Sunday, May 29, 2011

Have you missed me????

So I've been away for a while.

Working on a different platform, under a different name.

So there it is.

I haven't even checked in at this blog in like, forever.

Sorry. I feel kind of guilty when I scroll down to the Cluster Maps icon and see that someone out in the middle of the ocean actually looked at my blog and... it was all old news.

Thanks for stopping by.

So I've been busy writing. I finished another novel, I'm shopping for a new agent with said novel, and, in the process, have discovered that my current project (hereafter referred to as my WIP, which is short for "work in progress") is a depressing fraction of usability. In other words, of my approximately 52000 words written on this project so far, I'm going back to do a rewrite which will probably use less than 20,000 of those hard-won words.

But it's just not working.

The problem is, I really love these characters. I love them so much that I'm considering, for the first time, giving up my "fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants" organic writing style in favor of an outline. I'm reading books, watching DVDs, perusing the net on all kinds of outlining/plot planning methods. I've looked at THE SNOWFLAKE, BLOCKBUSTER PLOTS, and all kinds of other stuff. And... the artsy-fartsy part of my brain (the one that rules me, mostly) is saying, "No-no-no-no-no-no-no-no-NO!" But the "need to finish this book and have a sellable product" part of my brain (it's a very teensy, microscopic part) is saying, "Make the stupid outline, genius!" (You see, even the miniscule pragmatist within me is sarcastic. It stings. Really.)

So... I think I'll have to come up with my own plot planning way. Find the method that works for me. I don't do Excel Spreadsheets (although I am taking a class this summer... long story) and I can't write within the constraints of a chart. So I think I'll outline in freeflowing, paragraphical style. Like a 7th grader's book report, with a lot of crappy transitions like, "and then she..." And maybe, just maybe, within those twenty thousand words, a new spark will light, a new fire will burn, and a new phoenix-of-a-story will soar into being.

We can only hope.

Now I'm off to write a book, but you better go read one. Need a suggestion? Lisa T. Bergren's River of Time series is entertaining, funny, and well, awesome. And I'm reading Tammar Stein's KINDRED right now and it is hugely interesting look at angels and demons and powers and principalities... through the eyes of a Jewish teen. So... what's keeping you here on the internet when you could be off reading a good book?

Oh, right. You missed me.

But, seriously, thanks for stopping by.
Now go read a book or something.


Scott Fields said...

Spoken like a true pantser. Some people live (and die) by the outline; some of us just don't find comfort in that level of organization. I'm with you on this one--though I don't envy you the task ahead.

Can I offer a message of encouragement (at least, that's how it's meant)? You read my last blog post--and left a wonderfully gracious comment while you were at it, thank you very much. In my post before that one, I spoke of the difficulties we face in the journey of writing. If nothing else, you might find some worthwhile empathy in it. You can just scroll down on the main page to the next article if you'd like; or, alternately, here's the direct link:

Thanks again for the visit, and your kind words. Don't be a stranger. . . !

Tracy Krauss said...

I really did miss you! I love your sarcastic voice. I expect it to come through loud and clear in your Manuscript, thank you very much. FYI - I definitely outline, but probably more in the rambling manner you meantioned. it works for me!

Anonymous said...

First, I did miss you. I like your name the way it was.

As to the writing. Have you considered a combo of pantser style and outline. That's what I do. I write panster up until the point where you are that the characters grab me.

Then I start a plotline. It's not a formal outline. I go chapter by chapter giving a short synopsis. I note the day (day 1) and time (early morning, etc). I use color highlighting to denote who's pov it's in. I'm cheesy on that, blue for hero, pink or lavendar for heroine. Then I can see at a glance what's going on.

If I've got too much in one character's pov, I can change things. If the plot outline show it's too dark, I can add a scene w/some humor.

Anyway I'm glad your back as you. Why go this alone. Let those of us who love you stand with you. And yo know what I mean.

Blogger is having issues and wont' let me sign in under my Google siggie. So, I'm using anonymous.

nike chillemi

S. R. Van Ness said...

You guys are too sweet. Thanks for the kind words, and advice. After discussing the pros and cons of the WIP with my critique artist (she is) and writing coach, I've decided to shelve it for a while, and go back to my truer love, fantasy, for a while. The passion will out. I like character driven stories, but when your characters quirks become the story...well, time to rethink.