Your Wish is My Command…

I was paroozing through the super-fun #RBWL hashtag on April 14 when it was going on (for more info, check it out here), and I noticed that my current WIP meets some of the criteria people are looking for! Sadly though, no pirates in space, since that was super popular! Anyhow, here’s what I found…

The Characters

This is the case for my MC!

I think this applies pretty well to my characters.

I always try to  make my MCs like this!

The Love Story

Shrimpy and geeky aren’t the best words to describe him, but he’s definitely not a macho man.

At least I think this applies. 🙂

Uh, definitely YES. The love interest is completely sweet. 🙂 And if I ever write an abusive boyfriend into a story, let’s just say he won’t still be the boyfriend by the end…

The Friendships

I have all these types of friendships included!

There’s some romance, but there is also friendship without any romance!

The Genre/Story Elements

I think this fits pretty well… it’s set in the future and has a sci-fi element, but it reads somewhat like a contemporary.

It’s a standalone.

The parents aren’t in my story a lot, but when they are, they make it count.

Also, just for fun, after discovering that there is already a YA book out there called Earthbound (the title for my WIP), I did a Goodreads search to check out more titles with the name. They are all either science fiction or deal with spirits, which I found interesting…

earthbound-books

I do love the cover for Aprilynne Pike’s book!

Now I need to get back to editing so one day people can read it! 🙂

Are any of these elements something you’d like to see in a book?

Worn Out

You know when you have just weekends in a row that are packed with things to do, in addition to your already usually busy weeks?

That’s what April has been for me. And will continue to be.

And to make it worse, I’ve been feeling some pressure of trying to complete this 20,000 word goal for Camp NaNoWriMo that had potential to be feasible, but when working on a story I am not excited about and have not plotted out, and when so busy, well, I have found myself falling further and further behind my daily average word count. I think I’m going to decrease my goal word count, to 10,000 but it feels like a cop-out.

I could try to push myself harder for 20,000 words, but I don’t want to push myself in ways I don’t need to be pushed. I needed it in November. Right now, I really just need to edit and improve my NaNoWriMo project, and then once I finally get it off to some beta readers so THEN I can think about something else IF I want to. I thought I might reach that place by this month but I didn’t, and so now the edits have been delayed by forcing myself to write for a story that I am not as interested in as that one. And when it comes to blogging, I feel I’m in a pre-slump, as Stormy put it recently. I’m afraid I might burn out soon. But I think I can avoid it.

And I think the way to avoid is may be to post less over the next month or so… and not beat myself over it.

I already post less than I want to due to time. I try to post three times a week, but I would prefer four times, and sometimes I end up at two times a week. And I feel guilty when that happens. But I don’t get upset with others when they need to slow down or take a break. So I hope and assume you would all feel the same about me.

So for the rest of April and possibly through May, expect even less activity here. I will post only when I absolutely want to, meaning not because I want new comments (because confession: sometimes that’s my motivation) ,but because I have a post that I am excited to share. Who knows, that might mean one week I’ll post 3 times and the next week I won’t post anything.

Meanwhile, I need to focus on editing my November NaNo project, focus on other life stuff, and take each day one step at a time.

kitty-desk

This is basically me.

So this is not an official break or hiatus, but please be patient with me as I try to get my mojo back. I probably would have stopped this a while ago if all of you weren’t so awesome, so thank you for that!

A Tale of Two Fails

Have you ever written a post you were so excited to share, only for something from it to end up becoming irrelevant just weeks later?

Yep, that happened to me just now. Twice.

Remember how excited I was to discover how I could download audiobooks to my phone (or Nook) without worrying about my data plan? I had a couple of free audiobooks I had acquired late last summer and finally figured how super easy it was to transfer them to a device with an Overdrive app, and that I could listen to them without an Internet connection! I transferred Sherlock Holmes over to my Nook successfully, but after that, NOTHING ELSE WORKED. I tried my other free audiobook as well as a library audiobook, and I tried transferring to both my phone and my Nook, but nothing happened. It seems Overdrive simply stopped transferring my stuff over after doing so ONE TIME.

I assume that this has something to do with the update Overdrive keeps telling me I need. But the problem is, anytime I try to update it, I can never get the update to come up! Just a browser window set on the default home screen comes up. I tried doing a search on their website about getting the update, but to no avail. I thought about downloading it all over again but chickened out, afraid it might mess something up. So alas, while I enjoyed listening to The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (particularly because it’s basically just short stories, so you could listen to like one 30 minute story a day and feel satisfied), it seems that’s my only audiobook option until I can figure this mess out! If anyone has any ideas, please share!

