Write to Live

Reading or writing? What’s that expression about can’t walk and chew gum at the same time? Well, I can’t read and write at the same time. If I’m reading and plowing through romantic fiction, I can’t write my own. I’ve discovered several good book series that I’ve enjoyed immensely. Recently while racing through books and writing book reviews, I put my own attempts at fiction aside. It was good to step away from my characters for a bit. It gave me perspective and renewed enthusiasm for my project.

anxiousIt also made me nervous and anxious, and I wondered why my stomach was flaring up on me again. I missed my characters. My fictional world is about a rock band of five guys and the five women that they love. I’ve rough-drafted four of the books, and for the fifth and final one I totally changed it up and wrote alternating points of view. I’ve loved writing this last one so much I will probably re-draft the other four books in the same format. For now, I’m loath to finish. This male character is my favorite, and I don’t want the book to be over. I’ve lived with these ten main characters for months. They’ve become quite real to me.

After my break in writing, I’ve picked it back up again, and the joy of writing just consumes me. For months now, I’ve found myself writing constantly during all my spare time. Writing took over when school ended. There are things I must get down on paper. I don’t know if they’re good things yet, but they need to be said. I write on the fly, and sometimes when I have multiple chapters done, I go back to re-center myself in the story and end up rewriting and overhauling as I go.

castlesI’m glad I’ve rediscovered this hobby of mine. I enjoy it so much. When I’m not writing, I feel only half alive. I used to write all the time as a teenager. It was fun then, too. I was always trying to write something romantic yet humorous. As a teen, I was quite shy, and I wrote to live the romance I didn’t have going on in my day-to-day life. I stopped for a few years when I started working at age 19, and then I picked it up again for a few years in my 20’s. It then got shelved for life and living. When romance in the real world came along, marriage, more working, and raising a family became my priorities.

onlyawriterWhen I wasn’t writing, I would still make up stories in my head, often while falling asleep. They’ve always been there. It’s only within the past year that I’ve started writing them down again. I’ve always had imaginary conversations and scenes playing out in my head. They always say if you can’t find a good book to read, write one yourself. Write what you would like to read. I’ve read hundreds if not thousands of books in my 57 years. Not all of them have been well written. Many weren’t worth the time I wasted reading them.

write-itThe interesting thing is we’re a family of writers. My husband blogs when he’s not trucking. His writing format has changed a lot. He went from keyboard to dictating his text, and we all like to tease him about the random spur of the moment thoughts he’ll speak into his phone. I blog, and I write fiction. If I’m not at the keyboard, I’m pecking out paragraphs of text on my iPhone’s notepad. My boys write, too. Perhaps it’s in their blood.

I’m hoping that all the time I’ve spent working through scenes and dialogue over the years translates well to paper. That remains to be seen yet.

Images courtesy of Pinterest

The Value of an Outline

I’ve been spending time this week working on the children’s book that I began during NaNoWriMo. I took today off from work because I have to run errands with my youngest son this afternoon. I decided to use this morning to re-read through what I’ve written in the book.

photoI haven’t touched it much since November so I don’t recall some of what I wrote. I’ve been working on a reverse outline this time through, too. I had no outline or plan to follow when I began to write so I just typed and let the thoughts and ideas flow. NaNoWriMo is all about writing as much as you can during an entire month, and then you go back later on to edit.

 

Doing the outline allows me to see again the good parts that I had created, but it also lets me see where I went astray. My chapters had some sense to them, and there was a general idea I was following, but I kind-of lost it midway through. At one point I tried to add in too many new characters. I must have thought that the original cast of characters was limited in some way. When I added more, I lost the original plot.

 

I can now see where I need to add additional material to take the story back to the original storyline. I can also see chapters that I will cut and characters that I will save for (hopefully) future books. This is all very exciting. I am not certain this will go anywhere, but it’s fun to think that it could.

 

My first steps are to continue with what I’ve got and to make sure there’s a beginning, a middle and an end. Even children’s stories need to make sense and either tell a tale or teach a lesson of some sort. I just hope that (some day) others enjoy what I’m creating.