My muse has been practicing social distancing. It’s putting quite a dent in getting my writing done. To be fair to her, much of my normal writing time has been devoted to figuring out how to be a school teacher – a necessary endeavor which has taken far more energy than I anticipated.
But I think I’ve found a way to win my muse back and communicate with her in our new normal.
With writing, reading is part of building your craft. You read to stay current with publishing trends, to expand your knowledge of world building, grammar, sentence construction, vocabulary, the list goes on and on. As an author I love books, and I read a lot.
So, I’m terribly embarrassed when I find an established author whose work is amazing and somehow have never read—even though two of her books have been sitting on my bookshelf for the last year.
Everyone is coping differently with the state of the world at the moment. The only advice I have, is to be gentle with yourself. For me, as I’m a goal-oriented person, setting small goals helps. I have to make them reasonable though. My favorite is brushing my teeth. That’s one, no matter how I’m feeling or what’s happening, I know I’ll get done at some point in the day.
I, like many others, am exploring the dimension of the interior of my home. While on my computer, I’m beginning to discover links worth investigating.
This week has been all about resume building for me. Working on short stories, submitting poems, and perfecting my tiling skills while cursing at inanimate objects.
I’m not a panster – someone who makes up a story as they type it. But I’m also not a plotter – someone who plans the story, outlining each chapter before sitting down to write. I’m somewhere in between.
I write a rough outline of the story, like an incredibly rough draft that has major plot points including the ending with not much else, before sitting down to write the full story. But the more I write, the more critical planning is becoming.
Life is funny. I’ve written poetry for as long as I can remember. My story telling began as songs I used to make up as I rode my bike. In high school and college, I wrote a ton of poetry before transitioning more to novel writing. I still write the odd poem, but for whatever reason I’ve never submitted poems for publication—until last year, that is.
As any author who wants to have their novel published knows, writing the story is just the beginning. Next is query writing, blurbs, loglines and the dreaded synopsis. It’s a challenge to shrink 300-400 pages worth of story down into 2.
It’s taken me a long time to find an approach to the synopsis that didn’t leave me feeling frustrated and the synopsis sounding clunky. But I think I’ve finally figured out an approach that works.
The start of the year is always busy with Pitch events. #IWSGpit and #SFFpit were both in January. There are even more events, on Twitter and off, scheduled for February and March. Here are the ones I know about:
Just like many other tasks, editing is possible while you have a head cold. BUT if you are so congested you can’t recall where the ‘h’ goes in ‘that’, it’s probably better to wait until you’re well before you edit.
If you do have to edit, regardless of where the ‘h’ goes, be sure to schedule time to reedit that area when you’re healthy. It’s shocking how congestion clogs up the ol’ brain and there’s a lot that gets missed while editing under the influence of mucus.
Now writing while sick, on the other hand, that can be more… entertaining.
A good beta reader is worth their weight in gold. Seriously. Put them on a scale, weigh them, and pay up.
😊 Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to do that? I can’t even imagine having that kind of money… But I digress.