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The Pretender

I’m a confident imposter some days… or maybe I’m an insecure braggart, or a jack of all trades and a master of none… No, I’m a writer, and a photographer, and a maid, housekeeper, laundress, chauffeur, organizer, counselor, referee, therapist, personal shopper, gopher, researcher, repairman, babysitter, etc… HOWEVER, I don’t get paid for any of those things. I just am what I am…

I rarely feel confident about my abilities as a whole. I don’t voice those insecurities. I don’t take my self and my abilities as serious as I should. If I took my abilities seriously, especially as a writer, others would as well. Yet here I sit in my writing space that is about to go back to being my son’s room and I’ll be back in the living room (not the dining room or our bedroom). Sacrifice. That’s the name of the game when you have a family. I was so excited. So inspired. So motivated and enthusiastic. And then I found out my son wasn’t going to make it through bootcamp because of some physical issues (deformed hips, who’d have thunk it?)…and he’s coming back home so he can go to college. He can recycle in, that’s the military term, in six months, but he’s thinking about joining the Air Force or Navy Reserves. Their bootcamp is less strenuous…The Army and the Marine’s are hardcore. Since his ASVAP score was like a 98 (which is extremely high), even though he has his GED not a diploma, he also has college credits, so he shouldn’t have a problem getting in the Reserves. Why the GED? because my son also has “Imposter Synrdrome.”

Why live up to your potential when others make fun of you, sometimes to the point of physical bullying, for being smart, a bookworm, a nerd, a geek…” Why not stay under the radar? Why not trudge through life pretending that you’re not as smart, talented, creative, or experienced as you are? Because sometimes it’s easier to live in under the radar. Like my son, I spent the majority of my life living under the radar so I wouldn’t be picked on for being a bookworm, smart, etc… I’d suffered through it in elementary school and by middle school I realized it didn’t pay to be the smart kid, or the bookworm, or to know the answer and be the one to raise your hand–no one like’s a teacher’s pet or a know-it-all… So I dumbed myself down. After years of dumbing myself down meant I only allowed myself to be who I really was in private. I read under my covers with a flashlight as a child and as a teenager). I listened to NPR on the radio on the way to work when I was by myself as an adult.  I created a blog and originally it was anonymous…BUT after a while, I could no longer pretend.

I was a PRETENDER, both in mind and in reality. If I couldn’t be myself around the people I loved, then there was a problem. Being myself in the serious relationship I had prior to my husband wasn’t an option, not really. At least not in my mind it wasn’t. I tried, and it SERIOUSLY ROCKED the cliched boat. I tired in my first marriage, well before that serious relationship and it didn’t work either. I was too nice…too emotional…too impulsive…too creative…too ME. I wondered about, lost in dumbing myself down and staying under the radar in unhealthy relationships with others and with myself for far too long.

Anxiety, stress, depression, ADHD, all played a factor. The more stressed out you are the more anxious you are, the more anxious you are the more stressed out you get. Add those two together and they wreak havoc on your ADHD, and all of that plays with your emotional well-being, which paves the way for depression to creep in. Oh, I was a wreck. I barely had any self-esteem, I was medicated to the gills for anxiety, depression, etc… which resulted in making me feel numb and in limbo. One day something inside me broke when I was with the ex before my husband Mr. Rockstar/Truck Driver… I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t pretend anymore. I was tired of internalizing everything and staying under the radar, dumbing myself down, and of not rocking the boat. I wanted to, no I needed to stand tall and be myself. I needed to take a stand and stop pretending. I could no longer be an imposter in my own body. I walked.

