Tag Archives: writing

The Slow Process of Writing

3 Jul

I have blog that I follow from a woman who is trying to get her first novel accepted by a publisher. She has detailed her trauma at writing, rewriting, reviews by members of her writers group and rejections from literary agents. In between she posts her status on her blog. She sometimes posts often and then may go 4 – 6 months with nothing. Recently after a long dry spell, she explained that after a rejection, she can’t sit down to write again and switches to reading instead.

I’ve found that I also post frequently or not at all for weeks. It has nothing to do with rejections. I’m most creative in the morning but some mornings seemed to be filled with other things. We are in a warm humid summer. I often work outside until noon when I am exhausted as well as sticky and covered in either bug spray or mosquito bites. Sometimes I’m covered in both!  Afternoons are spent inside but the ideas for blog posts have long since vanished into thin air. Curling up with a book seems like a nice idea.

I have also been working on a novel that I started a few years back. After working on novels for twenty five years and never finishing them, I decided to take another approach. I signed up for an online writing class taught by James Patterson. I’m writing a romance novel for women over 50 and he writes murder mystery novels but he is a very successful writer. I have been spending part of almost everyday working on the outline for the novel or listening to the tips and tricks from the class. I have yet to be an “active” participant in the group because I have not posted any comments to date. Like any online class, some people post a lot but they haven’t really provided anything that adds to the lessons. This may be a chance to join a writers group but I’m not sure how I feel about that. With three English teachers and two published writers in my circle of friends, I probably have a good set of reviewers and supporters as needed. I’ve sent the start of my outline to one for review and she has both of her feet in the middle of my back to continue. She may hate the final book but she is giving me lots of encouragement.

So if I don’t post, feel free to ask how my class or my writing is going. Of course if we have nice weather, I may be spending extra time in the swimming pool. I’ll pretend that I’m thinking about my storyline. James Patterson says to take the time to get my outline fully laid out so that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.


Reading and Writing

27 Oct

I have read a number of times that good writers must first be good readers. A fellow blogger recently wrote a detailed description of her reaction to what she has read. For the bad ones, she knows she can do better. From the mediumly good ones, she can learn. But for the outstandingly good ones, she gets depressed because she knows she doesn’t have those skills.

I can relate to what she is saying. I have read a number of free Kindle books where I instantly know that free is as much as I would pay and ask myself why I’m still reading. I keep reading, of course, in the hopes that it will get better. That rarely happens. A book that starts poorly stays bad through out. A lot of my Kindle selections are mysteries. Many hook me in with a good adventure right up until the end. Then it is like they have a 10 minute deadline so they throw in a silly twist and an abrupt end. It is like an effort to imitate Agatha Christie that falls flat. Those discourage me more than a really good read. I’m not planning to write a murder mystery but I might because I read so many of them. Will I also fall so flat at the end after all that hard work?

My difficulty is that I either write or I read, not both. This last week I have spent part of each day putting the old vinyl siding back on the new addition. That has proven to be more labor intensive that I had planned. We have also had very warm afternoons so I’ve curled up with a book when I could no longer face the siding. I read 4 books in 4 days. Usually when I am painting or doing other no brainer tasks, I think about story lines or characters. The 4 books in 4 days added to the siding fried my brain for any creative thoughts. I’ve now switched to Margaret Truman’s biography of her mother, Bess. This is proving to be a much slower read and thus I am again writing blog posts. I also have only one more piece of siding to cut and fit so I’ll be freeing up more brain power.

Soon the outside projects will be done and even the utility room will have drywall and paint. That means I will have no more excuses for not writing everyday. Of course Book Bud will still offer me at least one free book a day. I wonder how many I can read in the month of December?

Reading and Writing

18 Jan

I love to read. I’ll devour newspapers, light fluffy romance novels, scientific magazines, computer training manuals and biographies. It doesn’t really seem to matter. My Kindles are among of my best friends and Book Bud is a treasure with all of the free and low cost books. I started loading up last Fall before we had to cancel the cruise and I’m back on track for this up coming cruise. We did switch Kindles. I’ve reclaimed my original Kindle and given Harry the Kindle Fire. He gets to follow along as the book is read to him. It took him a while to get with the program but he is happy to have that reading experience again. I’ll make certain that he has 2 or 3 books and audio to keep him going.

Until I found Book Bud, I had a small group of favorite novelist. I had hoped that I could pick up hints on how to write good dialog in my own novel. I’ve been frustrated because I always think my dialog sounds too stilted or choppy. To me it has been almost an artificial way to move the story line along. Now that I’ve read a few dozen free novels, I’ve discovered why a many of them are in the bargain bin and that I’m not alone in having stilted or choppy dialog.  I will need to go back and read some of the better authors but I will not let my bad dialog hold me back. I’ll have 10 full days of our 14 day cruise to spend some time writing if I don’t get started on it sooner. The time has come. I really don’t have any good excuses unless I use this blog as my only writing exercise. I haven’t been too faithful with it so it must be time to get started on the next major project of my retirement.  I’ll keep you posted.