Monday, 26 June 2017

Weekly Update: June 18 to 24

Weekly word count: 2400

I had a couple of days where the words just weren't flowing, so I went back to my basic principles: conflict, character and pacing.  (I wish I had another C word to make the whole thing pop, but this is how it actually works.)

Step 1: Review my conflicts: By "conflicts" I mean the challenges to the hero and heroine in the plot.  If a conflict is fuzzy in my mind, then it doesn't translate well onto the page.  Or sometimes I've been focusing too much on one conflict and I've let other conflicts drop out.

Step 2: Review my characters: I have multiple points of view in my novels, usually the hero, heroine, villain and sometimes, a prominent secondary character.  If the words are drying up, sometimes it's because I need to switch to a new point of view and build up tension in their plotline.

Step 3: Check the pacing: As someone who always wonders what happened in the scene break, I have a bad habit of extending scenes and sequences.  So I check myself and ask if the scene I'm writing has fulfilled its purpose, making it possible to skip to the next stage.

Those three steps are usually enough to get me jump started again.  But I always have to resist the temptation to spend my writing time wallowing in self-doubt and procrastination.  Once I settle in and do the work, I can usually move forward but there's always a part of me which thinks this time will be different.

Other than writing, it was a nice week.  I enjoyed the quiet of not having the kids at home... something that will change at the end of this week.  I got to visit with some ORWA ladies at the Author's Lounge, including SM McEachern, who dropped in from Vancouver.  It's going to be interesting to see how this week plays out, being the last week of school and then into the summer, which is usually a time of lower production for me.  But I will prevail!

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