MOMENT by MOMENT

Hosted by: Cynthia Swanson & Andrew Swanson

Archive for February 2012

Research and Character Building

The Super Secret Project is progressing very nicely.  As the post title indicates, I’ve been doing research and fleshing out my main point-of-view character.

The beginning part of the novel building process has never been my favorite part. In the past, I was always much more of what they’re calling a “pantser” these days–someone who just starts writing, hoping for inspiration along the way. I have completed novels that way, but it doesn’t work for me any more.  Maybe it’s the structure and organization that I am responsible for in the day job rubbing off.  I don’t know.

What I do know is that the novel I am writing will be a better product if I expend the time and effort necessary “worldbuilding” the infrastructure of the novel: doing my research so I can ground the pages to come in reality and make the tension come alive; creating flawed and interesting characters; and developing the framework of the story.

If this works, the story will then practically write itself. Or at least feel that way, because I won’t reach points where I don’t know what will happen next. Or write myself into a corner. Which is when writer’s block hits.  And I hate that.

So here I am, chomping at the bit to write and yet forcing myself to weave the threads of the storyworld together first. I’ll keep you apprised as I go along, and share with you what I learn.

Until next time, happy writing.

Super Secret Project Update

Writing

I’m neck deep in brainstorm/research mode on the new book. Things are going extremely well. The story premise is holding up. I’m starting to get a mental image of the main character and the roadblocks that will get in their way, both internally and externally.

And I have to say…

Research…I do not love thee.

When I get a new idea, my first inclination is to sit down and start writing.  If my latest rejection is any judge, I’m a decent writer with a good grasp of language and the ability to spin a story. But can I emotionally engage you in the story through the lead character?

Not without a different kind of planning.

Also, unlike when I was younger, my time for writing is limited. In order to write a book in a reasonable amount of time while maintaining a challenging day job requires more thoughtful preparedness up front. More structure, so I spend less time flailing around, and so when I sit down for my few precious hours of writing, I can actually write vs. staring at the computer thinking about writing, getting sucked into web surfing, or wasting hours playing solitaire or my Facebook games.

So, with the aid of my wonderful husband, I’m stepping out of my comfortable old habits, and actively trying something different. It’s not easy. Believe me, I still want nothing more than to open a document and start writing the book. But it will be light years better because of the time I spend now. And if I do it right, when I get done I will have created a story that not only scares the bejeezus out of you, but had a lead character you want to see win the day.  And if I make you cry? Bonus points.

A tall order, but a doable one.  I’ll share with you what I can as I feel my way through this.

Until next time, happy writing!