Writing again …

In Uncategorized by DB Tait3 Comments

Thanks to ARRA members for nominating Festive Deception in the Best Romantic Suspense category for 2016. I was astonished! The awards are in late February in Melbourne. Not sure I’m going even though I’d love to!

I’ve just been reading Anne Gracie’s blog post about writing on demand. I’m an intermittent user of this method – writing first thing on getting up, then making an appointment to write later in the day – and her post made me think why I don’t use this method more often. Procrastination is my biggest obstacle when it comes to my writing practice. I even procrastinate about tackling it. The mind (well, my mind) is such a wondrous and largely unknowable thing.

Today I’ve been trying out different methods for plotting. I’m about to do an Aeon Timeline course which I hope will be useful.

I’m an aspiring plotter. I’d love to have a whole outline with major scenes and a timeline all worked out before I start writing. Alas, this is not my process, even though I’d like it to be. I generally write about twenty thousand words then sit down and try and work out the way forward from there. I need to get the characters to walk around and interact with each other before I know what action they will take. I wish it wasn’t so, because after 20k, I spend ages in despair trying to work out ‘what next’. It’s as if the characters delight in setting up the problem and then stand back as if to say, ‘Over to you. We’ve got you going, now it’s up to you …’

Which I wouldn’t mind but the problem they set up is often quite tricky. That’s when I pull out beat sheets, write odd scenes on sticky notes and pin them on my notice board, write a vague synopsis that doesn’t make sense, and generally try any planning method for getting me to move forward.

The obvious question is ‘Why not just write?’ Well, yes. Why indeed. Then I circle back to writing in my journal and as Anne says, ‘doing a Dorothea’.

At the moment, I’m writing this post longhand in my bullet journal (not exactly at the moment, but you know what I mean). I’m using a fountain pen with green ink. Lately, I’ve gotten a lot of pleasure writing longhand. If I’m having trouble getting words on the page, hand writing seems to help. I splurged over the Christmas holidays and bought another fountain pen (I like Lamy) and some different coloured ink. So at the moment my hand writing is in green and purple.

I’m not reading romance at the moment. Not sure why. I seem to want to read more crime. I have two books on the go at the moment, The Notorious Mrs Clem: Murder and Money in the Gilded Age by Wendy Gamber (a scholarly history of some aspects of post-Civil War reconstruction using the backdrop of a murder) and A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch an historical crime novel set in 1865 London. I’ve just realised they’re both set in the same time period but in different countries.

I’m listening to Melody Pool and Laura Marling (and wish I had tickets to see Bruce Springsteen); watching Lewis, (although I think it should be call Hathaway given his presence in the series), old episodes of Silent Witness and No Second Chance (a French adaptation of a Harlan Coben book) on Netflix.

I’m also expiring from the heat. We are about to have about a month of temperatures in the early thirties. I’ve lived in the Blue Mountains for almost twenty years and I’ve never experienced weather like this. Usually, when we get hot weather it always cools down at night. Not lately. As I type this, there’s a downpour outside. It’s humid and tropical.  But that doesn’t stop the bush fires. There was one in the Megalong Valley and one in Leura yesterday. Both not very serious but one of the factors of summer up here.

Phew! Just had to save and close down my computer because of a brief but fierce storm. Now I’m bathed in sweat. I can hardly wait for autumn! I’ll just have to dream. 

Comments

  1. Thanks for posting this DB Tait!

    I can relate to you on many levels here. I’ve started plotting and outlining more and I’m better for it but I also discovered that what works for some doesn’t work for all of us. I think we have to try a few different approaches before finding the one that works for us. Writing is an individual thing and so is plotting etc.

    It’s taken me 5 years to find a method that works for me and I’m still learning. I’m slow, I know.

    I love writing long hand and I fluctuate between the two. Green fountain pen…I totally get that. 🙂

    Big smiles,
    Effie

  2. Deb, lovely post! Really enjoy hearing the different way people put a book together – and congratulations on the ARRA nom. Not at all surprised. Love that story. I love Lewis – sad that the last series has been filmed. I found Hathaway strangely compelling and quite mysterious. Like you, I’m not reading much romance at the moment and turning instead to crime. I read The Cuckoo’s Calling last week, the JK Rowling/Robert Galbraith book and really enjoyed it. Got the Silkworm waiting for me now. Be interesting to see what happens – she has a gift for creating compelling characters.

  3. I’m procrastiwatching Lewis at the moment. I’m reading a tad outside my genre and mixing crime with historical romance – go figure. Congratulations on the nomination – it was well deserved.

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