I Wanna Write!

I told myself I wouldn’t start on the second draft of my middle-grade WIP until I sorted out the plot issues.  So that’s what I’ve been doing.  Pulling up my list of THINGS I KNOW and adding to it.  A little bit here, a little bit there. 

Well, I’m sick of it. 
I don’t want to sketch out plot issues anymore. 
I don’t feel like I’m moving forward on this project. 
I just want to write the @$*#-ing book.

Among other THINGS I DO NOT KNOW, I still haven’t figured out the story of one character’s mother.  Is she alive?  Dead?  Missing in action?  Wandering the streets suffering amnesia?

Do I have to know this before I start the second draft?

   

76 thoughts on “I Wanna Write!

  1. I get in this same spot — & it’s so frustrating! It seems the harder I think about it, the less decisive I become! Sometimes — if I start writing & stop thinking πŸ˜‰ it all works itself out.
    Good luck to you on this!

    Like

  2. I get in this same spot — & it’s so frustrating! It seems the harder I think about it, the less decisive I become! Sometimes — if I start writing & stop thinking πŸ˜‰ it all works itself out.

    Good luck to you on this!

    Like

  3. Well…take it with a grain, but for my WIP I PURPOSELY did not write down any notes or backstory. I’m forcing myself to discover backstory and motivation as I write. I think it’s making this story fresher. (I might be deluded, though, since I haven’t gone back to read anything yet…). I realize in later drafts I will have to fill holes or work out inconsistencies and deepen motivations, but I’m finding you can get away with a lot and learn a lot with the seat-of-the-pants method. I, too, have a character with an absent parent and I’m waiting for her to tell me where the heck her mother is…. Hope I find out soon.
    So… uh…advice. Come up with something broad and general and leave the details for when you write the scene. The coolest stuff pops up.

    Like

    • Wow, that’s a brave approach. I think I did that on my first book (not on purpose but because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing) and that book took revision after revision before it was cohesive. I guess I was trying to avoid that scenario but went overboard the other direction.
      I like your sentiment about the coolest stuff popping up. I’ve had that happen before and it is a truly wonderful experience.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Laurie. It always helps knowing other writers are successfully tackling some of the same issues.
      Keep me posted on the status of your absent parent, okay?

      Like

  4. Well…take it with a grain, but for my WIP I PURPOSELY did not write down any notes or backstory. I’m forcing myself to discover backstory and motivation as I write. I think it’s making this story fresher. (I might be deluded, though, since I haven’t gone back to read anything yet…). I realize in later drafts I will have to fill holes or work out inconsistencies and deepen motivations, but I’m finding you can get away with a lot and learn a lot with the seat-of-the-pants method. I, too, have a character with an absent parent and I’m waiting for her to tell me where the heck her mother is…. Hope I find out soon.
    So… uh…advice. Come up with something broad and general and leave the details for when you write the scene. The coolest stuff pops up.

    Like

  5. Well…take it with a grain, but for my WIP I PURPOSELY did not write down any notes or backstory. I’m forcing myself to discover backstory and motivation as I write. I think it’s making this story fresher. (I might be deluded, though, since I haven’t gone back to read anything yet…). I realize in later drafts I will have to fill holes or work out inconsistencies and deepen motivations, but I’m finding you can get away with a lot and learn a lot with the seat-of-the-pants method. I, too, have a character with an absent parent and I’m waiting for her to tell me where the heck her mother is…. Hope I find out soon.

    So… uh…advice. Come up with something broad and general and leave the details for when you write the scene. The coolest stuff pops up.

    Like

  6. You’ll probably figure things out while writing the second draft.
    Have you tried lying down and listening to music and letting your mind go blank and visualize your plot issues? I know that was contradictory statement, but you get my drift. This has worked for me.

    Like

    • I think you’re right about the second draft. For some reason I got a little anal on this one and was forcing the issue. I’m going to try the Lizzy method of letting music wash over me.
      Thanks!

      Like

  7. You’ll probably figure things out while writing the second draft.
    Have you tried lying down and listening to music and letting your mind go blank and visualize your plot issues? I know that was contradictory statement, but you get my drift. This has worked for me.

    Like

  8. an idea
    When a character is being elusive, I write a first person character bio from that character’s point of view. So maybe try to write a monologue/bio from that MIA mom’s POV and maybe she’ll tell where she is…Good luck. I know the frustration!!! You can do this, Tracy.

