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On Writing

Remember back in November when I told you all I was taking the NANO, write a book in a month challenge? Well, I tried and failed. I got about 10,000 words on the pages, then crashed and burned. I stopped writing all together for about three months. I then started working on another idea, got about 12,000 words written, then was stuck. So what did I do? I went back to that first novel on my hard drive and pretty much started it over. A lot of the original words are still there, but I moved them around and changed a bunch of things. I now have about 24,000 words down.

However, as of last night I still didn’t have a complete plot. Oh there are ideas and threads of one, but not a complete one. Its hard to know where to go from here without one. So this morning, I just decided to talk it out. I was talking to Greg, but really I was the only one talking. I suspected he was just being polite. Then, he said some off the cuff remark, not unusual for him, and a lot of things clicked in place. I do believe I now have an actually working plot. Of course now all I want to do is write, cause my brain is turned ON. That is not going to happen right now though, as it is our day off and that means we do something together. I doubt Greg is going to think me writing while he listens to the sound of typing is his idea of a fun day.

While, I am not going to tell you a lot of what it is about, I will tell you it is set in New Orleans, the protag ends up bartending at a strip club, and she sees ghosts. No title yet. It is alluding me. Maybe once I flesh out the plot, it’ll come to me. You’ll be the first to know. Well probably the second, since I am pretty sure I’ll tell Greg whether he wants to know or not.

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Plot first, then write, that’s my advice. I wasted years wanting to be a novelist, started half a dozen different books but got stuck every time. Eventually I got serious, came up with a good story, wrote the whole thing, and sold it. That’s not to say the plot won’t change as you go along, because it will. A plot outline that looks solid to you (that makes sense to you in terms of rising action, theme, climax, and so on) is a fall-back. It’s a safety net. If you don’t come up with anything better along the way, the… Read more »

Congrats Jim!

Yes, I have come to conclusion having a working plot first (or soon) is the best way to go. I have found chunk writing works best for me and just getting scenes down is a great starting point. Without a plot, they don’t go much of anywhere though. Thanks for your input.


Deanna…I’m going to ask my friends at PPP for some links/resources for you…. :)