I am contemplating taking a new approach to my writing. I have a four-book series that I’ve been working on. I go to conferences and workshops and take online courses and I get excited about the revisions that are needed. And then I sit down to do them, start working through the list of what needs done and I get so overwhelmed that I just quit. In order to do A, I have to stop and hit D, L, Q, and P, and then come back to A. Repeat, repeat, repeat. And I stop.
In order to get my writing mojo back, my new approach is going to be starting a whole new story. The picture is a Great Blue Heron that I see when I hike at a park near my house. It’s my spirit animal so I’m keeping it close for motivation. Part of my motivation for this new approach is that I believe I am a good writer. I read. A lot. And most of what I read is crap, has crappy elements, or has my pet peeves sprinkled throughout. I’m going to write a book that I would like to read. My starting point is a list of what the story will have and a list of what it won’t.
It will have:
• An HEA.
• A plot outside of the HEA – like two strangers cross paths while hiking and stumble on a dead body. The relationship arc and the plot arc are distinct. The HEA isn’t the whole story. (This is the kind of story I like to read).
• Contemporary setting.
• Sex with consent.
• Smart main characters.
It will NOT have:
• Witty dialogue that goes on for pages.
• A stupid, incompetent, or immature hero or heroine. No one is going to stomp his/her feet in frustration (gawd I hate that) and they’re not stopping in the middle of a flooded river and kissing for two pages.
• Pages of inner dialogue while one person is looking at the other person and just waiting for them to think through whatever they’re thinking about (for pages) before the conversation can continue. Seriously, how many times do stand around for 5 minutes waiting for the next sentence.
• One member of the couple stepping out on the other, or having done so in the past.
• A dozen pages for one sex scene, lots of chatter during sex, impairment of either party, or words like sword and sheath. I’m reading one now in which the hero puts a condom over his desire. My hero won’t do that.
I may even try to plot it out in advance, which isn’t my usual method. I’m sure my list of what it will and won’t have will grow.
Any suggestions that I can add to my list?