    Like

      • Re: an idea
        It’s the whole ‘forest for the trees’ thing…have you read that book by Betsy Lerner by the same title? It’s a gem! Hope you found that out where that mom’s been and what she’s been up to…
        love
        kerry

        Like

  9. an idea
    When a character is being elusive, I write a first person character bio from that character’s point of view. So maybe try to write a monologue/bio from that MIA mom’s POV and maybe she’ll tell where she is…Good luck. I know the frustration!!! You can do this, Tracy.

    Like

  10. an idea

    When a character is being elusive, I write a first person character bio from that character’s point of view. So maybe try to write a monologue/bio from that MIA mom’s POV and maybe she’ll tell where she is…Good luck. I know the frustration!!! You can do this, Tracy.

    Like

  11. I can relate, Tracy. I’m so sick of my frigging revisions now. I didn’t think I would be but I frigging am. I can’t tell whether a line can go or whether it needs to stay. I’m cranky that the two pages I so carefully revised last time now need to be condensed or cut. Yada yada…
    So I don’t have any advice but I *loved* Dot’s about doing what makes you feel “sparky and pleased.” That sounds so good that she absolutely has to be right.

    Like

    • I’m so sorry you’re struggling with your revisions. It sounds as if you’re getting contradictory editorial comments? I can relate to not knowing whether a line should go or stay. I very much dislike being in that mindset because I feel so shaky and filled with doubt. It’s not supposed to be like that, is it?
      Is there any way you can do what makes you feel sparky and pleased?
      Oh! I’ve been meaning to ask you if there’s a way to link your blog with my LJ so I can get your new posts. I saw something on your blog but I don’t understand how it works to make that connection. And since you’re so savvy, maybe you can help? (Only when you want a break from those revisions, though).
      Take a deep breath and feel better, C.K. Your book is going to be published.

      Like

      • Thanks, Tracy. Yep, filled with doubt. After so much rereading I think it’s really hard to tell whether a singe line, paragraph, page, whatever, is strictly necessary so when the editor poses the question I go into an eternal loop, pondering…
        How’s it going with the plotting? Have you set the mother’s backstory aside for the moment?
        I’m clueless about the linking. I have a feeling it may not be possible between livejournal and blogger, not in the friending sense anyway. But if anyone else knows better, please correct me. Right now I just have a link to your blog on my list of sites.
        Good luck with the second draft of your WIP and thanks for the encouragement. I guess we need to be more zen, huh?

        Like

      • Even though I haven’t yet had the honor of revising for an editor, I think I totally understand that “eternal loop” concept. Yuck.
        Yep, set aside the questions and plotting crap and just started writing. What fun!
        I’m bummed you don’t know how to link. I keep thinking there’s a way. Maybe I’ll post that question and see what others say.
        Keep on doing those revisions, C.K., and feel free to send me a “vent” email whenever you feel the need.

        Like

  12. I can relate, Tracy. I’m so sick of my frigging revisions now. I didn’t think I would be but I frigging am. I can’t tell whether a line can go or whether it needs to stay. I’m cranky that the two pages I so carefully revised last time now need to be condensed or cut. Yada yada…
    So I don’t have any advice but I *loved* Dot’s about doing what makes you feel “sparky and pleased.” That sounds so good that she absolutely has to be right.

    Like

  13. I can relate, Tracy. I’m so sick of my frigging revisions now. I didn’t think I would be but I frigging am. I can’t tell whether a line can go or whether it needs to stay. I’m cranky that the two pages I so carefully revised last time now need to be condensed or cut. Yada yada…

    So I don’t have any advice but I *loved* Dot’s about doing what makes you feel “sparky and pleased.” That sounds so good that she absolutely has to be right.

    Like

  14. Wow, that’s a brave approach. I think I did that on my first book (not on purpose but because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing) and that book took revision after revision before it was cohesive. I guess I was trying to avoid that scenario but went overboard the other direction.
    I like your sentiment about the coolest stuff popping up. I’ve had that happen before and it is a truly wonderful experience.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Laurie. It always helps knowing other writers are successfully tackling some of the same issues.
    Keep me posted on the status of your absent parent, okay?

    Like

  15. Wow, that’s a brave approach. I think I did that on my first book (not on purpose but because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing) and that book took revision after revision before it was cohesive. I guess I was trying to avoid that scenario but went overboard the other direction.

    I like your sentiment about the coolest stuff popping up. I’ve had that happen before and it is a truly wonderful experience.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Laurie. It always helps knowing other writers are successfully tackling some of the same issues.

