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.
My current work in progress is ready to venture out into the world. To walk out on its fledgling legs to see who will help it to the next stage – publication. But sending it out to every publisher out there would be a waste of time, for me and the publishers.
So, research is the next step. But not just research on similar titles and an interest in my genre. No. My search now has many more items.
My writing time is limited at the best of times. Lately, that time has been shattered into little bits as the small people who depend on me are not sleeping well. I’m still sticking to my schedule as much as I can, still trying to keep my muse happy while taking care of those around me. But chopping up my writing time has created two interesting byproducts.
The transition into the new year has left me strangely bereft of energy. My usual drive to get my massive To-Do List accomplished has vanished with the striking of the clock on New Year’s Day. I’ve never been one for making resolutions, but usually the start of the new year reinvigorates my drive to get things done. Not this year.
Cue writing schedule.
2019 witnessed one of the most incredible moments of my life as a writer to date, and one of the worst. At the start of the year I signed my first book contract. In the fall, a few weeks before my debut novel was set to be released, the publisher announced they were closing - effective immediately.