Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cracking the WIP

I have two stories in progress (actually, I have more than that, but these two are the most recent that bubbled into my brain) that have not been as vigorously tended to as they had in the past. I have a wealth of excuses: kids, household, moving household. But my biggest excuse is that I was stuck on a scene or contemplating what to do next. I’d sit and stare at the computer screen, or my notebook (the paper kind), or just off into space while my kids fought, and tried to tease out solutions. What I didn’t do was write.

Plotting-wise, I’m a pantser in the beginning, but pretty soon I know what direction I want to go, what scenes I want to have to tell the story. While this makes it easier to write (relatively), it also raises a certain amount casualness. It’s like watching your favorite movie over and over again. You love it, but even a beloved scene can be reduced to background noise if you get distracted. And I’ve been distracted a lot lately. Yes, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it: distracted.

But recently I had two breakthroughs on my projects (yay!), plot points that I hope will make sense and give them what they need to stand out in the crowd. When things like this come up for a writer the excitement is rekindled. We will delve into our work with a fury, revising earlier chapters to fit new twists, lay the groundwork for revealing characterization, incorporate subplots that add new dimensions. As long as it doesn’t totally bung up the story we’ve been working on thus far. We’re excited, not masochistic.

I don’t know where these bits of inspiration come from. Perhaps from letting my mind wander while doing dishes, or from reading. I couldn’t tell you. I wish I could control the erratic wench that is my muse. But I do know this: she’s been on a long vacation and it’s time for her to get her scrawny ass back to work. Crack!

Okay, gotta write.



At 4:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I am carolyn Ellis and I am a member of the Alaska Romance Writers.. we are a small but very active group. I saw your first line on the first line contest , mine is # 208.. anyway if you would like to learn more about the Anchorage chapter of RWA our web site is under the RWA site and my email is would love ta have ya :)

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

Hi Carolyn, thanks for dropping by. I sent you an email ; )


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