Nancy: (Just Like) Starting Over

writing-plan-bA few weeks ago, I told you about my quest to get my butt in the chair and words on the page, to re-engage with my WIP after long months away from it due to obligations of the dreaded ‘day job’. Getting my writing mojo back was not going well, and I need to take Nike’s advice and ‘just do it’. Just sit down and type.

At first, that approach seemed to work. I’d get down a few hundred words here and there. Then I realized some scenes were nothing like I remembered them, and I made notes about fixing them. After that, I realized some scenes I would have sworn I’d written were really just in my head, not on the page. Things were going from bad to worse.

But we are a tenacious group, we writers. So one night I sat down with a glass of wine (hey, tenacity sometimes needs a boost) and pondered how I should approach this mess of a WIP I’d made. Although it wasn’t so much that I’d made a mess of it. Stepping away from it for so long had allowed my subconscious to write a better story. It had fixed some plot holes and gotten to the deeper essence of my characters, which drives how they will act/react, which drives the plot. See, a glass (or maybe it was two) of wine can do wonderful things for perspective. Continue reading

Michaeline: Water Therapy

Contemplative woman bathing 1915

Warm water is a womb for creativity. Why are there no fantasies that use the bathtub as a portal for another world? “Calgon, take me away!” (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

So, it’s summer vacation, and even though my daughter’s summer vacation is only three and a half weeks, I’m already going a little crazy. She headed for camp, I cleaned the house, we hosted Girl Scouts from the US, and today she had to take a test for placement in her cram school – she’s studying for the dreaded Japanese high school entrance exams. No time for writing.

Rush, rush, rush. And the heat means I didn’t sleep very well last week either.

So, I could have sat my butt in the library and stared at the screen for four hours. But instead, I chose to take a bath.

I’ve mentioned my local hot springs before. They have a lovely outdoor bath that Goldilocks would adore – not too hot, not too cold. And no bears climbing up the mountain, either! Continue reading

Nancy: Previously on 8LW – My Girls Scene 1

Scene 1-3

Several weeks ago I told you about my color-coded approach to revising my WIP, working title My Girls. I also promised to share that revised first scene with you, but then there were technical difficulties and malware issues and corrupt files and…and…and…you get the picture. Like the plucky heroines we love in our stories, I doggedly remained upbeat and hopeful that I’d recover my file with all those beautiful revisions, until the sad day when that all went to hell. Then there were self-pity parties which may or may not have included binge eating ice cream while standing over the kitchen sink.

But all that’s behind me now as I finally bit the bullet and rewrote the revisions. As previously promised, you get to share in the joy. Continue reading

Nancy: Even Writers Get the Blues

Sad Writer

As we come to the end of 2013, some of the ladies now have finished first drafts of their WIPs from our McDaniel course. I was all set to join them. I had my schedule set – I was to finish writing the final scenes of the book on Saturday, December 28. I had my plan – each and every scene was planned out down to the beats. And I had momentum – each day that I sat down with my schedule and my planned scenes, I completed what I’d set out to accomplish.

Then at some point last week, I just stopped writing. To hell with the schedule and plan. My writing brain went on strike. After some days of disappointment and self-flagellation, I realized I’d forgotten to include a very important part of my own writing rhythm in my schedule. I had forgotten to include time to wallow in the end-of-first-draft blues. This is not to be confused with not knowing how to end the story, or fear of finishing Continue reading

Nancy: I’ve Said Too Much

A Chatty Muse

The ladies who are in the McDaniel workshop classes this semester have a big assignment coming up. By next Sunday night at midnight, we have to turn in Act 2 of our respective WIPs. For me, the good news is, thanks to NaNoWriMo and the fact that I’ve been working on this project forever and a day, I have a completed Act 2 (I am, in fact, close to writing the end of the story.). The bad news is, when I assembled my Act 2 scenes on Saturday, I discovered that I had run a little long. How long? Well, my goal for the Act was 30,000 words. My actual word count currently stands at over 41,500.

You might ask if the length of the act really matters. The truth is, in the first draft, it usually doesn’t. Continue reading