Day 4: Who Knew That 15 Minutes a Day Could Be so Much Fun?

Old-Fashioned Typewriter, Purely Decorative
It Doesn’t Quite Work This Way for Me, At Least Not yet. I Can Keep Hope Think, Can’t I?

After doing some running around and accomplishing very little, I got to work here. Started to “get to know my protagonist” as more than a cardboard cutout. 15 minutes ended very quickly, but I had another pile to tackle.

I certainly sound different than I did yesterday.

Day 2: I Am Almost Overwhelmed with What I Need to Do estimate

I didn’t post anything here yesterday. I hate to in it, but I dropped the ball. It was day one (again) of the “30 Day, 15 Minutes a Day” writing challenge.

My only justification is that I could tell that it wasn’t working, but it took me a while to figure out WHY. It simply wasn’t a story. It was a series of loosely-connected events without a focus.

Things that seemed to help me figure what needed to happen included:

  • Moving from Microsoft Word to plain text, and finally moving each individual paragraph into Scrivener so I could move things around more easily. (I think this forced me to rethink the function of each paragraph…)
  • Yesterday I did more detailed character work. (When I reread it today, I realized that neither my protagonist nor my antagonist had any goals. Today, I am so overwhelmed. I really need to go back to the beginning.)
  • I need to add in sensory details.
  • And… I know this is sort of backward, rethink the outline.

These are not exactly steps. I tend to do all of these at the same time, thoroughly confusing myself in the meantime.

On the other hand, I did turn in the book review for my church’s newsletter.

A Big Question: WHY

Question marks popping all over the place
Questions Questions Questions

Over at FICTION UNIVERSITY, Janice Hardy had a guest post by Shanna Swendson. It showed up on the blog on May 25, but I just saw it.

While I thought I had thoroughly considered this question before, I had only given a few seconds attention to this. This only led to a couple of sentence fragments that didn’t lead anywhere. At best, I had given a token effort and received exactly what that effort merited.

ONE KEY QUESTION TO ASK BEFORE YOU START WRITING invited me to reconsider both the question and the answers.

I realized that an abbreviated form of this would also be useful for short story writing. These tidbits deserve respect, too. Knowing the “WHY” can help me reshape the how into something exquisite.

I also realized that it is never too late to take this step. When I get stuck, I could return to it… If I have it already done. If not, it is a perfect exercise to pull me back into the story and the delight I envisioned.

Nifty tool! I can’t wait to use it.