The stages of writing a book

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I am writing a book.  There, I’ve said it.  I’m out.   Although the book is not quite finished, I have stopped to reflect on the different stages of writing a fiction novel.

The first stage, for me,  was definitely the romantic stage.  Writing a book has an allure about it.  There is something truly whimsical about imagining yourself dancing in a meadow with a plethora of phrases spilling from your brain.  Each of those phrases floats through the air and settles onto fluffy white clouds until you are able to collect them all and put them to paper.

The second stage is certainly more realistic than the first.  This stage for me was jotting down the plot twists that I wanted in my story but not knowing where they would be presented.  I also had to decide whether I wanted to write a full outline and follow it or if I simply wanted the characters to tell their story as they saw fit.  There are many places in my life where structure and organization are crucial but creating a story is not one of those places so the characters were able to share their voices without my framework.

The third stage was fantastic.  Once I had the basic premise in my head, I just sat down and wrote.  Some days were better than others but I spent a significant amount of time each day seeing how much further I could delve into the story and where it would lead me.  The best part about the third stage was getting excited when I came up with a new plot twist and  having those ideas create even more scenarios that I had never thought of before.  This stage was the ‘perpetual high’ stage.

I am now in the fourth stage, which is the panic stage.  I am so close to finishing the book and now I am second guessing everything I have written.  Are my characters deficient in some way?  Does the story line flow properly?  Is there enough meat in the story to keep readers interested?  Am I even going to have readers?   The list goes on….

I am hoping that there is a bright light at the end of this arduous tunnel when I gain back a little more self-confidence and I can just pat myself on the back and say, ‘you finished your book’.  That in itself will be a monumental occasion.

I already have the sequel planned and seemingly I am willing to put myself through these phases all over again.  They must make some sort of pill for this……

For the love of writing

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I feel the overwhelming desire to write.

For the last couple of months my brain has been stymied by the oppressive weight of reality.  Sure, a few words have trickled from my brain to my keyboard but I don’t feel like I have been swept away by the truly seductive lure of language.

Now, tentatively, I take step after step back onto that linguistic dance floor.  I wait alone in the center of the room until the beat of the typewriter keys finds its rhythm and the words circle around me like a hypnotic song.  I sway back and forth, my eyes close and I lose myself in the art of expression.  Like blood through my veins, the letters course and feed my body and mind with words.

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This is my home.  This passion for written expression is where I find my comfort, my refuge.  And though my words are my sanctuary and my escape, they also indulge me with a sense of freedom.

These words are the one place that I allow myself complete abandon.  I follow no rules.  I adhere to no code or convention.  I simply write what comes to me and allow myself to become immersed in the river of prose.  I become buoyant in the sea of imagery and I ride the wave of creativity.

Sometimes letters enter my brain and form words.  I am unsure of their origin but I do not question their presence.  I simply reap the rewards of their existence, give in to their demand to be freed and serve my purpose as their translator.

Are there therapy groups for an addiction to Pinterest?

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I thought I was over it.  It had been months since I had really even thought about it.  But like a recurring rash, my obsession with Pinterest flared up again with no warning, not even the smallest hint, that it was coming back.  It’s like taking a bite of a deliciously crisp pickle.  Once the salty goodness of that fermented cucumber awakens your taste buds, you can’t just put it down.

So I found myself, eyes glazed, clicking incessantly through the plethora of recipes and pictures of food porn.  I love to cook.  I’m pretty sure I have already established that on this blog but I have just begun a weight loss challenge with some friends and I was looking for new ideas that may be slightly more appealing than salad-in-a-jar.  And then I saw it….and the angels sang…..and a rainbow appeared over my computer.  Okay, those last two things didn’t happen, but the feeling I had would have mirrored the same happiness had those things actually occurred.

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A grain bowl – the newest rage on Pinterest.  This was my lunch yesterday, and most likely will be my lunch today.  It is a Mediterranean grain bowl with quinoa, cucumber, avocado, black olives, feta and a roasted red pepper sauce.  And as pleasing as it was to the eye, it was more pleasing to the palate.  It was absolutely delicious….and filling.

Looking at it from another perspective, perhaps my Pinterest addiction has benefits that far outweigh the burdens of my slight obsession.  At least, that is my story and I’m sticking to it!

 

Dirty little secrets

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Muted secrets,

poignantly apparent,

bereft of understanding.

Walls painted in silence,

ceiling fans churning the absence of dialogue.

Silence is not always golden.

The reticence can stain.

Neglect is a dirty color.

But silence breaks,

and whispers become a symphony of sound.

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Cut and dry

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Perhaps I spent too much time worrying.  After all, it wasn’t my problem but I couldn’t seem to stop ministering to his lack of self-control.  I care more than he ever did and in the end I divorced the bottle, not him.

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It’s all over

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My dad was a staunch believer in always giving 100 percent effort.  His mantra played over and over in my head every time I wrote a test in school and every time I had to put any form of exertion into a task.

Somewhere along my journey through this life, that chant of success began to increase in volume and unwittingly seeped into every other aspect of my life.  Sometimes it felt good and other times it felt more like punishment.

I began to take most things to a new level.  And going overboard on simple achievements was just the beginning.  Realizing I couldn’t attain perfection led me into a pattern of over-eating.

When the over-eating became much more noticeable, I began to over-analyze and over-think everything about the problem instead of just recognizing it for what it was and dealing with it head on.

overthinking

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Of all the things I do with the utmost intensity, over-thinking is the worst of them.  I cannot seem to let what will be just be.  My brain configures numerous scenarios, all with different outcomes, and will not stop when it should be satisfied.  There is always another possibility.  This is a fantastic gift to have when I am writing fiction but, when it comes to creating plot lines based on my reality, it is a detriment to normal productivity.

I expend a great effort each day to quell those thoughts.  I could take an issue so benign and have it twisted into something so distorted from its original form that it becomes a gnarled version of what it once was and something so far removed from what it ever should be.  If I could ever transfer these thoughts to pages of a novel, it would be quite the story.

For now, I will wait out the current situation that has me over-thinking.  I will listen to those little voices as they churn out ending after ending but when I reach the point that I eventually find out what will really happen, the wait will be over.

 

 

 

 

A single wish

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The glow burned my eyes but I couldn’t take my gaze from its mesmerizing emanation.  It stood like a sentinel, guarding my emotion.  Although it was a single flame, that lone candle represented the one person I wished was here with me.

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