I Missed a Deadline

I am somewhat rigid about keeping to deadlines.

Actually, no. That’s not true. I keep to-do lists really well. Deadlines? A little more iffy. Continue reading “I Missed a Deadline”

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Some days I wish there were twenty-five instead of twenty-four hours in a day. I could…

Watch more TV / Get more writing done

Play Stardew Valley / Play around with my blog a bit more

Daydream / Shop my stories around to editors and agents by writing killer query letters

Procrastinate on my phone / Socialize with my peers

Listen to music / Make a super fancy dinner for my family

Or… I could accept that both options are valid uses of my time, whether I have twenty-four or twenty-five hours to do it in. To find a balance, and re-energize myself for doing the hard stuff. The work stuff. All that. In general, just make the best use of the time I have, rather than wish I had more of it.

How to (possibly) recover from losing the thread of a novel

Uh-oh, I’m losing the thread of my novel. (Not interest in writing it, but losing track of my ideas and the characters because thanks to circumstances out of my control I had to take a long hiatus.) I took too long over the holidays, and I’m starting to forget important details (like the name of the planet they’re supposed to be on). If I’m being honest, I’m not entirely sure how to get it back, so I went back through the mental files and tried to remember the ideas that are supposed to help. With a few additions and tweaks for my own personality because some things are just more distracting than others. Continue reading “How to (possibly) recover from losing the thread of a novel”

Finding My Nope

Figuring out when I can say no is something that I will probably struggle with for the rest of my life. Sometimes this means I go “Okay, sure” to the opportunity of a lifetime. Sometimes it means that I end up miserable, or even doing something that is actually hurting me. And the fun part is that the rules keep changing.

(Everyone has a different situation. This is mine, and how I cope with it.) Continue reading “Finding My Nope”

I Lost My Side Characters

I’m writing a sequel to a book I wrote a while back, and for this one the plot circles around revolution and how the various characters respond to it. For it to work, I need a bunch of fairly well established characters reacting in various opposing ways that still meld with their personalities. Unfortunately, except for the two mains I’m having trouble picking out details for a sequel (which tells me something about how well written those side characters were in the first place).

First problem is my notes are shoddy. I have a vague sense that certain details exist, but I don’t know them so I’ll have to read through the book to find them. Probably multiple times, when I could have saved time by just making note as I wrote it in the first place. So oops. It’s been kind of a long time since I wrote the book, so it’s not exactly fresh in my mind.

Of course, there’s not a ton of the information I need to be gleaned, anyway. These characters tend to lurk in the background, and don’t really have any plots of their own in that book. Which is fine, because too many plots spoil the book and all that. But in my experience and from what I’ve read, well-written side characters might not have much happen on the page itself, but there’s at least a sense they have lives, and rationale for being involved in the plot, and they need to be involved in the story arc in an essential way. As in, you can’t just swap out one person for another and have the story develop exactly the same way.

Not every person needs an essential role, of course, but right now almost none of them do. Which makes them all pretty flat. So now I need to go through and figure out who they are, and maybe if I’m lucky a few subplots will pop up along the way.

Life’s Little Frustrations

In trying to post this, I’ve had to reboot my computer three times to get the wireless to come back. This involves a certain loss of work, the waste of about three minutes per reboot, and however much time it takes for me to stop being completely and totally frustrated. Continue reading “Life’s Little Frustrations”

Picking up Random Knowledge

It’s good to have skills outside of writing to draw on. I looked down on such knowledge when I was first becoming a writer. “I am creative!” I thought. “All I need is sufficient imagination and skill at writing to be able to portray whatever I wish!”

Yeah. We all go through it. Doesn’t make it any less embarrassing. Continue reading “Picking up Random Knowledge”