Monday, December 23, 2019

Exploring Writing Resources #2

I've been reading a lot of blogs lately because I want to see what others are doing to help propel themselves through tough spots in their projects. I am at a crossroads and I have completed the beginning and the end of my first novel -- not on purpose, that's just how it happened -- and I need a compelling middle.

I came across this site called BookBaby and I identified with it because my husband released his new CD (Cosmic Stowaway) through CD Baby. While searching through the site, I came across their BookBaby Blog. Wow! Talk about a resource! You should check it out, really! No matter where you are in the process, they have amassed tons of articles on any number of topics -- some you didn't even know you wanted to read!

Now, I know many writers keep a journal. I have kept personal journals in the past but I would just abandon them after a few months. While I was searching through their blog, I came across an article about keeping a "short fiction journal."  I have a WIP journal, but I think a fiction journal is a snippets journal, right? Little ideas and scenes that may or may not go into a story or create a plot that can be turned into a novel. Many "TV" writers use slips of paper and sticky notes for these things. The thing is that while the fiction journal can include those things, it can be used for so much more than I ever thought. For example, you can use it to flesh out characters to be used in future stories or creating new plot lines or just writing down scenes, snippets, and dialogue.

Now, I'm sure this is nothing new to many of you writers out there, but it was a great help to me! You have to remember, I'm a technical writer by trade. We work with specs and programming tools and other resources to create technical manuals, help text for software programs, etc. We don't keep journals for future projects because it's, well, unnecessary.

Finding an article that actually explains using a short fiction journal in a bit more detail than most blog posts I've read in the past is simply gold to me. I had to share this on my blog because I've now read a few more of this author's posts and she is very good at providing concrete examples. Her name, if you're interested, is Dawn Field. So, if you go to BookBaby Blog, look her stuff up. You might just mine a little gold for yourself.

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Exploring Writing Resources #1

I had to miss this year's NaNoWriMo, but I am beginning to work on my novel again after a very long break. I am reading a lot of blog posts and articles about writing a novel because it is much more difficult than one would think.

You can have a couple of great characters and a great plot, but so much more work goes into fleshing out those main characters, the supporting characters, and a story line, that you can become discouraged very easily. I often realize that I need to return to the beginnings and write character sketches so my characters don't (unintentionally) switch gears midstream.

While I intend to finish my novel in 2020,  I thought it I could take a page out of the NaNoWriMo book. I was reading a blog post By Rae Ell of Barely here Books entitled "How to Write a Killer First Chapter: (AKA What Your First Chapter REALLY Needs)" and ended up buying her book. I just did this today, so I haven't read the 54-page book yet; though I'm hopeful that my small investment will yield some good tips to help me write and finish this novel. I'll let you know how it goes.