Sunday, January 22, 2017

On Writing: Form and Time Management

Yeah, I haven't worked on the Love book at all.
Weekends are too short! My to-do list and my to-read list are too long!

I've been working on other things; webinars on overcoming distractions and streamlining your work, updating my book covers on smashwords as I promised, doing a little bit or writing, typing a bit more of a  manuscript for a friend, and working with my husband on a new way to collaborate online in real time on our book series.

I also work full time, tutor two afternoons a week, and this weekend I celebrated my son's 14th birthday. My weekends usually have something going on.

So when do I write???

I write while I am watching a show, or in bursts when I feel the creative juices flowing and I have an idea. Did I learn anything from these webinars on streamlining my work? Basically, when you plan out a story, use an outline. Have an idea of where the story should go. Add in stuff. Expand the outline.

When I write micro fiction, I usually only have a feeling and a character in mind. That's it. I add in setting, other characters as necessary, and I edit and develop as I go. It's micro fic. It needs a set up, delivery, and twist or some sort of conclusion. Bam.

If I'm going for a novel, I need plots, subplots, the epic battle scene be it external or internal, characters, settings, and some research. Sometimes bits and pieces of this process are fun. Developing book covers, finding pictures of characters, typing up the outline, each process is a project. Writing time is when details start to flow.

Basically the outline is like this:
Story beginning - intro the main character and main problem
Things happen TO the character to cause them some discomfort
A big incident happens to cause them to wake up and take action
They react to the incident, they can fail
The Villain enters and readers get some info
They react and plot to try to outwit the villain, they can fail
They find the missing piece of the puzzle and can conquer
They conquer
Story Ending

If I get stuck, it's probably because I strayed from the outline. It happens. Sometimes I can weave my way back to the original idea. Sometimes I have to change things. Too much change, however, causes me to stop. I might drop a project. If I drop it for too long I will forget what I was working on, but sometimes going back a while later gives you new perspective. You can look at it with fresh eyes and maybe fix the outline or edit the prose to shape it into a masterpiece.

There will always be distractions, work, and life things that happen. Find time for your loves. If writing is one thing that makes you happy, then do it. Research. Design a book cover. Begin an outline. Look up pictures to model your characters on. Don't waste a moment. The time is there if you take it.

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