My blog-cation is over. I had an ah-hah moment late summer during which I realized I write kid-lit, not just a blog, and I have a deadline.
I needed to shed all distractions to shape up my sluggish novel. I wrote my first novel, The Graham Cracker Plot, in a linear fashion, and the groove never broke.
The second book is my difficult child. The two of us are working like a crockpot instead of a microwave. Slow is fine. It takes as long as it takes, but I need to feel like the words have movement on the page. That wasn’t happening, and my normal writing strategies weren’t working.
Here are a few things I typically use in my writing process:
- I make maps and other visual aids for setting.
- I find photos in magazines that look like the characters I’ve envisioned. I paste those on the wall. They chide me if I succumb to distractions.
- I outline ideas in a notebook.
- I hang index cards with plot points. Then I reshuffle them again and again.
- I tape inspirational writing quotes on my wall:
Discipline allows magic.
Don’t waste time waiting for inspiration. Begin, and inspiration will find you.
Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.
Finally, I tried something different. I gave up my linear process and wrote the story in reverse. I wrote the end, then I wrote what comes before the end, then what comes before the end of the end.
Sometimes it’s not about tearing up a draft. It’s about tearing up the process.