06 May 2020

Just Keep Writing...or Editing...or Brainstorming...

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!


Has it been a month already? March felt like it took six years but April took about three days. So which plague comes after the murder hornets? Don't remember that part in the Bible...

This month's optional question from the IWSG is: Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share?

I've probably mentioned this before, but I've always been very in tune with my characters, and my routines to get into the WRITING ZONE, if you will, usually have to do with them. Listening to music has always been a way to get in the zone for me, but even moreso now because Jordan is a musician. I actually realized that lately I haven't been listening to music (since that happened mostly at the gym and the gym is closed), and my desire to write was pretty much zero. I started listening again and my urge to write has slowly been creeping back. The muse is fickle. 

Anyhoo, I've been trying really hard to at least WORK on writing, if not ACTUAL writing. I'll probably have to explain that. I've added to my daily checklist of goals to work on writing for at least a half hour. But this doesn't necessarily mean I have to be writing. It could be editing, making lists of things to eventually fix, brainstorming ideas in my journal. It just has to be writing related. So far I've been sticking to it every day. 

This past weekend I spent a lot of time writing in my journal. I really like taking a basic idea that I feel I haven't gotten quite right or needs more exploration and just letting my thoughts run free until I've figured it all out. I kid you not, I wrote NINE pages exploring the symbolism of Jordan's phone. You'd think, well, all teens have phones, right? Haha WRONG. It's actually symbolic of not only his secret keeping, but also the isolation he forces on himself.

Literally titled "phone stuff"

It's ok, you can tell me I'm insane. 

All this brainstorming has also read to some mini-revelations. Basically certain parts in the story where I think I can do better. Every time I think of something, I jot it down in a separate journal where I've basically laid out (or am in the process of laying out) all of my editing and rewriting goals. I've already got HUGE lists for rewriting Chapter 1 (because is a first chapter ever really finished?) and Chapter 27 (because it's a trash fire).



And maybe at some point I will actually write the last two chapters of the book. But I'm hoping that by getting all of this other stuff done, not only will I feel more accomplished, but maybe the ending will become clearer.

26 comments:

  1. Well done on doing writing work every day! Keep at it, Sarah!

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  2. Working on brainstorming and outlining is def writing!! In fact, if these aren't done right, it makes it harder for writing in the long run:)

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  3. I like your idea of writing for 30 minutes a day and doing something writing related. As soon as I finish updating my agent spotlights, I'm going to add that to my routine. Maybe it will jump start my writing.

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  4. It's interesting how so many people rely on music to get their muse going. It's cropped on so many routines to get in the zone. I'm one of them.
    Keep well

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  5. Music will distract me from my writing, though it really peps me up. I like your journal a lot!

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  6. You have a journal . . . I have Post-It notes (I need to buy stock in the company!). I miss my music, too. I used to have a playlist of things to listen to on the way to work but now that I'm retired, there's too much silence. I need to get back into that habit. It really helps the mindset!

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  7. I kind of envy people who can use music as inspiration. I pretty much need silence. If I have music going, it's very quiet and soothing with no lyrics.

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  8. Way to go with all of your brainstorming!

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  9. Writing is more than just adding new words to a story. Every little bit helps.

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  10. Music always gets me into the zone, too.

    I've been journaling a lot lately, and when I have nothing to share for the day, I've used that time to brainstorm, and it's really helped me. I never brainstormed about my stories in my journal before, and I like it. :)

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  11. I can't listen to music because I get too caught up in it, and then I'll find myself tapping to the beat, or dancing. Journaling is a great source of inspiration, I think!!

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  12. I'll not tell you you're insane because that would mean I am also insane, and that couldn't possibly be true... I mean, I haven't written nine pages of notes on the symbolism of a character's phone, but that's probably just because so very few of my characters have phones. But I do journaling brainstorming sessions from time to time, and just think out loud on paper about whatever I need to work though. It definitely helps.

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  13. Planning is good. You'll know what to do in edits.
    I can't write without music.

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  14. Exactly with the damn hornets! What's next? I use a loop of rainstorms instead of music. Meaningful songs always drag me into the "remember when" rabbit hole, then I don't get anything done. :-)

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  15. I love the way your brain works! Probably part of being a teacher, but I love seeing how different people process the same tasks! Very cool.
    I was thinking tracker jackets from Hunger Games might make the list...

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  16. I finally finished my first draft at the end of last year, then I started going back through the early chapters again. Wow! There were a lot more problems than I remembered. So there's nothing wrong with going back and redoing old chapters if that's where your muse takes you.

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  17. LOL - I don't even know enough about my iPhone Pro to write a page.

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  18. I love it! That's definitely part of the writing process.

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  19. I'm not sure about the sequence of plagues, but I do know there are some killer hornets that they've found in Washington state. They came in with some plants from Asia. They only live 60 days, but in that time they can kill hundreds of honey bees, and their sting can be fatal to humans. Yay. Now we have something else to worry about.

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  20. Love seeing notebooks! That's really interesting, getting into the zone depending on what the characters need or want. I'm going to try that!

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  21. Cool to see your process in action. Brainstorming is much like a dream, yet only awake. :)

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  22. It's great if you can do some kind (any kind) of writing every day. I know it helps me keep up the momentum and I accomplish more. Just taking out a notebook or scrap paper and brainstorming like you're doing in your journal helps me also. Hope your muse keeps singing! Lori at https://lorilmaclaughlin.com

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  23. Thanks bunches for stopping by my blog.
    I'm trying really hard not to think about murder hornets.
    Music has been helping with that and writing.
    It's good to hear you have a process that's really working for you.

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  24. I am so impressed with your journaling. Writing is writing whether it's in the actual story or character traits or phones. It's working for you so keep it up. I can only listen to music if there are no lyrics.

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  25. Journaling seems like a great idea to me. I actually need to do more note taking because although I prefer pantsing, if I don't stop and gather my thoughts and take stock of what's going on, I can go down some wrong turns and dead ends. Good luck with those closing chapters.

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  26. I'm sure the end will become clearer to you. "Brainstorming" like that helps a lot!

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