    Keep me posted on the status of your absent parent, okay?

    Like

  16. I think you’re right about the second draft. For some reason I got a little anal on this one and was forcing the issue. I’m going to try the Lizzy method of letting music wash over me.
    Thanks!

    Like

  17. I think you’re right about the second draft. For some reason I got a little anal on this one and was forcing the issue. I’m going to try the Lizzy method of letting music wash over me.

    Thanks!

    Like

  18. I’m so sorry you’re struggling with your revisions. It sounds as if you’re getting contradictory editorial comments? I can relate to not knowing whether a line should go or stay. I very much dislike being in that mindset because I feel so shaky and filled with doubt. It’s not supposed to be like that, is it?
    Is there any way you can do what makes you feel sparky and pleased?
    Oh! I’ve been meaning to ask you if there’s a way to link your blog with my LJ so I can get your new posts. I saw something on your blog but I don’t understand how it works to make that connection. And since you’re so savvy, maybe you can help? (Only when you want a break from those revisions, though).
    Take a deep breath and feel better, C.K. Your book is going to be published.

    Like

  19. I’m so sorry you’re struggling with your revisions. It sounds as if you’re getting contradictory editorial comments? I can relate to not knowing whether a line should go or stay. I very much dislike being in that mindset because I feel so shaky and filled with doubt. It’s not supposed to be like that, is it?

    Is there any way you can do what makes you feel sparky and pleased?

    Oh! I’ve been meaning to ask you if there’s a way to link your blog with my LJ so I can get your new posts. I saw something on your blog but I don’t understand how it works to make that connection. And since you’re so savvy, maybe you can help? (Only when you want a break from those revisions, though).

    Take a deep breath and feel better, C.K. Your book is going to be published.

    Like

  20. I’m not sure I’m adding anything new here, but I understand where you’re coming from. I keep thinking how I MUST write a synopsis for my current WIP. And now I’m already 7 chapters in. And I think maybe I just won’t write that synopsis and see where my imagination takes me. I know the general arc of the story, but there are so many big elements missing in my head right now. Still, I think what Laurie said resonated with me — that you can discover a lot as you go along. I am really enjoying the particular place where I am in my book and just writing w/o worrying how it will all fit together.
    One thing I did discover with my last book is that even if you plan everything out ahead, it won’t save you from making big changes afterwards. There will always be something major to revise, no matter how well you plan.

    Like

    • “I am really enjoying the particular place where I am in my book and just writing w/o worrying how it will all fit together.”
      Good for you! That’s what it’s all about (at least, that’s what sustains me when the going gets rough). I’m glad you’re in that place.
      I’m feeling better because I cast aside those plot questions and started writing again. It feels good because it feels like I’m making progress, even if it’s just tiny steps.
      And I think you’re right about making changes even after you’ve planned everything out. I’ve never done that but it makes sense there would still be major changes. A funny little process, isn’t it?

      Like

  21. I’m not sure I’m adding anything new here, but I understand where you’re coming from. I keep thinking how I MUST write a synopsis for my current WIP. And now I’m already 7 chapters in. And I think maybe I just won’t write that synopsis and see where my imagination takes me. I know the general arc of the story, but there are so many big elements missing in my head right now. Still, I think what Laurie said resonated with me — that you can discover a lot as you go along. I am really enjoying the particular place where I am in my book and just writing w/o worrying how it will all fit together.
    One thing I did discover with my last book is that even if you plan everything out ahead, it won’t save you from making big changes afterwards. There will always be something major to revise, no matter how well you plan.

    Like

  22. I’m not sure I’m adding anything new here, but I understand where you’re coming from. I keep thinking how I MUST write a synopsis for my current WIP. And now I’m already 7 chapters in. And I think maybe I just won’t write that synopsis and see where my imagination takes me. I know the general arc of the story, but there are so many big elements missing in my head right now. Still, I think what Laurie said resonated with me — that you can discover a lot as you go along. I am really enjoying the particular place where I am in my book and just writing w/o worrying how it will all fit together.

    One thing I did discover with my last book is that even if you plan everything out ahead, it won’t save you from making big changes afterwards. There will always be something major to revise, no matter how well you plan.

