Wednesday, March 4, 2015

IWSG March 2015 Calling All Pantsers!


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

I'm currently #80.

Wow, the weeks are flying by! Here we are again and I don't know that I've made much progress since last month. I have thought some things through though and that's got to count for something.

First the good news. People are reading FADE INTO ME and the reviews are good. Really good and that's nice. I feel validated and ready to get back to work on the next story.

The bad news isn't really bad either. In January I promised myself that I would finish the sequels for Talia's book this year. It has to be priority, but until last week I wasn't really feeling it. I made myself sit down anyway and think about the story. Where was it going at the end of THE MAGIC WAKES and where do I want it to go now? Most importantly, I asked myself what I needed to do to fall in love with Talia's world again. I think I've come up with a plan.

The insecurity lies in the fact that it's been a long time. Two years have passed since the first book was released. Does anyone remember?  Do they care? Will my publisher be interested in this next installment?

And the big one...What if the second book is no good?

You see, now that I know the story in its entirety (yep! I've plotted out the next three books in the series with beat sheets) I'm not experiencing the excitement of writing. There are no surprises for me to discover. My concern is that if I'm not excited my readers won't be. I'm hoping this is stupid because I LOVE the story. It's just all in my head in its complete glory so I don't feel the need to write and find out what happens.

Does that make any sense? Have you ever had this problem? What did you do?

My goal is to remind myself this is my career choice and that means butt in seat working! Maybe I can find the joy in little details?

And, to share something that happened yesterday...

Yeah, that happened. I started to boil eggs for my mom, sat down to write and forgot all about them. After the water evaporated the eggs exploded. I was drawn to the kitchen by a strange popping sound. The smell soon followed. Ug!

25 comments:

  1. I've always planned in detail, which is what gets me excited for a story.
    People will still care. Look at the gaps between my books. I know it's better to keep producing work, but some of us just don't function that way.

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    1. I still laugh that you say you're slow. You're faster than me. ;) Still, it's nice to be reminded that we have to do it our own way. There's not one method that fits every writer.

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  2. Maybe you need to do or create something really different to create an element of surprise for yourself?
    Play off the Page

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    1. Yes! I've told myself that after I put in my time on Talia's story I can then play with new ideas. So far it's helping.

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  3. I think it is only natural to be more worried about the success of future books once you have that first - or second - success story. now you have an image to live up to. I am sure once you start actually writing on the next book in the series, there will be surprises you didn't plot out in its entirety. Knowing where the characters and plot should go doesn't negate the adventure of the journey to get there.

    I just started reading Fade. I'm having a little trouble getting into the dual 1st person POVs, but that is just me as a reader. I should have it finished by this weekend and have the review for your guest post done.

    Yeah, don't write and cook. I learned that lesson a long time ago. The dinners I've ruined for my poor children.

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    1. LOL, I'm no longer allowed to cook dry beans on the stove. Crock pot only!

      I've been working on Talia's story the last two weeks and am learning to trust in my love for her and her story. Hopefully that will come through in the writing. And some surprises would be nice too!

      The dual POV was hard for me too. The first few revisions they didn't sound different at all. My writers group helped a lot and it's better, but there are spots Caedan sounds too much like Ryanne. Is that the problem or something else? All feedback is good for future stories. :)

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  4. I haven't had that problem yet, but I'm sure it's because I'm a pantser. I know how the story will end, but I don't know how I'm going to get there until I get there. I've tried plotting before, but my characters ignore it and go elsewhere. Good luck getting the story down on paper!

    That burning food smell is so familiar...

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  5. Hi from another pantser. Or maybe a sort-of pantser. I don't exactly plot but know where the story will go. I love when my imagination takes a detour that is so much better than I thought. I hope you'll accomplish your goal and get that next book out this year. Good luck!

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  6. Charity, too bad about the eggs! I've learned that I can't really cook and do much of anything else. Correction. In theory, I know that I shouldn't cook and do other things, but waiting is so boring.
    I have to admit, I have that experience of writing plot outlines, starting to write and realizing that the story has other ideas. I think it's all good. I dunno. Congrats on the good reviews and on moving forward.
    Loud, loud timers sometimes help me with cooking.
    Anne

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  7. That picture absolutely cracked me up. Hah Hah...
    I wish I were more of a planner. I can be with some things but I think the trouble is that my work life is SO scheduled that I don't have energy for it at home when things are said and done. So writing.. is my pantsing time. So is blogging, unfortunately. But it gets done!
    Congrats on the good book news :)
    ~AJ from Naturally Sweet
    An April A-Z co-host

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  8. I'm the opposite. I can't work on a story until I know it in its entirety. Until then I can't get into it. But you may find the characters start doing things you don't expect as you start drafting, and then it'll be just like pansting all over again.

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  9. @lori thanks! I'm making some progress today.

    Character detours are often my favorite too @Diane! I'm hoping a few subplots pop up on my way to the grand finale. :)

    @annehiga, thanks! Several people have suggested a loud timer. Now, why didn't I think of that! LOL Definitely worth a try, although when I read I don't hear anything.

    @AJ you are too much! I can see how having a scheduled work life would make you crave the freedom of pantsing. It's an escape, and we all need that.

    @Liz I'm keeping my fingers crossed. :) I still wish I could change my brain chemistry though. Make plotting work because it would make for faster turn around on stories. *sigh*

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  10. I'm a panster, so I can't give any advice. Sorry. =S

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  11. Yes, I have that problem too, but I suggest reading your book and looking for themes or "what's next" questions - maybe not what you were planning on doing, but something new.
    And, I care if you write the next book - I want to know what happens next. See me leaning forward in my seat, excitedly! I'm ready to read the sequel! :)

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    1. Thanks Tyrean! Your idea is actually what I did. I took the published version of The Magic Wakes and my last version and sort of mashed them together in a best of both worlds author's edit. No one will ever see it, but it helped me get back into Talia's world. The short story is currently at almost 13K and I've got almost 60K on the second full length novel. So, I'm working on getting it to you! I just need to pull it all into focus and fill in some gaps. :)

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    2. Cool! Good to hear it's coming along!

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  12. Haha! Those eggs—oh my goodness!

    Have you tried rereading The Magic Wakes to get you excited for the rest of Talia's journey?

    I'm definitely a pantser, even when I try to outline, the story goes off in a different direction. So, I've embraced it. Good luck getting butt to chair!

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    1. I did. Actually I took the published version and my last version and smashed them together in a "best of the best" author's version. It helped me get back into Talia's world. This week I've almost finished the short story. Starting to get excited!

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  13. Please don't think me critical, but maybe you've gone too far with the outlines. Each character needs room to move and grow. That's where I find the biggest surprises.

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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    1. I've definitely gone to far with the outlining. :)

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  14. True, Charity. If you're not excited, your readers won't be either. Wish I had my stories plotted and organized like yours. What if you wrote something else, like a short story to get your creative juices flowing and then go back to that story.

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    1. Sadly, I walked away and wrote an entire novel. Now that it's published I feel like I really need to finish this. I started by rereading the first book and then jumping straight in to my rewrites. So far so good. I'm even starting to enjoy the story again. :)

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  15. LOL on those eggs! Too funny!
    I'm thinking along the same lines as Anna. Maybe your outline is too detailed?

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  16. It seems you're on the right track. Getting away from something should help one see it closer to new. If only it didn't take so much time to do that.

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  17. If this is your chosen career choice, I have no doubt that your career is gonna take off. Focus can make things pay off, and I admire what you do.

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