I left. Packed my bags, my daughter’s bags, loaded my car, and went to a cheap hotel. I wouldn’t have cared if I’d had to stay in a cardboard box, as long as I could finally be free. Free to be myself. Free to be happy. Free to be silly, or lazy occasionally, or funny, or friendly, or sad, or angry, or smart, or talented… FREE to be who I really was…No more hiding under the covers to read, or taking medicine so I could remain sane in the screwed up existence that my life had become. . I got off the medication. My stress levels went down tremendously, thus reducing my anxiety and depression. I’d managed to live my whole life with ADHD without medication, so I knew what to do there. I’m not saying that medication isn’t the answer for some folks with anxiety, depression, ADHD, etc… It’s works for some, but I can’t live my life numb, and that’s what taking medicine for those things does to me. As long as my stress levels stay low, I’m good. Life has stress, there’s no way to go through life without stress, but being with someone who loves me exactly as I am, accepts me and that fact that when I get anxious I need space and quiet, that crowds make me anxious, loud noises make me anxious, arguing makes me anxious… Or when I get really hungry I get grumpy….Or if I don’t have some time alone I get grumpy….Or that writing, photography, creative pursuits are a part of who, what, and how I am. I need those things to be happy, sane, and whole individual. I no longer have to read with a flashlight under the covers. I no longer have to dumb myself down. I no longer have to pretend that I’m not smart, a bookworm, etc…

But after years, decades even, of pretending I wonder if I haven’t lost quite a few things along the way. I find myself wondering if I’m just pretending to be a writer. Pretending that I’m good at it, that I have talent. If I’m pretending that I might be able to one day make a living at it, or with the photography that so inspires my soul as well. I doubt myself. I second guess myself. When I begin to go down that road, I say to myself, “You ARE a WRITER, whether you get paid for it or not. You ARE talented whether anyone recognizes your talent or not. You are a photographer, even if you never get paid to take a picture….” I figure if I tell myself those things eventually I might believe them and stop feeling like I’m a fraud.

Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender . Are you full of confidence or have you ever suffered from Imposter Syndrome? Tell us all about it…