Fail #1 goes to Overdrive.

camp-nano-headerFail #2 goes to Camp NaNoWriMo.

Remember how I was excited for this “camp” in April where I can set my own word goal and I was going to start working on a new story and I asked all my blogging friends who are also participating to let me know their username so I could request for them to be in my “cabin” and we could all cheer each other on as we wrote throughout the month?!

I requested whatever the max amount of friends was, like five or six, and I know some of them requested me too.

BUT NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM ENDED UP IN MY CABIN.

dramatic-chipmunkSeriously NaNoWriMo?! What was even the point if you were just going to assign me to whoever the heck you felt like anyway?!

I considered, briefly, staying with these strangers. Maybe it would be a good experience for me, yadda yadda yadda. But you know, it’s going to be stressful enough without feeling like I have to be accountable to people I don’t know. I only wanted to do a cabin so I could cheer on blogger friends. So I opted out of that cabin, and all cabins, completely. And I decided to take matters into my own hands.

So, if you’re a blogger friend who is participating in Camp NaNoWriMo next month and are interested in being a part of a “group,” regardless of whether or not you’re in a cabin, I have set up a Google + Community for the occasion.  I set it as private because I didn’t want random people finding it and joining it, so either leave me a comment below or send me a Twitter DM with your e-mail address so I can send the invite to you directly. And as long as you’ve “spoken” to me at least one other time and are a blogger, I’ll send one to you. And we can cheer each other on our way, thankyouverymuchCampNaNo!

Have you experienced any “fails” lately? 

New Writing Goals!

As many of you know, I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time this past November. It was hard, but such a worthwhile experience. I exceeded the 50,000 word goal and even completed the first draft of a brand new novel ALL IN ONE MONTH. Considering that the first novel I wrote took, uh, years, I was floored I was even capable of that, even if a lot of what I wrote needed to be reworked, revised, rewritten, or flat out deleted. But at only 51K, I knew my story was still a little underdeveloped and I would need to beef it up. I stepped away from my story in December but finally came back to it in January, though I didn’t add much until these past few weeks.

Now this is where I’m at:

end-word-count-earthboundIt feels good to have 10,000 more words that my November goal, and to feel my story has some more of the development it needed. It still needs work, and I am very aware of this. I have decided to spend the rest of March writing and revising as much as I can stand, and deciding who the very first beta readers are going to be that I will send it to, the ones I trust will read through the crap and see the good stuff and tell me where to expound on the good and get rid of the bad.

Then for April I have decided I will reset my sights to something new…

camp-nanoCamp NaNoWriMo is run by the same folks who run the November event, but it’s done in either April or July, and you set your own word count goal ranging from 10,000 – 999,999 (for the record, pretty sure I’ll never be able to do the latter for one story! Especially in one month!). You can’t tell from my profile page here, but I have decided to set a goal of 20,000 words, which after what I did in November is extremely doable, but is also more than I generally do in a month. It averages to 5,000 words a week, which helps break it down into smaller, even more doable goals.

As you can see, the title is “TBD,” meaning I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet. I do know it will be one of my older ideas that I’ve started but not gotten very far with, and I think I know which one I’m leaning towards, but I can also change my mind over the next few weeks.

After April, hopefully my 2-3 beta readers will have suggestions to help me dive back into revising Earthbound (my project from November), and I’ll probably rework that and go through more beta readers again before I get back to what I write in April. But after what NaNoWriMo did for me, I can’t ignore that setting these goals for myself and having the chance to mark these milestones really works for me, much more than when I’m just trying to write willy-nilly, and so I want to do it again to get the ball rolling on another story.

If you’re doing Camp NaNoWriMo in April, let me know! I was thinking about doing the cabin thing but want  to request cabin mates I know! 

My Top Ten Goals for 2014

Short intro for this list: Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is my Top Ten Goals/Resolutions for 2014 (bookish, not bookish, or a blend).

Long intro: When 2013 came to an end, I wasn’t super reflective. I do think I grew in some ways in 2013: as a writer, as a wife, and hopefully as a person, but I also struggled with things I’ve always struggled with, frustrated that I just could not move past them. 2013 wasn’t  a great year or a terrible year, but just like every other year of my life it was important, because just like every other year of my life it shaped me. But New Year’s has gotten to where it feels so blase to me, which is the biggest reason why I didn’t feel the need to reflect on New Year’s Eve and makes all kinds of resolutions for the new year.

