Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Driving Around Without a Map...

I've never use an outline. Period. I know in my head where I want the story to go. I usually have an idea, I know the ending, pretty much (but it can change slightly to suit), and I may have a beginning. I will flesh out the characters before I start. Or sometimes they simply come alive on the page. I've often wanted to just go down a country road without knowing where it went just to find out. I'm an adventurer in that respect.

I've been working on a short story, lately. I'm going to offer it to Dark Moon, eventually. It's their "women's" issue. I thought the title "Mother Knows Best" would nail down that this is a woman's story.

I don't normally write short stories. There's a reason. I want to go on and on with the story, get into every one's heads as to what they are doing and make the plot twist and turn and... well, that's impossible to do with a short story. The novel and short story may seem similar to some, but they are very different. You have to tell a story within so many pages--like five or eight or ten. We're given a 6,000 words max, so I've got more than enough pages to play with.

I knew the story long before I began this or decided to write this for the anthology. It was a section taken from my first vampire novel, and saved in a discard file. You never want to absolutely delete all your hard work. These may offer you new ideas for new stories.

It has taken me a few weeks to pound out more than the three pages I struggled with at the beginning. I've now got 8 pages. I'm not pushing myself, because I can't work under that sort of pressure. I don't tell myself I have to write X amount of words or pages in a day. I'd rebel. I'm in charge of what I do, where and when and I've got the keys to this car and when I say we go, we go.

As I began this short story, I knew it would involve a vampire (of course), and a teenager who meets him, and there would be a rival. The rival would be her friend. But, after I lingered over this idea, I liked the old jealousy rage story less and less.

While I fiddled in facebook, and took on a new blog (actually it's not "new", just that I am now captain of the ship, so to speak), I allowed my mind to wander. Give it a break, because I had just been working on edits for the third book, and I think I was tired and needed a little fun time. (keys to the car, remember?)

The story sat at the bottom of my desktop. Once in a while I'd have something to add, and that was about it.

Then...I don't know, but maybe I relaxed enough, let the wind blow through my hair. Had a little fun choosing new backgrounds for a couple of blogs (like this one???), and working with another writer friend who is teaming up with me on the aforementioned blog.

I was at another blog I follow earlier where they spoke of giving yourself permission to do this or that when it gets a little scary when you write and wonder about things. Giving yourself permission to relax, maybe take a walk, get away from the manuscript for a while, helps me. I think we writers put too much pressure on ourselves when it comes to getting something done. Deadlines and so forth. If they work for you. Fine. But if you feel as though you've driven yourself into a wall. Stop it. Give yourself permission to sit back and not write but have a little fun.

Go for a ride.


  1. You've changed the curtains? Very swanky, L! : ) Seriously love the new look...

    You're very right: you have to find a writing pace. And that tends to be with each story. Some come at you fast furious, others need to be stewed upon. Every writer has the right to kick back and smell the roses. That's often when the best ideas are born!

    Also wanted to say thank you for the awesomely sweet comment you left on my blog. Always love hearing from you.


  2. So true, EJ. And when the outdoors calls to me, I have to go for a walk, and during many a walks, the ideas came to me for some scene, or a dialogue I struggled with.

    And you are very welcome, my dear! I love hearing from you!

  3. Yup. I go on writing adventures, too. But sometimes that means certain characters get out of control.

  4. Let them, Shelly. It means they have a personality, and you need to let them do what they want.

    Very good. I want to hear more about it, Shelly. HOpe to read some updates!


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