Category Archives: writing process

Outlines, Writing Goals and Cacophony

Authoring a book is not an easy endeavor.  Setting goals – daily, monthly, and yearly keeps you on track to a finished project and a successful career if that’s what you are after. If you are a short story writer, you might aim for one story per month. Writing a novel may be more difficult so finishing a certain number of pages a day or week could be your goal. Developing good habits, like writing at a certain time or number of hours per day, keeps you productive and gives you the right mind-set for finishing your project. Schedules always change and you need not feel guilty if something comes up and you have to adjust yours. It’s all part of a writer’s world.   

Do authors need a detailed outline before starting a novel? It really depends on the author.  Some authors may have an outline in their head and can just sit down and start writing or create as they go along, while others find it beneficial to create a story structure beforehand. It gives you the opportunity to break the story down into smaller parts, even chapters, helps to keep your timelines straight, and gives you a direction for your story line.  In the end, you might do a little of both since you can change anything necessary to flesh out your story.  However your creative process works will be the best roadmap for you. 

Life continues to go on around you, which also determines how much work can be done at any one time. For instance, right now we’re having our yard landscaped and the amount of noise can get crazy. Most of that cacophony is provided by two medium-sized dogs who seem to think that their territory is being invaded and that it is their sworn duty to protect us from said invaders. The fact that we invited the crew onto our property makes no sense or difference to our canine protectors, so they continue to do their jobs relentlessly and with a good deal of commotion. It is endearing, but at the same time hard to concentrate on writing. 

It’s always going to be something that infringes upon your work time.  You just learn to go with the flow and carry on, believing that your goals will be achieved. Aim to make your goals attainable, not so high that it sets you up for failure. Manage your time wisely. Rather than a rigid schedule, be devoted to your writing passion.

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

Life & Death – Pivotal Moments

Writing a book is hard work and writing on a regular basis is occasionally a struggle. It may not happen with every book you write, but depending on the subject matter, your story can get somewhat complicated and leave you in a quandary as to where to proceed next – and did I mention the unending distractions that intrude on your concentration whenever you sit down at the keyboard? Well, life happens, and you just have to find a work-around.  Sometimes your best ideas come when you’re not in front of the computer. Talk to a friend or go outside and take a walk. A change of scenery might be what puts an end to the brain fog or confusion or sparks that next idea. 

I’m in the process of writing a book called “The Atrium” which I am striving to finish in the next few months. It hasn’t been a straightforward narrative and somewhat complicated, as it deals with the struggle between life and death.  It is a candid exploration of how one man deals with not knowing if he will live or die and how he reacts to past events. If he dies, can he make peace with his life? Will he have a future, and if he does, how will it change his life going forward?

The subject of this book is not a simple one, but it will hopefully make you stop and reevaluate your life, if only to perceive a new understanding of experiences and people. The connections made and compassion that we show can bring about a new clarity to our lives and those around us that can make a difference. Writing this book has been an eye-opener for me and it is my wish that it will do the same for those who read it.

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

Never give up – Never surrender!

It’s a line spoken by actor, Tim Allen, from a movie – “Galaxy Quest.”  It’s one of the funniest sci-fi spoofs ever made.  It’s just one of those feel-good movies that you watch again and again, and it has a great message.   It’s so easy to get lost amidst the responsibilities and difficulties of life.  We struggle to find the time to write or create, and sometimes it can be all too confusing and disheartening to keep up the drive.  Many of us are working day jobs and trying to fit in our writing or whatever our passion is, around everything else.  What we need is creative clarity about what we’re creating and why we’re doing it in the first place.   Go back to the ”well” so to speak, and dig deep for your source of inspiration.  Do you have a great story that needs to be expressed, whether it’s as an author or in a painting?  Someone out there needs to hear or see what you have to say and it will profoundly connect with them in a meaningful way, and that is important.  It means continuing to be an artist even when there are setbacks, and a lack of validation.  That clarity will help you to prioritize amidst your busy life, and your amazing creation will materialize and give the world something to think about besides its everyday routine.  To be elevated above the mundane into a place that is intriguing, magical, whimsical or exquisite is what teaches us how to thrive and experience truly being alive!

Never give up – Never Surrender!

Solitaire

Check out my website for upcoming books and fun features.

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

 

 

What’s Your Writing Process?

What process do you use on a day to day basis to determine what happens next in a novel?  What is your decision-making process for introducing new characters and how do you determine their importance?

Early on I researched how other authors went about prepping for writing a novel.  Some created elaborate outlines and spent inordinate amounts of time agonizing over every detail.  The system works, just not for me.  In the attempt to recreate the entire book in outline form, I lost contact with what I was trying to say.  Consequently, it would take me months to find I wasn’t getting any closer to the actual writing process.

I finally hit on how it functioned for my level of impatience and trust me, once you find it, stop butting heads with the inevitable . . . just write.  I started over a lot until I realized one key thing; by trying to adhere to an existing outline, letter by letter, number by number, the story got lost in the translation from my attempt to force the outline to become the book.  The story has to come from the gut, not from a preconceived notion that was designed before the writing began.  The story needs to have a mind of its own, and at times, should not be controlled.  Sometimes, you should just let the monster out of the box.

I usually dig back into my past and find that moment, everybody has them, where everything that could go wrong . . . does, and then allow the characters to go through, at least in spirit, the same level of agony, just to see where they will take it instead of me.  I discovered that if I put on my writing shoes, and then just followed my feet, the characters managed to get themselves into enough trouble to satisfy my wanderlust.  Sometimes, I don’t even know what they’re about to do, but isn’t that how life works?

The importance of characters in a story should be dealt with in primarily the same way that God deals with us down here on earth.  No one person is of greater importance than anyone else.  If we treat any single character with less importance than their counterparts, we have done them a grave injustice.  We as writers never know which character will surface again in a subsequent story.  Today’s sidekick might be tomorrow’s hero.

Do you have a certain process that inspires you to create new characters or prep for a new piece or novel you are writing?  I’d love to hear your comments.

Thanks,

Solitaire

You can purchase or preview my books at www.solitaireparke.com.

 

 

 

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