  1. of hope | Anawnimiss
  2. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender- Self Esteem and Introversion | Journeyman
  3. A Time For Introspection | The Jittery Goat
  4. Confession: I Suffer From Imposter Syndrome | Musings | WANGSGARD
  5. Courage To Finish | My Little Avalon
  6. DP Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Sabethville
  7. Shame | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  8. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Love your dog
  9. Walk the walk | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  10. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | The WordPress C(h)ronicle
  11. One Day They’ll Find Out | The Ambitious Drifter
  12. I HAVE A QUESTION, ARE YOU BISEXUAL? | She Writes
  13. Here I Come | Views Splash!
  14. Glittering Awards Ceremony! Daily Prompt | ALIEN AURA’S BLOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
  15. “Do what you do do well” | Hope* the happy hugger
  16. Pretending to be a Grown Up | the intrinsickness
  17. liberty | yi-ching lin photography
  18. i am slightly off- | y
  19. I am a lazy person and full of confidence | wisskko’s blog
  20. Confident ? ::E.N.Howie’s Motivational Moments
  21. Who were You before You became You? (Braveheart Chronicles Vol. 2) | Running On Sober
  22. Ghostly Granny Tales: Daily Prompt | ALIEN AURA’S BLOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
  23. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Pastathree’s Blog
  24. Unmasking my masks on the way up the ladders of success « psychologistmimi
  25. Borrowed Reflection | forgottenmeadows
  26. Feeling Like a Fraud | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  27. Imposter syndrome – every writer must suffer this at some point | new2writing
  28. Daily Prompt: Being Confident! | All Things Cute and Beautiful
  29. Humbug « Averil Dean
  30. Grading yourself. | Cake Box Fox
  31. “I can, I Can, I can” The Confidence Poem | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
  32. I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  33. My Dementor: Shame and Self Doubt | Ever Upward
  34. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Blissful Pages
  35. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | A Day In The Life
  36. Are you full of Confidence or a Great Pretender? | New Visions
  37. IMPOSTER | Hastywords
  38. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Tonkadella’s Things in Life
  39. A Hidden Confidence | Ms. Raven Marie
  40. Textured Captures: Set in Stone | LenzExperiments
  41. he’s so shy | eastelmhurst.a.go.go
  42. The Great Pretender_Today’s Daily post | A Blog for Laura Lee
  43. Daily Prompt – The Great Pretender – Say what? | Serendipitous Cookery
  44. Ticky-Tacky … I’ll drink to that! | The Flavored Word
  45. The Great Pretender | The Nameless One
  46. Insecure | Life is great
  47. Are You an Impostor? | Pinstripes&Lipgloss
  48. Red Flags | The Zombies Ate My Brains
  49. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Morrighan’s Muse
  50. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Life In The Passenger Seat
  51. What Everyone Said | INKLINGS
  52. Confidence | The Land Slide Photography
  53. I Always Thought I Was Just Modest | …Properly Ridiculous…
  54. Daily Prompt: Pretending | Finicky Philly
  55. What is Wrong with You may be What is Right with You | An Upturned Soul
  56. My Luck! | Flowers and Breezes
  57. Don’t Mess With Me! | Life Confusions
  58. Is The Glass Half Empty or Half Full? | melissuhhsmiles
  59. Angela McCauley
  60. I Don’t Pretend to Pretend | djgarcia94
  61. Alway was a rebel | Always was a rebel…
  62. “Impostor Syndrome?” or “I WAS BORN A DINOSAUR” | Ensis Reads – The First-Impressionist
  63. Blossoming | Cogito Ergo Mum
  64. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | My Atheist Blog
  65. Confidence for 500 please! | Living with Post Concussion Syndrome
  66. Pretending my way through the day | One Educator’s Life
  67. Don Draper and Buddah Walk Into a Bar… | by LRose
  68. Tempest in a Tutu | Be Less Amazing
  69. Masks may lie | sunny side dreamers
  70. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Just Be V
  71. Imposter Art Lover | Photography Journal Blog
  72. Fool Me Once, Shame On You! | meg lago
  73. When I Decided I Wasn’t Going to Be White: The Art of Disappearing | Kosher Adobo
  74. .. Certainly Not Me « Overcoming to Becoming
  75. Wasn’t me…Then who? | Youer than You
  76. Oh, No – He’ll Find Out! | Lynne McAennyl
  77. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | imagination
  78. НЕКОИ МАЛИ НЕШТА ПИСАТЕЛСКИ
 
 

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Writing with a Plan

pantser quote

When I first began NaNoWriMo two years ago I pantsed it. My work is completely character driven. I put her in what I now know is more or less a hero’s journey, only she was definitely not what most people would think of as a candidate for heroism. She was the unlikely hero who fell into a situation and did what she felt she had to do, what was the right thing to do, and though it got her into trouble and put her in danger the likes of which she had no idea of how to get out of, she managed through it, just barely.

outlining quote

IN real life that’s what hero’s do. They don’t walk 6 miles like the Doctor in Atlanta did to save his patient in order to be a hero, they do it because it’s what they feel is right–they do what they need to do. But midway through, (sagging middle syndrome) I began to flail about like a fish out of water. I had no plan. I was writing from my gut and the heart of my story was great, but I got stuck because what I wanted my character to do and what my character wanted to do weren’t the same. I was following the character, but without a plan I lost control of the book/situation.

puzzler quote

After 3 NaNo’s under my belt, I’ve realized I am one of those cross breeds as a writer. I am both a pantster and a plotter. I guess that makes me a puzzler or a plantster. I don’t let the outline (which is often just a basic 3 act structure outline) rule me. I tend to write off the cuff, adlib, stray from the main course, follow the path less traveled too much to be considered a plotter, but I do my research, I brainstorm. I narrow down my plot, subplot, character sketches, and I write down a few ideas for each act and some of the chapters. The most in depth thing that I do now, versus when I was pantsing, is that I get to know my characters. I use Scrivener and that makes it so much easier. I use actual character sketches, and the corkboard for pictures and create a synopsis of each character comes up or the picture comes up. (My only problem with Scrivener is that the Windows version isn’t as detailed as the Mac version. There are things Mac users can do with Scrivener that Windows users can’t. Right now I can’t afford a Mac, if I could I’d get one.)

