Treading in Unfamiliar Genre

genre picture 2Last week, several ideas of a new story came to my mind. It was exciting. I mean, when is it NOT exciting to have new story ideas bloom in your brain? It’s a fantastic feeling, right?

I started writing down notes on this new story. Many thoughts and many questions. What’s the core of this story? What’s the main character ARC? And what about this idea or that one for the storyline?

Then it dawned on me that I was steering outside the usual path of women’s fiction genre I write to one I’d never really driven on before. Looking up the genre I believed my story ideas fell into, revealed it to be in the speculative and dystopian fiction realm.

I cringed a bit because I’ve never been into sci-fi, fantasy, or dystopian stories. From the stories I’ve read on my online critiquing site, I do have an interest in certain paranormal stories. And, I have to admit, one of my fellow critiquers writes King Arthur fantasy, and her story won me over through her excellent writing. But these examples are exceptions, not the norm in my regular reading regimen.

A few days ago, I finished writing the first chapter to this new story, and I loved it. I read it to my sons and husband. They loved it.

I have notes on where I want the story to go. But I’ve not been able to get back to the story and write it.

Now, how often has that happened to us writers? Pretty often, right? So, I wasn’t too surprised, but it still frustrated me.

Then I thought, “I just need to get to writing. Start the next chapter.”

That’s how I was able to finish up my last novel that took a year and a half to write. I had to push myself to start each chapter, even though I knew what I needed to write. The writing would start out slow, dull, and mechanical, like I was just writing to get the words down. And I was. However, around mid page, the creativity started to pour out, and I became immersed in the scene.

So, with my own experiences, I can use them and tell myself to “Just start writing”.

Try it if you haven’t already, my fellow writers. Just put words down on the paper or on the Word document.

Wish me luck on this new project. I’m hoping it comes out to be worthy of future readers.

 

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Say It Loudly and Proudly…You ARE a Writer

fountain pen on white paper

I read a couple of blog posts from fellow writers this past week talking about their hesitancies in calling themselves writers or authors, even though both of them have had works published.

The main thoughts that ran through my head were, “Well, of course, you’re a writer. You’ve written books, published them, and continue to write. Why wouldn’t you call yourself a writer?”

As I understood their explanations, when they were asked what they do, they weren’t confident enough in themselves due to the social stigma of saying “I’m a writer.”

If they were to say they were writers, they’d often get questions like, “Have you been published?” or worse, “Yes, but what’s your real job.”  So some fellow authors would respond with falling back on their other day job, such as working in an office or a stay-at-home mom.

But they came to the realization that they ARE worthy of the title of writer. They ARE WRITERS/AUTHORS. It’s part of who they are. It’s a part of who all of us writers are.

It’s an extension of ourselves. Our hearts, souls, experiences, and unique social and cultural backgrounds. We share this indirectly and sometimes directly in our writings, and it’s a good thing.

writing on the grass

I have to tell you, saying I am a writer has been easy. It is one area in my life where I have complete confidence.

I knew I could write in my teens and early twenties, even though I lacked a lot of  knowledge on how to write in-depth characters, totally believable plots, and point of view (POV).

Even after I quit writing from around 1997 to 2014, I never thought I couldn’t write. I’d just put it on the back burner due to putting business college, a job, my marriage, and then my children along with my husband as my top priority (as I felt I should be).

I didn’t really think too much about picking up a pen and scrawling across a blank sheet of paper then because few ideas sprung up.

Life works that way, I think. Things happen when they’re supposed to.

sunset orange

Ideas began to sprout in the summer and early fall of 2014 before I registered for online college to get a degree in Creative Writing and English.

The ideas did start popping up when I knew I could make my schooling experience all about writing stories, all about a future in what has always been in me since I was a child.

That flame has never been totally doused.

Playing certain sports and writing stories were the only two things I had total confidence in myself throughout my childhood, adulthood, up to the present day.

My confidence grew through four years in college. All the negative thoughts I had of myself that I’d heard from people throughout my life lessened, became small, insignificant. I began to see myself much more positively.

proud woman

Yes, I am smart. Yes, I can write very well. Yes, I am a writer. It’s part of who I am. I’m thankful I’ve not felt insecure, scared, or apprehensive in telling people who ask me what I do.

Even if I’d never had anything published, I’m still an author. It’s my job. It’s my main focus every day in the midst of my family and life of faith.

Have you had the confidence to tell others you are a writer? If you’re writing on a regular basis. If it’s your passion. If it’s part of who you are, YOU ARE A WRITER. Wear that badge with honor and pride.

 

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Getting That First Draft Done…Like, Now

painting of author stuck

As I continue revising, editing, and polishing my novel, Passage of Promise, as it runs through my online critique group, in my spare time, I drop into my novella, Mourning Dove,  switching it from first to third person as I did with my novel because I prefer that. I’ve also revised sections and added scenes. Actually, I still have a few more scenes I need to add that were prompted through beta reader and hubby feedback.

But in the past couple of days, I’ve reached to the back burner where my WIP (work in progress), What She Didn’t Know, has been sitting the last two months, waiting to have me add scenes and chapters.

So, I wrote up a scene and chapter yesterday, and it felt good. I wasn’t sure I could get back into the story, but what always helps me is reading previous chapters to prime the creative pump and get myself back into the lives of the three sisters in the case of this story.

Yesterday, I shared with my husband the many plot points and my characters in my WIP. After explaining all the different relationship conflicts with each of the three sisters, my husband said, “What is this? A soap opera?” Haha!

I told him these types of storylines often go through my head. I asked his opinion on one of my ideas for one of the minor characters (one that could be fatal or not fatal). He chose the second and said, “I think there’s already enough drama.”

Oh, but we writers thrive on drama with our characters. It’s called conflict in the world of writers. 😀

I started What She Didn’t Know January 14, 2018. A freaking year ago! I can’t believe I haven’t finished it yet!

Three months. I’m giving myself three months to at least write as many of the chapters I’ve got notes on as I can, hoping the first draft will be done by the end of that time period. If not, at least it’ll be close.

writing's hard gif

First drafts can be very difficult. I’ve read plenty of articles of fellow writers struggling to finish their novels. I blame my half-done piece on working on my other done pieces.

It’s never taken me this long to write a story of any type. It’s time to hunker down.

All fellow writers struggling through their first drafts, let’s unite in getting them done before summer!

And DON’T GIVE UP! You know your story is good and worth the effort! Your characters are calling your name, telling you they’re waiting for their next encounters, next conflicts, next DRAMA. 😉

Happy writing!

 

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