But that being said, making goals for myself, regardless of the time of year is important to me. Last February I decided to start this blog and set some writing goals for myself. Well, I failed at the writing goals, or… maybe not. I did fail at meeting the specific goals, but as I look back on them now I realize they weren’t really the right goals for me. I did write more, increasingly more thanks to NaNoWriMo, a goal I had not set for myself in February of last year but I achieved and am so proud of myself for having accomplished it. This year, I have more writing goals (in addition to reading and blogging goals) for myself that may or may not get met, because they may or may not be the right goals for me. But the bottom line of these goals is to pursue them, the heart behind them, and take the steps I need to at this point in time for my life. I don’t want  to bite off more than I can chew, but I don’t want to hold myself back either. This year, I want to continue to strive for balance.

All that being said, here are my goals for 2014, related largely to writing, blogging, and reading.

Reading Goals

1. Read Les Miserables

I know this is a crazy goal. This book is over 1000 pages long. But my sweet husband got this book for me after I mentioned it on the blog, and the good thing about him doing that is that it was the push I needed to actually motivate myself to read this chunkster. So here’s the goal: to take as much time reading this book as I need, chapter by chapter, this year. Instead of sitting down with this book and reading it straight through, I will read a few chapters here and there, at my leisure, and my only goal for finishing is to have it done by the end of the year. And if I have to carry it over to next year, as long as I’m still reading it, I don’t think that should be marked as a failure. The resolution is to just keep moving forward. The goal is completion by December 31, 2014.

les-miserables-book2. Only Read What I Want to Read

This may sound a little silly, but this year I found it easy to get so caught up in what other people hyped that I would start reading books I didn’t have much interest in. This did pay off sometimes (The Book Thief, Cinder), but sometimes it backfired (Under the Never Sky). I read about a fifth of what most of my fellow book bloggers read last year, so I have to be selective. So that means I am going to try this year to more carefully choose what exactly I read, based on multiple reviews and dissecting what people are saying in those reviews. I may still end up disappointed (for instance, I wanted to read and love The Testing desperately and it had nothing to do with hype), but that’s OK, but you can still learn from reading something you don’t love.

3. Continue to Expand My Reading Horizons by Reading the Following…

Here are a few more reading goals rolled into one…

1 more Jane Austen book: I read Pride and Prejudice in college, then in 2012 and 2013 I made the effort to read another one of her works in each of those years (Northanger Abbey in 2012 and Persuasion in 2013). I love her stories but not her writing style, so it is a little bit of a challenge for me. This year I am thinking I’ll probably read Emma.

1 classic science fiction book: This will probably either be Ender’s Shadow or Do Androids Sleep of Electric Sheep?. I really want to read more in the science fiction genre as my appreciation for science fiction in TV and movies has grown.

1 writing book: In 2012 I read a writing book as well as in 2013, and I think both helped me some. I believe that as a writer, it’s important I continue the practice of reading books about writing. There are some books about plotting I might like into, or Stephen King’s writing memoir On Writing.

1 non-fiction book: In addition to the writing book, I want to read another non-fiction book. The one I feel is the most likely candidate right now is 1776, but it’s possible I may choose to read an autobiography, a psychology book, or even a science book (if I can find one my unscientific brain can comprehend). Of course, I think reading more than one would be ideal, but I’m aiming for at least one. (I read two last year.)

2014-reading-goalsBlogging Goals

4. Blog When I Want to Blog

I have been pretty much doing this for the past few months, but I want to try even harder to not feel too much pressure from inconsistent blogging this year. I do think consistent blogging is great, but I have other things in my life I need to manage, and more passions to pursue. But I certainly have no intention of leaving you all hanging completely. I have met some wonderful people in the blogsphere and I’m not leaving you now! 🙂 If it wasn’t for you, I know I wouldn’t have kept the blog going this long.

5. Blog Only Meaningful Content

I think this goes hand-in-hand with my previous goal. I want to blog not only when I want to, but also what I want to.