Character Outline on the Corkboard in Scrivener.

Character Outline on the Corkboard in Scrivener.

One of the most helpful aids I’ve found for my writings is Caroline Norrington’s template for outlining with Scrivener. You really should check it out her blog post Scrivener Template. (And the template if you use Scrivener.)  It’s absolutely amazing!!!!

Now that I’ve finally got my laptop up and running, (a new power cord, battery, and a D-Link USB adapter), I downloaded the template and imported into Scrivener so that I can use it while I’m out on the road for the next month with my husband. If you haven’t read any of my previous posts I’ll clue you in, if you have sorry for being redundant-he’s an over the road (OTR) truck driver. I went out on the road with him for a week last month. Now I’m about to go out on the road with him for a month. We’ll be home on weekends, but I’m cannot “not” write for long periods of time, so I managed to fix my laptop all by myself. A friend of ours who fixes computers kept saying it was the port that the power cord goes into but I know my computers and it was the cord. It was bent and every time you moved slightly the blue light went off and you you lost power. The battery was shot, that’s one of my major problems with HPs is that they tend to run hot and their batteries don’t last long. When I get a new laptop it will not be another HP.

North Carolina. OTR. Truck Stop. Trucking.

North Carolina. OTR. Truck Stop. Trucking.

Once the storm let up and our power came back on I began preparing for my trip OTR with my Sweetheart Mr. Rockstar/Truck Driver.

  1. Get the laptop up and running. ✔
  2. Download and import outline template for Scrivener.✔
  3. Do laundry. (Working on that.)
  4. Pack. (Nowhere near done.)
  5. Cook dinner for him for when he comes home. (Working on that as I type. Bean soup is in the crockpot and will be more be delicious when it’s done.)
  6. Go to grocery store for stuff to take OTR. (Will do that tomorrow or Monday morning before we leave.)
  7. Send D____ (my son who is in bootcamp in Missouri for the Army) his letter. ✔
  8. Pick up book of stamps so you can send D____ more letters and other people postcards. ✔
  9. Shave legs (Not yet, I just got my power back, LOL)
  10. Do research for character, place, etc. (WIP)
  11. Print Michael’s coupon.✔
  12. Go to Michael’s and purchase a new Smash Book. (Will have checked off by later today.)
  13. Go through scrapbooking supplies. (Will do later today.)
  14. Write blog. ✔
  15. Make coffee.✔

I’m drinking my coffee now and once I’m finished with the blog post I’ll be working on the research for my book.  Then I’ll head to Michaels to pick up my new Smash Book. I’m so excited about going out on the road with my husband for a month. I keep thinking of Kerouac. I am charging the batteries for my camera. Oops, I need to stop by Walmart and pick up a new memory card. Guess my list just got longer. 😉

Have a great day! Happy Writing! Reading! and Life!!!

 

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I’ll be better when I’m older…

IMG_0395

Someone once told me that every decade you should look back on where you were, who and how you were, and what you were doing so that you can figure out what changes you need to make for the next decade.

When I was ten years old I was an avid reader, and when I say avid, I do mean avid. I got in more trouble for reading under my covers with a flashlight than I did for doing any of the normal ten year old things most kids do. During my first ten years of life my father died when I was seven, my mom remarried two months before I turned nine. I taught my brother how to ride a bicycle when he was five and I was eight 1/2. I barely talked the year after my father died. I answered with yes or no, rarely saying anything more, except when my third grade teacher Mrs. “Rotten” I mean Rottlier told me to put my book away and do my work. I was finished with my work. I was sitting quietly at my desk reading my library book while the other students were still doing their work. I explained this to her, yet she still told me to put my book away. Angry, frustrated, and confused I lashed out. “I don’t care about anything. My daddy’s dead and I don’t care.” I was sent to the principle’s office where I was asked a ton of “psyche” questions, and my mother was called.

