Andrew and Jordan discussing a special gift for her a month before Andrew’s death. Can Jordan be the key to unlocking Andrew’s gift to her?  But amid this good will stands a belligerent homeless man hunting down Jordan for a past wrong. Although frightened by this vagabond seen creeping around her property, Gabby swallows her fear and focuses on aiding Jordan, giving her a new purpose in her life. But will Gabby take that new purpose too far?

I’ll probably publish Mourning Dove first, as I am still not totally satisfied with Passage of Promise

I’ll send it to a couple publishers and see if either accepts it. If not, I’ll go another route.

Tell me what you think. Your thoughts and opinions are important to me. You’re potentially my future readers. God willing! 

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