Writing Goals

6. Focus on One Writing Project at a Time

This is going to be crazy hard, because I have bad writing ADD. I have literally started over a dozen novels, but how many have been completed? Four. Two of those four belong to a much larger story arc of a series that I still have not completely worked out yet, and one I just wrote this last year for NaNo. (The other is my long labor of love that I have been working on since high school, but I am giving it more room to breathe right now) This year, I want to focus on my story from NaNo. Start revising and rewriting, get beta readers, rewrite and edit again, get more beta readers, rewrite and write again, and then hopefully, if all goes well…

7. Start Querying Agents

Last year, I set a goal to start this process in March 2014. That was unrealistic because up until November, I was still suffering from Writing ADD. If I am fortunate enough to feel that my project is ready for querying this year, it will be later in the year. Right now, I am thinking I would love to start this process in September, but if I start at any point this year I would love that.  And if I don’t, hopefully 2015 will become that year for me. Again, as long as I am actually working on writing and not getting distracted and doing the very best I can, I will be satisfied with that progress.

writing-snoopy8. Make Writing a Top Priority

I let writing fall by the wayside most of the year for blogging and reading. I don’t really regret it because blogging helped me write, helped me read, and helped me better understand the publishing process and industry. And of course I can’t regret reading because it helped me write, and of course it’s just rewarding in of itself. Really, writing and reading will probably be more a joint top priority, as I will probably read during lunch at work and write when I get home. But blogging will definitely suffer a little because of this schedule, and I hate that, but…

Life Goals

9. Pursue my Passions More Seriously

This is vague, but I have specific things in mind when I say this, some of which I mentioned here. Writing, creativity, stories are all my passion, and I want to more seriously pursue ways to incorporate these things in my life. Blogging helped me with that some this year, but I do feel I want to pursue other routes with these passions this year.

10. Prepare for 30

As much as I have a hard time acknowledging this, I’m in my late twenties now, and I’m not getting any younger. With 30 not too far down the road for me, I want to try harder over the next few years to make a more conscientious effort to prepare for the third decade of life physically especially, by eating better, becoming more active, buying better skincare products, etc. I am sure there are other ways I need to prepare for 30, so I will be trying to recognize those and do them as I go.

What are your goals for 2014? 

November Reflections

November was a unique month for me, so though this is not something I would normally do on the blog,  I wanted to take a post to reflect on the month.

What happened in terms of…

Reading: I didn’t read, at all. It wasn’t weird at first, since I used to not read all the time, but probably about halfway through the month it started to feel weird. Especially when I realized how much everyone in the blogsphere had read in those two weeks that I hadn’t.

TV watching: I haven’t watched as much Fringe thanks to live TV shows and basketball season. So my husband and I are still very slowly making our way through the final season of Fringe, which is short, and have also been keeping up with Castle and Agents of SHIELD. And then I watched Almost Human last week and I think I want to start watching it too. Still need to catch up on the first two episodes of that.

Movie watching: I saw three movies in the theater, which is also unusual: Ender’s Game, Thor 2, and Catching Fire. I reviewed them all on here. I was hoping to watch The Book Thief but it just now came into theaters in my area, so I hope I can catch it before it leaves (especially since next weekend for me is SLAMMED).

Writing: Well, I exceeded my NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000 words! Yay! *Confetti!* I might have technically written some of those words in late October, but they were edited and typed/pasted into a new word document starting November 1. And come on, writing even close to that many words in one month was a super major accomplishment for me. Writing a story from beginning to end (well, mostly, I did skip around just a little) was also quite a feat for me. Is most of it crap? You bet. But I’ll worry about that later. The point is, the words are written down at all, and that’s better than where they were a month ago.

Blogging: It was hard to keep up with blogging as well this month because of my focus on writing, but I did better than I thought I would. I loved doing Sci-Fi Month and am so glad I participated, even if some of my posts didn’t turn out as grandiose as I had originally planned because I didn’t write them far enough ahead of time. I wish I could have read more posts from the event from bloggers I don’t normally follow. As it is, I’m still trying to catch up on posts from bloggers I do follow posted a few days ago…

My personal life: I got some news that was hard to receive. It’s not about an illness or anything like that, it’s just a change in my life that is going to be hard for me to get used to, but I am extremely thankful for God and for people in my life (particularly my husband) who will help me through the change.

My thoughts on the NaNoWriMo experience…

writing-about

Would I do it again? Maybe, if it felt right. It is stressful, and it is hard. For some reason, I wanted to give up on the SECOND TO LAST DAY OF THE MONTH. You would think it’s so close at that point, and that I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, but for some reason, I was about to crack. Thankfully, my husband encouraged me to push on when I didn’t want to! In addition to his encouragement, I also feel I was able to meet this goal thanks to some holiday time off, my strong intrinsic motivation to meet goals, and all the sweet Internet people who encouraged me along the way! THANK YOU!

