Honing My Writing Process

“Write like nobody will ever read it. Edit like the whole world will.” Sharon Melton Lippincott

On Writing: I’ll be happy when I’ve got more manuscripts written and I can trust my creative process more. I always, always, always feel guilty during the brainstorming/coming up with the plot phase. Always. Because while I’m sitting around thinking…it feels like I’m doing nothing. It feels like lost time travelling down paths that  turn into dead-ends. Of course, I don’t know it’s going to be a dead-end until I’ve followed an idea or plot thread only to discard it. And I know it’s not “lost” time if eliminating some ideas helps me hone in on the plot. It’s just that it feels that way so those days have a slightly guilty pleasure flavor. Maybe if I keep all my discarded/dead end ideas in one master notebook for future plots, it will feel more constructive.

Yesterday, I figured out the main reason my heroine is having so much trouble moving on from tragedy is because of guilt. I’ve got half of the opening scene written. That held me up, because ever since the “First Pages: Opening with a Bang” online class I took with Danielle Poiesz, I try to really use those opening pages to hook my readers. I try to get maximum use out of my first line, my first paragraph, and first page, trying to grab a reader’s attention and give them something to care about in the first few pages. It felt like I took longer than normal trying to get the first few pages where I wanted them, totally forgetting that my 1st pages in Bringing Delaney Home and Why Can’t This Be Love? didn’t start out the way they are today. It took a few revisions to arrive at them.  But, that also makes me feel good to realize how much craft I’ve learned in the last year and half since trying this writing thing full time.

“Don’t
try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you
have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.”
– Barbara
Kingsolver