Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Writer's Block

I had an interesting conversation with someone a few weeks ago about writer’s block. It’s something we’ve all heard of, that moment when the writer loses all of their juice, has nothing else to say, no more words pouring onto the paper (or keyboard.)

He suggested that it’s all in our head. It’s a way of procrastinating the inevitable. As writers, we’re looking at the present, but we also focus quite a bit on the future. After I finish my first draft, then I have to edit. After I edit, then I have to query. Once I query… well, I haven’t gotten there yet.

Maybe he’s right. I haven’t had any serious forms of writer’s block. I have found that if I make sure that there’s always a next project, then I don’t feel so stuck on this one. Currently, I’m working on a major rewrite for two novels, I’m working on the prewriting on one for November, and I’m working on critiques for another. If I get tired of editing, I write. If I get tired of writing, I prewrite. If I get tired of all of those, I write blog posts. J

Bouncing around keeps things interesting. I think I also know when to let a project go. It hasn’t happened recently, but I do have two partially finished novels on my shelf. I’m not sure that I’ll ever return to them, but they got me to where I needed to go.

Writer’s block is probably a trick of the mind. I love writing. I do it for myself, I enjoy the characters, and I enjoy the stories. The only time I really run into it is when I work on queries. Now those I can drag my feet in for weeks.

So maybe it’s true. Writer’s block is a form of avoiding what we don’t want to do, whether it’s writing, editing, writing queries, even social media. We each have our strengths. It takes pushing through the weaknesses that gets us even farther.

What do you think? What causes writer’s block?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Writer's Retreat

I just had the best week ever!

Our small writing group has decided to try something completely new, a writer’s retreat. We escaped from real life, and was amazing. When I first told my husband that I would be going on a writing retreat for two days, he told me that I would get bored. Writing, writing and more writing? Wouldn’t I need a break at some point?


And that’s why it’s so nice to have such a fantastic group. When I get tired, there’s someone to talk to. We can talk about life, or we can talk about writing. We can bounce ideas off one another, and we can cheer each other one. It’s not that we’re writing nonstop for 8+ hours a day. But we’re keeping at it, which is better than I can say some days.

Actually, I’ve finished more editing in two days than I’d done in over two weeks, so I say that it’s definitely a benefit.

Oh, and did I mention the best part?

No internet.

No distractions.

The left shows how much I got done over the past two weeks, and the right shows how much I did in two days.

Crazy right?

Have any of you been on a writing retreat? Run away from real life so that you could focus on the imaginary worlds in your head?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Old Project/New Project

For the past few weeks, I’ve been very unfocused. Not in a bad way, but I haven’t been able to concentrate on one project long enough to really do anything effective.

This last week, I decided to read through the Orphans of Jadox, just for fun. It’s been quite a whole since I’ve really focused on it, almost 2 years, to be exact. Since then I’ve rewritten King’s Councilor three times, and written the Stone Mason and Jen’s story (still unnamed).

As I read through it I had a giant realization. The Orphans of Jadox is written in 2 different points of view: Larzo and Aydra. Yet, as I read, I realized that there was no distinction between voice. I’ve been reading a lot of reviews on different books, and that always seems to be the biggest complaint. If there are two different people, then they should talk differently, think differently.

So two days ago, I separated their points of view. I printed them out separately so that as I can focus on one point of view before moving to the other.  Larzo is a shapeshifter, a cat. He needs to focus on tactile senses: smell, sight, sound. Each small detail is heightened by his senses. Aydra, on the other hand, as I later found out in in The Stone Mason, has mild empathy, which her son inherits. So she focuses on emotions, reactions, feelings of those around her.

Right now, I’m working on Larzo’s point of view. It’s odd, focusing so much on details, the smells, the sounds, but I’m loving it. I don’t think I’ve ever felt like I’m completely within someone else’s head. It’s quite fun, and now, when I go on my writer’s retreat next week, I have something definite and concrete to work on.

It’s also been quite a while since I’ve printed out my project, and working in a different medium has definitely got my creative juices flowing.

How about the rest of you? What are you working on right now?