    Like

  23. Re: an idea
    It’s the whole ‘forest for the trees’ thing…have you read that book by Betsy Lerner by the same title? It’s a gem! Hope you found that out where that mom’s been and what she’s been up to…
    love
    kerry

    Like

  24. Re: an idea

    It’s the whole ‘forest for the trees’ thing…have you read that book by Betsy Lerner by the same title? It’s a gem! Hope you found that out where that mom’s been and what she’s been up to…

    love
    kerry

    Like

  25. Thanks, Tracy. Yep, filled with doubt. After so much rereading I think it’s really hard to tell whether a singe line, paragraph, page, whatever, is strictly necessary so when the editor poses the question I go into an eternal loop, pondering…
    How’s it going with the plotting? Have you set the mother’s backstory aside for the moment?
    I’m clueless about the linking. I have a feeling it may not be possible between livejournal and blogger, not in the friending sense anyway. But if anyone else knows better, please correct me. Right now I just have a link to your blog on my list of sites.
    Good luck with the second draft of your WIP and thanks for the encouragement. I guess we need to be more zen, huh?

    Like

  26. Thanks, Tracy. Yep, filled with doubt. After so much rereading I think it’s really hard to tell whether a singe line, paragraph, page, whatever, is strictly necessary so when the editor poses the question I go into an eternal loop, pondering…

    How’s it going with the plotting? Have you set the mother’s backstory aside for the moment?

    I’m clueless about the linking. I have a feeling it may not be possible between livejournal and blogger, not in the friending sense anyway. But if anyone else knows better, please correct me. Right now I just have a link to your blog on my list of sites.

    Good luck with the second draft of your WIP and thanks for the encouragement. I guess we need to be more zen, huh?

    Like

  27. Popping in late to say that I FEEL YOU! I wrote two whole drafts of my WIP and left the mother out all together because I didn’t know her story. She finally came to me and it turned out to be no big deal to stick her stuff in–so don’t worry (like I did). It will work out!

    Like

    • Wow! Two drafts without the mother? You’re very brave. I’m glad she came to you with her story and that it wasn’t a huge deal to make it all flow together. Hoping the same for me!

      Like

  28. Popping in late to say that I FEEL YOU! I wrote two whole drafts of my WIP and left the mother out all together because I didn’t know her story. She finally came to me and it turned out to be no big deal to stick her stuff in–so don’t worry (like I did). It will work out!

    Like

  29. Geez, so many questions
    and here I am asking more. Tag, you’re it.
    Here are the rules:
    Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

    Like

  30. Geez, so many questions
    and here I am asking more. Tag, you’re it.
    Here are the rules:
    Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

    Like

  31. Geez, so many questions

    and here I am asking more. Tag, you’re it.
    Here are the rules:
    Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

    Like

  32. Even though I haven’t yet had the honor of revising for an editor, I think I totally understand that “eternal loop” concept. Yuck.
    Yep, set aside the questions and plotting crap and just started writing. What fun!
    I’m bummed you don’t know how to link. I keep thinking there’s a way. Maybe I’ll post that question and see what others say.
    Keep on doing those revisions, C.K., and feel free to send me a “vent” email whenever you feel the need.

    Like

  33. Even though I haven’t yet had the honor of revising for an editor, I think I totally understand that “eternal loop” concept. Yuck.

    Yep, set aside the questions and plotting crap and just started writing. What fun!

    I’m bummed you don’t know how to link. I keep thinking there’s a way. Maybe I’ll post that question and see what others say.

    Keep on doing those revisions, C.K., and feel free to send me a “vent” email whenever you feel the need.

    Like

  34. “I am really enjoying the particular place where I am in my book and just writing w/o worrying how it will all fit together.”
    Good for you! That’s what it’s all about (at least, that’s what sustains me when the going gets rough). I’m glad you’re in that place.
    I’m feeling better because I cast aside those plot questions and started writing again. It feels good because it feels like I’m making progress, even if it’s just tiny steps.
    And I think you’re right about making changes even after you’ve planned everything out. I’ve never done that but it makes sense there would still be major changes. A funny little process, isn’t it?

    Like

  35. “I am really enjoying the particular place where I am in my book and just writing w/o worrying how it will all fit together.”

    Good for you! That’s what it’s all about (at least, that’s what sustains me when the going gets rough). I’m glad you’re in that place.

    I’m feeling better because I cast aside those plot questions and started writing again. It feels good because it feels like I’m making progress, even if it’s just tiny steps.

    And I think you’re right about making changes even after you’ve planned everything out. I’ve never done that but it makes sense there would still be major changes. A funny little process, isn’t it?

    Like

  36. Wow! Two drafts without the mother? You’re very brave. I’m glad she came to you with her story and that it wasn’t a huge deal to make it all flow together. Hoping the same for me!

    Like

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