March 24, 2006

I’m Smokin’ Again

Filed under: Pen to Paper — chapterhouse @ 5:27 pm

NO, not cigarettes. I quit those almost nine years ago. Woulo! (That's a cajun word I recently ran across. It means the same as Woo-Hoo!)

The mystery novel is coming along great now. I've written 7,735 words since last Saturday! Woulo!

I'm close to halfway through.

Writing such a joy when it's flowing like this, and such a pain when it isn't. Ah, the agony and the ecstasy! Some people just start writing their books, which is what I did with the first one, The Earthquake Doll. It turned out to be a mess. I kept having to go back and make major changes because I'd be writing along, and suddenly the story would take a different direction, forcing changes to be made on stuff I'd already written. I did not have a clue about writing novels then. It wasn't until I took a course on Basics of Novel Writing, taught by Pooks, that I found out there's this thing called Structure! That's when I was finally happy with an EQ Doll rewrite.

More recently, I discovered that wonderful book, Save The Cat! by Blake Snyder, and it gives the beats – 15 of them – to the basic Structure. Wow!

The key, for me, is the prep work. Get the Structure down; then start writing. Creativity still has a free reign, and your characters can still "take over" and do magical things for your story. But, you won't be sweating blood over what the next basic scene will be. No more dead-ends. No more writer's block.

Besides, as Snyder points out in his book, doing the prep work takes time, and it is time that your subconscious takes great advantage of! When you sit down to write, you are Ready To Tell The Story, which is what it's all about.




  1. You go, girl! 🙂

    Comment by DaughterOfLiberty — March 24, 2006 @ 10:29 pm | Reply

  2. i think that’s exactly what my problem is: lack of structure. need to work on that otherwise, both previously started novels will continue to collect dust

    Comment by Thawtz — March 24, 2006 @ 10:45 pm | Reply

  3. I wish you all the best on your book. I hope you will make it a collector’s item.

    I am upset, because a brother inlaw just took my towel to the swimming pool. And I don’t share my towel with anybody.

    I am so upset that it is affecting my surfing.

    God bless.

    Comment by Orikinla Osinachi. — March 25, 2006 @ 12:27 pm | Reply

  4. Skeletons in my closet? No, but there are three unfinished manuscripts in there! Perhaps, someday, I’ll get back to them!

    Comment by W. J. St. Christopher — March 25, 2006 @ 11:07 pm | Reply

  5. Structure. What a concept!

    I used to listen to the radio during my 40-minute daily commute each way. When there’s a story developing (like now) I spend the time thinking through the structure. Not the dialogue or plot twists, but where to open, where and how to develop the needed background and details, how to drag my poor protagonist down to the bottom so the plot (or his/her “character arc”) can then bring about the conclusion. Yes, it takes time.

    Glad yours is coming along so well!


    Comment by Duke_of_Earle — March 26, 2006 @ 8:41 am | Reply

  6. Duke – it does take time, but it’s a great way to begin, isn’t it? I can hardly wait to see your new story!
    I may have mentioned this to you before, but Blake’s book suggests mapping the arc for each SCENE. I’m doing that, and if there’s no arc, I rewrite until there is one – keeps the story really moving along!

    Comment by Candace — March 26, 2006 @ 9:02 am | Reply

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