How Is Your Writing Coming Along?

Yesterday lunchtime I had a walk around areas of Belfast city centre where scenes of my first novel are to be set. The plan was to capture details that have evaded my memory to date so that when I am writing I can refer to them there and then. Ideally I would like to write the relevant scene while sitting at the location but it was minus 4 yesterday. I’m a wannabe author but I’m not that crazy!

Progress has been slow of late. What with work and family life it is hard to find the quiet time necessary to write. I also don’t want to neglect my blogging which is at the heart of my writing. It is my meat and potatoes. The book is just the dessert. Honeycomb ice cream or strawberry cheesecake I hope.

I’ve written about 40,000 words but I literally vomited them out during a week off work about a month ago. It’s as if they had been lying on my stomach for years and I just had to get them out of my system. I purged myself. What have I learnt? That I can write, yes, but also that I need a structure to form my words around.

I’m therefore spending more time on outlining and storyboarding as opposed to just writing blindly. The latter has surprised me in that I’ve realised that I am at my most creative when in the actual act of writing. That is when the ideas come to me, when I am actually sitting at the keyboard. It has resulted in characters leading me off in totally different directions from what I had first anticipated.

It has also dragged me down a few dead ends, however. A happy medium needs to be struck between spontaneity and preparation. I need a solid foundation upon which to lay these creative bursts. This is slowly coming. I have been using a technique called ‘The Snowflake Method’ where you start with the premise for your novel in one sentence and gradually build it from there. A paragraph, a page, four pages and so on.

The above technique is teaching me discipline and patience. Writing a novel is hard work. Yes, you have your days when the words flow from you like water from a fountain. But at other times it involves monotony and frustration. Taking five steps back in order to move one step forwards. Chipping away at a block of stone in order to reveal the sculpture beneath.

I also haven’t decided on my favourite writing device. At times I favour sitting at my desk writing on the laptop but I also jot down ideas and notes on my I-Phone and Kindle Fire. I also have a notebook which I write in. With this ancient writing tool known as a pen. Some of you may have heard of this. If haven’t just google it.

So that’s my update. I’m getting there but slower than I first expected.

How is your writing coming along?

26 thoughts on “How Is Your Writing Coming Along?

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  1. Novelling is quite the task, but it’s it’s own reward. I’ve stopped looking to aides and courses because they freeze me up, and then i feel like I never want to write again. I feel it should be an organic thing, no matter how long it takes,when I reach the end o want to say I’ve done it my way,and whoever it reaches warts and all, is who it was meant for

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  2. I do “my writing” (syllabing?) while doing the most unusual things for writing… kind on cooking dinner or driving… what the idea hit me I try to put it into words (… syllables…) and note it somewhere… But… I couldn’t possibly call it “writing”….
    😉😄😄😄

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  3. Writing a novel is one of those things where you have to figure it out for yourself… I like having an “Outline,” but I usually go against it…There has to be a balance of structure and having room to say something…in my opinion… Best of luck on your novel… the first one is always the most fun…

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  4. My writing also is not going along so well…too many other things. The biggest thing I am involved with are two mission projects through my church. It is fulfilling and I am enjoying it but at the end of the day I am too tired to think of the words. I am still in the research stage to set the background for my characters. I know artists and authors are to supposed to “starving” but that is not for me – I like my tea and biscuits! You expressed exactly what writers experience. Keep up the good work – you are very dedicated and have a special way with words. I know your hard work will pay off. May our Lord guide your hands and thoughts whether you type or hand write.

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      1. thank you – It is fulfilling and I am honored to serve God in this way. And I am finding that less time on facebook = more time to write/research. It is easier to let go than I thought. God bless you and your family during this wonderful season of our Saviors birth!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting to hear about the Snowflake method in your post, thanks for that – I’ve never used it but your explanation makes it sound really useful.

    Have you read Robert McKee’s book “Story” or Shawn Coyne’s “The Story Grid”? Two books that I’ve found especially helpful when structuring books.

    TC

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  6. How’s my writing…
    When I started my blog, I was a full-time mom and wife. AND quite the coward. I had plenty of time to write and more than enough time to doubt myself.
    God has worked His wonder on me through life and time on the planet, and while I am still not fearless, I have shifted my mindset. My goal in all things now is to be fearless enough to fail fabulously. Learn. Move forward. And try again.
    That being said, I now work full time. I struggle to post every three months.
    I don’t even want to write a novel.
    My true goal is a weekly blog post, and a daily devotional thought.
    But that requires more than just time to write. My goal requires a balance in my life and constant communication with God’s still small voice rather than focusing on the rolling storm of voices and circumstance.

    It might be easier to become a lion tamer…

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    1. I understand how you struggle to find the time to write. I have a full time job and am married with three kids aged under 16. It can be crazy at times. I blog every day but it’s mostly done on the commute to and from work. I’m hoping God is using me as well. I’m working on a novel as well. There aren’t enough hours in the day at times.

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  7. I lost the latest page in my book, which was a conversation conflict the family was dealing with. It was really good, and I enjoyed writing the piece. When I was giving my close friend the pages she hadn’t read I found out about the missing section. I know the majority of what I will have to cover again, but I’m not sure how I lost it to begin with. I wish I could be that writer who can just pour words onto a page. I’m very critical in know which direction I will go, so it’s rare I write more than 4 pages (1,000 words at best) I usually write about one page. That’s always my goal. “Get to one page.” One a really hard day, I cut it to half a page or even a few paragraphs to a paragraph. Something.

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      1. I have the basic outline figured out, I didn’t have this for the novels just parts of the outline, and I think that delayed. But I already see many areas of the book that will probably change from what I initially planned.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I am really looking forward to reading you novel. I get the feeling it is going to be a very enthralling read…… My writing has slowed somewhat of late due to heavy work load. I am finding it difficult to get the time to sit down and plan out. Hopefully in the new year i will get a chance to start again and make a proper go at it.

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