It was a good exercise for me to do this year. I needed it as a kick in the pants. I am very glad I did it this time.

What did I learn? Just write something. Don’t worry about perfection. Things can be cleaned up later. It can’t be cleaned up if there’s nothing there at all. And I learned that I am capable of pushing through Act 2, where my story always struggles and I always give up. And of course, it’s way easier said than done! I kept reading and hearing, Push through it. It’s OK to write crap, just write. But sometimes it’s hard to just write when you have no idea what your character wants or needs or what should happen next or you don’t know what day of the week it is (either in the fiction world or the real world) and your brain’s gone to mush. I’m going to let my story sit and cool for the month of December, focus back on reading and get through the holidays, and then in January I’ll come back to it and see if I think it can be redeemed. I think I had some good ideas but I ended up with more cheese and less dynamic scenes than all the feels I was hoping for.  I feel like I have written a lot better, more dynamic scenes before, but I suppose when you’re just trying to grind out content it’s hard to get as good emotional writing as I expect myself to write. Hopefully when I go back, I’ll find I can totally refresh these scenes and make them much, much better. 

Will this novel become more than a NaNoWriMo project? I hope so. When I started, I really wanted this to the book that I would use to query agents, possibly as soon as next year (probably later in the year though). But as I mentioned in the previous paragraph, it’s pretty craptastic right now, so we’ll have to see. I did lose a lot of interest in the story too, but I’m going to attribute that again to the force-able churning out of content I was doing for it. I hope I love it again next year when I read over it with new eyes. And I do think I have good characters.

And it feels good to be a NaNo winner!

nano-winner2-crop

Honestly, for anyone who tried NaNoWriMo this year, even if you didn’t hit the 50,000 word goal, if you kept chugging at it you’re still a winner because you wrote your heart out and attempted something most people never will: novel writing! So congratulations to us all!

My NaNoWriMo Project Playlist

One of  the suggested posts for Writer’s Unite is to create and share a playlist for your novel. I was actually working on developing a playlist before I saw this suggestion, at which point I decided I would have to share it with you all! Some songs I chose for lyrics, some I chose for mood, but most are chosen for both. (BTW, there are repeat artists because I listen to a lot of the same artists over and over again! Also, I included videos for the ones I think do the best with demonstrating what I am going for with both mood and lyrics.) Hope you enjoy!

playlist

1. Paradise, Coldplay

2. How to Save A Life, The Fray

3. Man on the Moon, Phillip Phillips

4. So Easy, Phillip Phillips

5. Misguided Ghosts, Paramore

6. All I Wanted, Paramore

7. When It Rains, Paramore

8. Souvenirs, Switchfoot

9. Thrive, Switchfoot

10. C’mon, C’mon, by Switchfoot

11. The Violet Hour, The Civil Wars

12. This Time, Jonathan Rhys Meyers

13. Crave, For King and Country

14. Let Me Fall For You, David Cook

15. Always Somewhere Close, Lifehouse

16. Time, Hans Zimmer

If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, what artists and/or songs are on your playlist and how do they convey what you’re writing? 

Writers Unite Intro Post!

For NaNoWriMo, I’m joining up with some other writers from the blogsphere for a group called Writer’s Unite! If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year, be sure to check it out!

I feel like I already explained what I’m doing in my Why I’m Doing NaNoWriMo This Year post earlier, so I’ll try to give you some new insight in this post. I’ve been writing stories since I was in the first grade, but this will be my first time to attempt NaNoWriMo. Why? Because I didn’t get super serious about writing until my last semester of college, and the thought of writing SO MANY WORDS in so little time terrified me! However, over the past four and a half years I feel like I have been honing my skills and feel that if I really commit to do this, I can write down 50,000 words in one month (and maybe only 3/4 of them will be crappy). But it will be a challenge! I work full-time and commute an hour both ways, so there’s 50 hours a week already taken up. Then eating, sleeping, hanging with the hubby are also essentials that take up time. Chores and church take up time too, so let’s just say I don’t have a lot of free time. But I will have three days off work this coming month, and I have one hour  lunch breaks, so hopefully I can find and make some time to make it happen! I just have to convince myself to drag my big laptop up three flights of stairs everyday I go to work! Or at least some days! Other days I can continue to write things out in my notebook, be it scenes or ideas or character info or whatever, as I am doing now.

