Sometimes, I need to rearrange the furniture in my head.

Ever since I’ve gone and set my goal, I’ve realized that I needed to change my approach to writing.

I still pick what I want to do and when, but I pretty much always need to do something.

Fortunately, there’s a lot to do. To illustrate. This is a long term list of  everything I want to get done so far:

Concept
StW
Wo6C4
Wo6C5
ES2
ES3
ES4
ES5
ES6
ES7
ES8
ES9
BvB2
CiC
DD
CaA?
HM
SS1
SS2
Draft
VD
P
MDtS
RH

Rewrite
Wo6C3
BvB
ES
O

Edit
Submit
Publish
Wo6C1
Wo6C2

Every single one of those highlighted abbreviations stand for books I want to write, edit or publish. The red, yellow and green show me my priorities. Green’s what I’m doing at the moment, yellow’s what I want to do in the near future and red’s for things I want to do, but that can or must wait for a bit longer. Either way, my list is growing.

In the past six weeks, I’ve added three more ideas to the list of concepts: HM, SS1 and SS2. SS1 and SS2 are two books in a series. I dreamed something that’s kickstarted a concept the night before last. Usually I just ignore my dreams, but for some reason, the more I ignore this one, the less I can think of anything else. So I gave in and SS is now a concept I’m trying to actively work on. In between my rewrite to BvB.

At least, now that I’ve decided to put more thought into the concept right now, it feels like it’s letting up enough for me to finish the rewrites. Phew.

Since I know some of you will want to know what the abbreviations stand for:

Wo6C is for The War of Six Crowns. So Wo6C1 is in fact the book I’m in the process of editing for publishing. (Remember to help reveal the title! I even made it easy for you.)
BvB is for Birds vs Bastards, which is just a working title for my high concept urban fantasy.
O is for Otto, the main character in the dystopian I wrote for last year’s NaNoWriMo.

The others… well… Guess you’ll have to wait and see. 😉

Do you also keep track of what you’ve worked on/are working on? Do you also feel the need to shift some priorities around as you go?

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Insecure Writers’ Support Group: Rewrite Woes

This might be cheating, because I’m writing this IWSG post on Sunday, 1 July. But given the shear horror I’m experiencing, I’m thinking I couldn’t possibly be feeling more insecure than I’m feeling right now. 

I was fine until Friday, when I checked my goals for 2012 and saw that one of them is to finish the WiP2 rewrite by 30 September. *shudder*

Usually I have nothing against rewriting. I see it as a necessary and normal part of my writing method. But this…. this is different.

Because I already started rewriting last year. Two months in, I wrote 40 thousand words and I was so excited about the story. It was awesome. And then, the day after Christmas, disaster struck.

In the most catastrophic loss I ever experienced as a writer, I lost my entire rewrite, ironically while I was in the process of backing it up. I can’t describe how much that hurt. Still I loved the story and vowed that I’d finish the rewrite so that I can edit it early next year.

But now it’s July and the number of times I’ve even looked at WiP 2: Zero. Zilch. Zip. Not even after I decided that I’d have to start.

The mere thought of looking at it gives me the heevie jeevies. I loved the new version. I guess in the past few months, the perfection and beauty of what I’ve lost grew in my mind until I am where I am now.

What if this rewrite isn’t as good? What if I open WiP2 and find that I don’t love it any more? And should I even be forcing myself to do something when everything inside me rebels at the mere thought?

All I know is, if I want to finish this rewrite by 30 September, I better get over this aversion fast, because I have 80 thousand words and three months. My time to that deadine won’t increase if I keep procrastinating…

What would you do if you were in my shoes?

Officially, my goals for 2012

Since this is the last Friday of the year, I thought I’d handle the New Year’s admin now. If you want to see how I fared with the 2011 “guidelines”, you’re more than welcome to go check out my other blog, Taking Charge of My Life.

Without further ado, my goals for 2012:

Writing:

I want to finish Doorways before 30 June.

I will query Doorways on 1 July.

I want to finish the WiP2 rewrite by 30 September.

I want to finish the Don’t Look Back draft by 31 December.

I want to finish at least one draft of the musical libretto by 31 December.

I might want to look at Guardian again.

Reading:

I want to read more (crit partners’ manuscripts don’t count).

I want to read Shakespeare, Austen and Martin.

Life:

Auditions, auditions, auditions.

I want to master at least intermediate cooking.

I want to spend more time designing.

I want to brush up on my French and Mandarin (at least one of the two) and take another language.

I want to take classes in a musical instrument. Either piano or guitar.

I also want to get out more next year. Cabin fever never did suit me.

Since I achieved four goals in 2011, I want to achieve six in 2012.

So that’s me for the year. I hope you enjoyed my blog as much as I enjoyed all of yours.

Before I sign off, I just want to say cheers.

2011 was more than a little bumpy, but your support made it much easier to get through the year. Here’s to 2012. If it’s the last one, know I wouldn’t want to spend it without you. If it isn’t, thank goodness, because then I’ll see you for 2013.

See you on the other side. 😉

My interesting discovery about plot holes.

Hi all! Just want to leave another reminder to pencil in 24 June. There’s a voucher at stake! ^_^


Then, I want to ask you to go over and say hi to my friend, Theresa. I did a double whammy and drew her over to the Dark Side. She’s starting to write and… she’s starting to blog. So please head over to I Need To Write and show your support and love. 🙂


So… plot holes.


The bane of our existence, right? Every writer I know from the trenches had to face this nasty little weapon of mass procrastination.


Everything goes along swimmingly. Characters come and go. Story lines flow.


And then we almost stumble over a cliff. What do we do?


