Wednesday, September 5, 2018

When Plotters Pants (An IWSG Post)

Hey, everyone!

It's the first Wednesday of the month (at least I think it is. I didn't miss it again, did I?), which means that it's time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writers Support Group.

I am assuming that anyone who stops by today is already well-versed with the IWSG, but if you happen to be new and have no idea what I'm talking about, please click on the above link for more information and/or a complete list of participants.

This month's co-hosts are: Toi Thomas, T. Powell Colton, Tara Tyler, and some weirdo who calls herself M.J. Fifield.

In other IWSG news, the judges for the latest anthology contest will be announced on the site today, so stop by there for the big reveal...

All right. This month's (optional) question asks, "What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?"

But as I feel as though I have waxed poetical on this subject many times before, I'm going to skip it this time around. Let me just say that whatever path you decide to take/decided to take, you are awesome and I applaud you!

So, instead, I thought I might ramble about this problem that I'm having with a current WIP. The WIP in question is this terrible, horrible, no-good, bad romance novel that goes by the working title Vinnie & Ellie because I can't think of anything else to call it besides the terrible, horrible, no-good bad romance novel. (M.J. Fifield: marketing genius...)

This WIP has been mentioned on My Pet Blog from time to time, most recently this past Monday when I listed it among my goals for September. I'm going to finish the first draft this month, I claimed, but there's just one slight problem...


I am a plotter. I plot. A not-insignificant amount of wall space (interesting side note: auto-correct keeps correcting 'wall space' to 'allspice', which is funny because I have no idea what one would do with allspice except to, you know, spice something.) in my office is devoted to big, semi-elaborate storyboards on which I plot out whatever WIP I'm currently writing before I start writing it and/or while I'm writing it. I'm sure you've seen many photos of said storyboards because the only thing I apparently like to do more than create storyboards on any wall that will hold still long enough is to take pictures of those boards and post them all over social media.

But Vinnie and Ellie are refusing to go along with the program. Probably because I created them and pretty much any character I create is stubborn, sarcastic, and has serious problems with authority (I wonder why that is...).

And because they're refusing to go along with the program, I'm left to write this novel by the seat of my pants, and I don't know how to do that. I need a plot, a plan, a story map—something! I have no idea how I'm supposed to just make it up as I go along.

I swear, every other line in this novel is my narrator lamenting that she has no idea what's going on, and that's really me lamenting that I have no idea what's going on.

But I'm so close to the end.

At least I think I am. It's not like I have any big, semi-elaborate storyboards on which to keep track of such things.

*glares menacingly at stubborn characters who flip her off in return*

So, all you pantsers (haha—auto-correct keeps making you into panthers. It's possible I'm too easily amused.) out there—hit me with your tips. How do you do it? What's your secret? Mellow jazz, bongo drums, huge bag of weed? (Name! That! Reference!)

Help a plotter out?

That's gonna do it for me today. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Back In The Saddle Again

Hey, everyone!

The summer is officially over, so I am back to work. Not that I'm ever not working on some aspect of a writing project, but August is traditionally my least productive month (which is quite the statement when you consider how unproductive I am at any given point in time...). Usually, that's because my family invades my house during this month and I am relegated to only doing whatever I can work on while sitting on a beach (rough life, I know). This time around, however, my family did not visit, so The Man and I were left to our own devices. (Fear that.) He had taken time off from his job in anticipation of our company, so we had a staycation experience, which included day trips to St. Augustine, Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge to see the manatees, and a visit to Harry Potter World in Orlando. I love Harry Potter World. I love it so much, I'm even willing to deal with the crowds...and y'all know how I feel about people.

Anyway, the point is August was not my most productive month ever, so I'm going to be paying for it this month as I set out to accomplish some very big things.

And today, I'm going to tell you what those things are.

Here, without any further ado, are my goals for September...

1. Publish Second Nature

This book has been sitting around, gathering dust, as I'm apparently seeking to break some weird world record for longest time a finished book has been sitting around just waiting to be published. I don't know what's wrong with me (besides, you know, everything...), but maybe this month will be the month I finally get over that last hurdle.

2. Finish the first draft of Vinnie & Ellie

If you're not familiar with this WIP, Vinnie & Ellie is this terrible, horrible, no-good, bad romance novel I started writing a million years ago (all right, fine, nine years ago) and only last year decided to pull out of the Unfinished Projects file in an attempt to, you know, finish it. Well, it took nine years, but I finally feel as though the ending might actually be in sight now, and I am making a big push to finish this book this month. I'm a little worried, though, because this book poses my great writing challenge yet...a happy ending.

3. Finish first draft of Retail Rhapsody

Retail Rhapsody, if you're unfamiliar with this WIP, is a compilation of all those sarcastic haikus I composed about my retail experience. You may have seen some of them posted here on this blog, or on various other social media sites. Well, I am putting them all into a book. Or, at least that's the plan. I don't know how it'll turn out. The illustrations are going to be amazing—I'll tell you that much, but the whole thing is an experiment. Anyway, the goal here it to get all the poems in one place and organized in some kind of order that makes sense. Not that anything that comes out of my head makes sense, but I'll see what I can do.

4. Walk, run, or bike at least 3 miles per day

I have utterly failed at this goal this year, and I feel as though my inactivity is taking its toll. So this month, I shall attempt to be more active. Given how much sitting-at-my-desk time I have scheduled, I'll certainly need it.

All right, so that's my September. And now that I see it all laid out before me, I have absolutely no idea how I'll pull it all off. I can't, however, wait to find out...

What's on your agenda this month?