They told my mother she needed to send me to a psychiatrist, but back in the 70’s they were called shrinks and that wasn’t something good ole’ fashioned Southern families did. My paternal grandfather came to stay with us quite a bit after that, if I was going to listen to anyone or talk to anyone it would be him. He took me fishing. I read books to him. He taught me how to build things and put things together. We made a copper bracelet, a wooden bank that looked like Snoopy, and a number of other things. He called me his “Feisty girl” because he said I didn’t have any quit in me. I was so stubborn that I wouldn’t give up even if that was exactly what I should do.

One week before graduation from high school, my (paternal) grandfather died and my heart was broken again. It was my (step)dad who helped me get through that. My (step)dad has been a rock for all of us from the very beginning. My maternal grandmother always claimed that my daddy and God sent “J__” (my step-dad) to us. Fate, destiny, angels…who or why or how he was sent to us, we were blessed the day he married our mother.

In April my father will have been dead 39 years.  In May my grandfather will have been dead 29 years. I am now a grandmother myself and as I look back on this past decade, I know I’m ahead of schedule but it feels right to be pondering my past at this point right here, right now for some reason.  Perhaps it is because my son is in bootcamp, my daughter is in college and trying to raise her baby (toddler) alone, my husband is on the road and hates being OTR (over the road) but is doing it so that we have insurance and I can get my shoulder treated, and a mammogram, and most likely a hysterectomy.

I was blessed the day he walked into my life. A higher power was definitely looking out for the both of us when we met each other. He’d tell you I’m his saving grace, and I have to say that he is definitely mine. Not that either of us were looking for someone, we weren’t. Both of us were happy being single, resigned to the fact that we were probably going to be single for the rest of our lives, and we were both okay with that. Then we met by chance through mutual friends and here we are…married for 16 months and happier with each other than the day we got married.

My life has changed the past few years by leaps and bounds. I’m definitely a better person now than I was when I was younger. Part of that is thanks to my children, a big part of that is thanks to my husband, a part of that is thanks to my beautiful grandchild, and part of that is thanks to all the people throughout my life who made a difference in my life, like my daddy, my granddaddy, my (step)dad, my grandparents (in general), my MOM, my brother, family members, and my friends. We are who and what and how we are because of all we’ve been through.

I’ve never given up. No matter what has happened, I’ve always kept right on keeping on. Maybe it’s because I’m just that stubborn and feisty, or maybe it’s because I’m just that hopeful. I don’t know. But now that I’m older, I’m finally pursuing my dream of writing a book, at least one, but I’m hoping it will be a lot more than one. Maybe I won’t be published, but at least I’ll have written the damn thing. And I’m sure that those I love who are no longer here are looking down on me and saying, “Took you long enough…What were you waiting on…I knew you could do it…Hang in there…” at least I’m pretty sure my Momo (paternal grandmother) has that one eyebrow raised, that smirk on her face, and she’s pointing at the computer as if to say, “Well, hurry it up kid, it won’t type itself.”

So I’m going to go back to writing my book. Sorry that the posts are hither and thither. I’ll try to do better.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 7, 2014 in Books, Family, Home, Life, Writing

 

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Avoiding the “Suck Dragon” while writing

start writing no matter what

I’d thought a great deal about what works for me as a writer while I was planning out my writing room. I wanted a place where my creativity could soar, where I could focus on my writing without being distracted, and that was organized in such a way that everything I needed was right at my fingertips.

I’ve written in diner’s, coffee shops, work, the living room, the dining room, in a cubby in the corner of my bedroom, in a vehicle while traveling, in my very own room meant for writing/studying/etc (for the brief period of time I lived alone and my second bedroom was my study–then my daughter moved back in with me, then she moved out again, and then I moved in with my now husband and I once again had my own space but then my son moved in with us…)…And I’ve even written while in the bathroom, or in line at the grocery store on a notepad, or on napkins at a restaurant. It’s not that I can’t write in my own space. It’s that I feel much more focused and creative when I have my own space, and that space is organized.