My goal is straight-forward: to hit the 50k mark. And considering that I write YA and that I tend to not be verbose in my storytelling (at least compared to many novelists), I imagine this could be the entire story. At least until I rewrite, but I won’t worry about that until AFTER November! (Probably after the holiday season, actually.) I feel like just getting a lot of words down would be a huge accomplishment for me, and I suppose as long as I hit 35k and know I did the best I could I won’t beat myself up too badly. 🙂

The title I have selected for this project, assuming it doesn’t change, is Earth Bound. Even though I have dozens of story ideas, most of which I have started but have very little written on, I decided I wanted to work on something new and seemed relevant to me right now. The story centers on Noa Reed, a seventeen year old girl who lives on Delta Space Station. After the loss of a close friend, she becomes addicted to virtual reality, and is sent to Earth to participate in a rehab program.

I have a Pinterest story board for inspiration and you can find me on the NaNoWriMo site under username acps927.

I hope you’ll join us too! Good luck to everyone participating this year!

WritersUniteBanner

Why I’m Doing NaNoWriMo This Year

In November 2011, I decided to use National Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) to focus on writing a short story. Which turned into a novella. Which turned into a novel. Which turned into a part of a series. But not all in one month, but over many months, and after changing my ideas so many times for that story itself and for the series, I’ve decided instead of overwhelming myself with big ideas, I was going to go back to focusing on something small again.

5booksatonceAnd by small I mean a full-fledged novel to be written in November (as much as I can, anyway). But just one story, and a stand-alone at that. Hopefully. The other started as a stand-alone short story after all…

However, I have a plan and a plot this time. In 2011, I was going in completely unplanned, discovery writing if you will. Which was kind of fun, and it led to a lot of changes. But this time, I know that to write approximately 50,000 words in one month, I’ll have to be focused. I’ve plotted what I can and written bits and pieces, and the rest will have to find me as I go. I already have the end in mind and I feel the two main characters are well established.

And I have to remember the first draft won’t be a masterpiece. And that’s OK.

I’m reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott right now, which has already been so encouraging for me when it comes to writing. I decided I wanted this to be the last book I read before launching onto this novel writing project, and that in November I might not even read anything. I have spent from February to the present so focused on reading and blogging that writing has taken more of a backseat than I have wanted it to. This is to help re-orient myself back to it. I’ve exceeded my reading goal for the year so it feels easier to move on to writing now. So now I just have to take it sentence by sentence, or as Anne Lamott puts it, bird by bird.

write-a-bookAnyone else participating in NaNoWriMo next month? If you’re a writer, tell me how you stay focused to plug away at your story! 

About Plotting

picard-writingI don’t talk about writing on here as much as I thought I might when I started this blog. There are reasons for this…

  1. They’re not my most popular posts. 
  2. I’m not sure anyone really cares when I talk about my writing in vague terms.
  3. I haven’t been writing much lately because of blogging.

I don’t regret blogging, as it has taught me a lot, it helps me find great books, and encourages me to keep finding and reading great books. I’ve also met some people I really like along the way! But I do need to do better with balancing my fiction writing and my blog writing. I think one of my greatest struggles is what Captain Picard hits on in that picture up there… I need to plot first.

I really want to be a “pantser.” I get so many exciting ideas for writing, and snippets of a story will just flash through my mind like a movie trailer. I sit down and try to encapsulate everything I just saw. I can write about the characters, a beginning, a few random scenes, but then I have no idea where to go, because I won’t sit down for an hour or however long it takes (probably longer) to plot the story out. I can’t seem to go forward with at least SOME direction.

What makes it worse for me is I have literally DOZENS of ideas, and I think most of them are actually really good. Recently, I decided I actually want to connect several of my ideas and make it one great big post-war (sorta dystopia but not entirely) universe. But it would involve a LOT of books. I can’t even imagine writing so many books in the same universe and it all being cohesive and good. The thought intimidates me. Instead of taking it book by book, chapter by chapter, I just freeze up. And I don’t want to be that way.

So, if you have any thoughts about plotting while writing or encouragement for me to not be terrified of big ideas, I’d love to hear them! And if you’re not a writer, do you have any suggestions based off of books you read as to how I might could attempt a big story arc involving many years and multiple characters?