Monday, August 4, 2014

Ready, Set, Write: from passive to active

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at in our writing—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin Funk, and Katy Upperman. Find the rest of the details HERE.

* How I did on last week's goals: 

Fail. FAIL. I knew it was going to be a tough week, but I wanted to get a few hours of writing in, squeezing them in somewhere between the camping, the travelling, the visitors, and the kids competing at county fair.

Bunny hop fail (if only writing fails were so cute)

I didn't get any actual writing in but I did stew over my story in my head, though, especially the weak points that still linger in its opening chapter (see the Biggest Challenge part below).

My other goal is read-one-book-a-week  and last week was Like No Other, by Una LaMarche, which just released. Billed for fans of Eleanor and Park and the Westside Story. It was quite a bit tamer than either of those, but still wonderful and  it satisfied my #WeNeedDiverseBooks craving. Highly recommend!
* My goals this week: 

Aiming for 6 hours of writing this week. Another busy week with travel, but I have three "normal days" where if I can't spend 2 hours writing at some point during the day, then I can be officially branded the lamest writer ever. 
* The biggest challenge I faced this week:

I had an agent pass on my first chapter for Star Tripped, but she took the time to give me compliments on what she liked, and what didn't work for her: she didn't quite connect with my characters.

So, I went back to reading some really good opening chapters and studying the characters.  Came up with three things the characters all had:

1) they are actively DOING something (something interesting. Whining and self-pitying does not count)
2) they express strong opinions, out loud or at the very least, in their thoughts
3) they have a unique view of the world and their circumstances.

* A favorite line from my project OR a word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

Changing my main character from passive to  active:
original version - Camria's friends surprise her by floating a bunch of candles in the pool as a memorial to her sister
new version: It's Cam's idea to float a bunch of candles in the pool instead

* Something I love about my WiP. 


  1. Love your thoughts on openings! And please don't feel too bad about not physically writing. I'm sure you did some musing in your head and that's important too. :) Good luck this week with your goals!

  2. Love the bunny. I feel like that so often. Great analysis of opening chapters. It's very helpful. Sounds like you're back on track. Good luck this week!!!!

  3. Oh that poor bunny! That's pretty much what it's like to hit a plot wall too, so I feel his pain lol. Even though you didn't get any words down on the page this week, it sounds like you did a lot of mulling and reflecting on your WIP and how you'd like to improve it. That's such an important part of the process. I hope those six hours of writing this week are really productive!

  4. I'm sorry you had an off week, but that's great that you were able to figure out how to fix your opening. I've been struggling with my opening lately too, so I appreciate that you shared what you learned about successful beginnings. It makes a lot of sense!

  5. I feel your pain. I was on vacation all last week with my family in a cabin up north. Thought I'd get a lot of writing done. Didn't get much accomplished at all. Sigh.

  6. Margo, good luck with your goals this week.

  7. I had that same problem with readers connecting with my MC. I had to be sure to make them not whine and give them a real problem that we would sympathize with . Throw in a pet too. :) No really, I had to make them so relatable and that it not easy!



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