When I first began planning what I’d do with the room after my son moved out I thought I’d paint the walls a pretty shade of purple and paint my bookcases white, maybe paint my desk a darker shade of purple, but my (step) daughter’s favorite color is also purple and I didn’t want both bedrooms painted purple, especially since our comforter and drapes are lavender and we plan on painting the walls of our bedroom a silvery grey with a touch of lavender in it–that would have meant all three bedrooms of our home would be a purple hue. Way too much purple for my husband who prefers dark blue, taupe, eggshell, or GOD FORBID white walls.

When I asked him about painting the walls, after we first moved in, he wasn’t that enthusiastic. He dislikes painting. I love painting. I love color. My first step was the next to the smallest room in the house–the main bathroom. I have a shower curtain with ducks on it. I bought it when I left the ex of ten years and got my own place. I wanted something fun. Something playful. I added a few rubber duckies, two pictures with ducks, painted the walls yellow, added yellow rugs, (our floor in the bathroom is red), and Wa La, a fun cheerful bathroom. I even painted the brown cabinets white. He was amazed by how much better it looked, and agreed that we could redo each room, but we’d go one room at a time. Things happened, and we weren’t able to afford to start another room. Then my son moved out 2 weeks ago when he left to go to boot-camp for the Army.

Now that my writing space is almost finished, I need to seal the top of my desk with a clear coat so that it won’t get scratched, paint the top of my husband’s desk dark grey, and move my desk in here and arrange the closet so that my son’s large FS TV will fit in there and be out of the way (and safe from my 18 mth old grandson’s curious little hands), I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to avoid some of the suck dragon’s that have been plaguing my writing.

Having your creativity sucked right out of you, writer’s block, lack of focus, ADD or ADHD aside—well, it leaves you feeling like crap. Like maybe you’re not really a writer, or at least not a good one. Or maybe you don’t really have what it takes. Or maybe you just need to do this, or get this, or maybe what you need is your own writing space… LOL! Excuses. Excuses. Excuses. That little voice in your head says, it’s not where you write that matters…It’s not what you write on…It’s not what you write with…But for some of us, we need that space of our own. I squelched that little voice in my head the moment I set my computer up on my husband’s desk (to use until I could get mine in here) and began writing. I felt the creative juices overflowing. Ideas where running rampant in my head.

I am one of those people who needs inspiration, motivation, focus, calm, organization, and freedom to write. Stuck in the corner of my bedroom in that little cubby my husband had so thoughtfully arranged was great for NaNo, but it wasn’t working long-term, nor was having my writing space in the dining room where there were so many distractions. Now the little voice in my head often says, “Stop hunching over your keyboard and sit back and relax a little. Oh, and take those cups to the sing too!” I’m working on a whole new novel. I put NaNo’s novel away for now. Maybe I’ll go back to it later. I’m on chapter 3 of my new novel and it’s headed in the direction I want, at least so far. I’m working on some of the minor characters, and working on my dialogue (I have to remind myself to show and not tell). It’s all a work in progress though. I don’t expect any of my novels to be best sellers, I’ll just be happy when it’s finished, completely, and in print and publishable. Maybe I’ll self publish and no one but my husband, my family, and friends will ever read it, or maybe I’ll find an agent and a publisher. That doesn’t really matter to me. I’ve found my way and I’m happy just writing.

 

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What I’ve been doing since NaNo…

Bookshelves, one red and one dark grey. Big FS TV will be moved soon

Bookshelves, one red and one dark grey. Big FS TV will be moved soon

I finally have my writing room…well, I’m almost finished with it. My red desk is drying and the desk I’m currently using needs to be painted (it’s my husband’s and will sit where that gigantic flat screen is), and I still need to hang one small red shelf (will add pics of the red desk and the red shelves once they’re finished), but I’m almost done. Thank Goodness!!