Turning back is an option (if you’re drafting on a computer), but then we have to live with the fact that you might have to settle for an end destination that wasn’t your first choice. I hate that.


So… we stare at the abyss trying to find around or down.


Well… that’s my discovery about plot holes. They shouldn’t make us change direction or retreat.


It should make us think harder, knowing that every plot hole has a solution if you think about it long enough. And those solutions! They can potentially solve more problems than the ones you can see now.


So now I’ve come to love plot holes, even if it’s just in the way I love annoying family members.


Because those cliffs aren’t there to stop me. They’re there to teach my writing how to fly.

How do you go about solving plot problems?

A to Z Challenge: Where Did the Passion Go?

I’ve been working on Doorways for about three years, possibly three and a half. 


When Darrion walked into my head and demanded that I write the story, a love for the story sparked and it was almost all I could think about. Lucky for me I think of multiple things at once otherwise I would never have been able to cope with University.

I wrote with more than a few doldrums where I ended up not writing until they passed. But when I got back to writing, it was wonderful. An incredible rush that hummed in my blood every time I put down the pen. I’d write whenever I could. While the rest of the people were watching rugby between eating (think NFL), I was watching rugby between writing.

I never realized how much I’ll miss drafting until the first draft was done. For me, the first draft (whether it sucks or not) is the phase where we get to experience creation. We still have to explore everything and everyone. Nothing is hard and fast. Everything is new. With the first draft, I got to experience the liberation of writing whatever I wanted. I loved getting to know the characters. 

In December last year, the end of the story crept up on me. Really. Anyway. I rested the story until January and set the goal finishing date as 30 April. Almost immediately, I sensed a problem. 

See, after my frenzied first draft, I had to bring in a sense of the technical. I had to start thinking of things like pacing and voice. Of right and wrong. Of story elements. Themes. Subplots. Of fixing plot holes. 

Seems natural, right? Well, it is. But when it comes to my beast of an epic, things like that become daunting. There’s just so much! Fear crept in, choking out my spark of passion. Hopelessness followed soon after. I started to think that I’d been a little too ambitious in my choice of story to write. 

And with that, I started to wonder if I should even be writing at all. 

I tried to keep writing, but although I managed to keep going, my love for the story kept fizzling. In February I   stopped writing altogether. 

I kept it quiet, not wanting to admit that my beast beat me. So I gave myself pep talks. Lots of them. I even posted some on my blog. 

It got me writing with renewed determination, but not love. My story became the enemy. I was writing to show the Beast who’s boss. 

But one day, I was skyping a friend and something she said got me thinking. That thought turned into another thought and another and another until I had the main plot line that will run through the entire series. 

Just like that, I remembered why I love the story. Not a moment too soon, either. 

Because by that point, I’d been considering shelving Doorways indefinitely. 

But in that moment, when I saw where the series would go, I realized that instead of all those things scaring me, they’re helping me. Those considerations were what made my story as good as it could become. And it had better be good. There are three sequels in the pipeline. 

I wrote with new passion, sometimes I wrote six times my daily target until I finished it. 

Of all the things that I am most grateful for, I am so glad that I didn’t give up on Doorways as soon as I could have. 

So… Have you ever lost the passion for what you were working on? How did you get it back? 

Resistance

It’s official.

My muse is just plain contrary.

I decided to take a break from Doorways and started working on Guardian. As soon as I finished writing the scene I wanted… The plot outline occurred to me, weaving James and Ward’s story back into the plot as I intended all along.

I must say that I am thrilled by this. But why couldn’t I just have done it while I was still in the “strike while the iron is hot”  mood?

That said, I might take a break from writing in general for a short while. Maybe just until January.

Even though I’ve been quite productive these past few days, it feels as if I’m wringing my already over wrung mind for whatever ideas I might have left. It’s just not a fun feeling to have. Especially not when I’m doing something that I love.

I actually had a headache after I wrote only 1000 words.

Maybe I shouldn’t push myself. But as I said. Now that I am contemplating taking a break, I feel that draw. That intense desire to sit down and start crafting a story. Whether it’s an old one or a new one.

So I want to write. I really do. So why then do I feel such a resistance when I am writing?

Have any of you experienced something similar?

The problem with taking a break.

I decided to get my creativity going again by working on something else. Just for a while.

Right.

Optimistic thought of the century.

See… I decided to just write a single scene to open Guardian. For those of you that don’t know, Guardian is the book that occurred to me a few months back. I shelved it pending the completion of Doorways.

I never stated which draft of Doorways to be completed. Yes people. I am a genius at finding loopholes.

Anyway. I wrote it out and got hit by the clearest voice I’ve ever had. Really. It’s literally as if I’m tuning into Arian’s mind. Not that her mind isn’t a scary place. She’s bitter and more than just a little cynical.

I know for a fact what part of me she comes from, though. Which makes it a bit uncomfortable. Like a mother looking at her child and seeing that the kid got all of her personality traits. Including the worst ones.

Still. She does intrigue me. Not as much as, say… Darrion. But then… Darrion is in a league all of his own. 

I just hope that I didn’t open Pandora’s box now. I still want to rewrite Doorways. As quickly as possible.  It won’t do to have Arian chattering away while I’m trying to tune into Callan or the others.

On the other hand… I think it might be a good idea to rest Doorways until I can look at it without shaking. If that is even possible. But if I am to rest Doorways with a hope of getting back to it, it might be a better idea to stick to small projects like short stories and poetry. IF… I could get my brain wired that way for a while.

Fact is that my mind is geared to writing novels.

That’s it. Time for a change. I am going to write a poem a day until I can say my mind is geared to anything literary.

Maybe I’ll even post a few. IF… they aren’t too terrible.

What do you do to give your mind a rest before rewrites?