Red bookshelf matches my red desk

Red bookshelf matches my red desk

I chose to accent with red and use the color “aqua chiffon” for the walls. Red for creativity and the aqua for focus. I thought about painting the walls red but I didn’t want to make the room appear smaller or for it to be too dark. I still need to get a few aqua or turquoise colored accent items (for the red bookshelf, etc, so that it all meshes.

As soon as this desk is moved and my red desk is put in its place it will be pretty much finished.

As soon as this desk is moved and my red desk is put in its place it will be pretty much finished.

The top of my husband’s desk will match the dark grey bookcase. As soon as we can move my desk and put up the rest of the small red shelves I’ll post pics but I have to wait until my husband gets home this weekend because I don’t know where he put the drill…Grrrr

Up to no good face

So this is what I’ve been up to. My son joined the Army on December 30th. I’ve been cleaning up the room, painting the walls and furniture, etc since.

 

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Outlining: From a Pantser’s POV

Outline for NaNoWriMo 2013

Outline for NaNoWriMo 2013

As I’ve talked about before, I’m more of a pantser than a plotter, but I’m trying my hand at outlining this NaNoWriMo. I’ve found more than a few different ways that writer’s outline, including the 3 act structure, Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat” version, Larry Brook’s version of outlining/plotting from “Story Engineering,” and quite a few other’s. I don’t know which one will work best for me. I’ve tried outlining my novel with each form of outline as I read the various ways, and to tell you the truth–I still don’t know.

I wish I had someone who would do that part for me. I talk. He/she listens and takes notes. I come up with the ideas, the names, the plots, the themes, the B story, the world building, etc. and the other person does the outlining, the making of maps, the creating the world, and then I go in and write the story. Until I’m a famous writer making real money at my profession, the kind of money that would afford me an assistant I don’t see that happening so I’m stuck doing all the nitty-gritty work myself. And to me, that stuff is the nitty-gritty hard work stuff.

The writing isn’t hard. It’s all the crap beforehand that’s hard. At least for me. BUT, last time I really tried to create a novel for NaNoWriMo I got bogged down in the middle, lost in translation, misplaced my muse, and ended up losing horribly all because I didn’t know where I was going with the novel. I had a clear idea when I started. I pantsed. I knew who my character was and what she was doing, and what was supposed to happen, and I started writing. I wrote. She talked and talked, and then before you know it the character had taken over and then I ended up at the midpoint of my novel and I looked up and realized she was fickle and indecisive and had no idea of what she really wanted, “Hey, don’t blame me. You’re the writer!” she said.

Character Outline on the Corkboard in Scrivener.

Character Outline on the Corkboard in Scrivener.

This time that won’t happen. This time I’m plotting. I’m working on my outline. I’ll still stay open to what the main character needs, to what’s going on with the setting, the theme, the plot, the arc of the story and the characters, BUT I will have a map (my outline) to help guide me and keep me headed in the right direction, even if I randomly take a few shortcuts, or a few side roads.

I’m just so thankful to Scrivener. Without Scrivener there is no way I’d be able to create an outline that still allows me freedom to change things around without going absolutely crazy. For allowing me to switch things around in the binder. For enabling me to color code things so it’s more convenient and efficient for me. I LOVE Scrivener. I’m still learning, and I really wish that the Windows version was as fancy as the Mac version. (Hello people, not all of us can afford a Mac or prefer a Mac. I’d have one if I could afford it, even if it meant learning everything all over again.)

So now I’m going to go to bed. It’s almost 4AM (my time) and I’m exhausted. I’ve posted on both blogs now, and I’m ready to fall asleep curled up with my husband’s pillow (that still smells like him) and fall asleep watching something on Netflix–Friday evening can’t get here soon enough–I miss him!

 
 

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Writing: What, Where, How, When, and Why

I spent most of my life “wishing” I could write a book. When my husband said, “Do it.” I thought, “Why not?” I decided I’d participate in April’s Camp NaNoWriMo, and I won. YAY ME!!! Then I tried July’s but lost because family stuff intruded (my grandson’s first birthday, my birthday, and I got so into my book that the dead line came and went and I didn’t even notice even though I had made my goal, so I won but didn’t win, if you know what I mean?).

3 simple rules in life

Over the past six months I’ve read articles, books, ebooks, blogs…about writing, advice on writing, and I even bought Scrivener, which is the next best thing since coffee was invented. Though I really wish they’d put all the stuff in the Windows version that they have in the Mac version (I’d really love to have the icons). I’m actually outlining my novel for November’s NaNoWriMo and excited about it. I’m using a template that I found thanks to the Belinda Crawford’s post about how to open a Scrivener template (all of them aren’t accessible for some reason, no matter which way I tried) and Carolina Norrington’s Outline template.  Needless to say, I’m a BIG FAN of SCRIVENER!!!!

Snoopy There he is writing again

One of the first suggestions in most of the articles and books I’ve read was that you need a comfortable place to write. Your own little writing niche/corner/room (if you’re lucky)… for some of us it’s in a corner somewhere sitting at our desk, or on our bed with our laptop, or in our very own writing room (Come December 30th I’ll have our spare bedroom back because my son will be off to bootcamp for the Army and I’ll be moving my desk, computer, bookcases, etc out of various rooms in the house and into my own writing space. I’m going to paint the walls first, and buy myself a much needed new bookcase (you can never have enough bookcases).

Writing is magic stephen king

Stephen King stated in his book On Writing, that he writes every day. Writer’s write. It’s that simple.

snoopy-good-writing-is-hard-work.jpeg

Another thing writer’s should do, especially new writers, aspiring writers…We should market ourselves, brand ourselves, which means twitter, FB, blogs, etc. So I got a blog, a FB page, and now a twitter account (only I am not sure of what hash tags really are, such a newbie at this it makes me literally laugh-out-loud.) I’m guessing I’ll need to link my blog to twitter soon (somehow or other). I’ll google that soon enough.

stephen king quote

Now, WHAT do I use to write with? A desktop computer. A PC. An HP to be exact. Or I use a good old fashioned notebook, usually one of those black and white composition notebooks, although I do have a fancy journal, and a black gel pen. Once I’m to the editing stage I have a red pen for corrections, a blue pen for notations, and various colored highlighters. And SCRIVENER.

Scrivener

WHERE do I write? At my desk that sits in the corner of my bedroom, for now. LIke I said, after December 30th I’ll have my own study/writing room. YAY!  Or I write outside with my pen and notebook, or on the couch while my husband watches football, or whenever I’m somewhere other than home.

i-dont-remember-deciding-to-become-a-writer.jpg

HOW do I write? One word at a time. (Insert smile here.) I use Scrivener. I also am more of a pantser than an outliner, but I’m working really hard on trying to change that. Right now I’m what I like to think of as a plotster…A hybrid of sorts.

I'm out of bed and I made it to the keyboard

WHEN do I write? Usually during the day or late at night, which means when I’m alone, or when my husband is asleep.

snoopy inspiration

WHY do I write? Silly question, but it’s one of those things that people ask. I love writing, my soul beckons me to write, the voices telling me to write will not quiet…the summons to write stirs within my being and has to be answered. BECAUSE I HAVE TO, BECAUSE I NEED TO, BECAUSE I WANT TO.

I write because there is a voice

Now I’m off to write some more of my outline for November’s NaNoWriMo, and  then try to finish chapter 1 of the book I’m currently working on, I put the other book aside for now because I was stuck. The main character decided she had different plans and wanted to be in a completely different novel with a completely different name.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2013 in Outlining, Scrivener, Uncategorized, Writing

 

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