If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m very happy you’re here, because both the weather and my writing are unsettled. We’ve got thunderstorms and a tornado watch active on this first day of July. A bit less than three hours from now, that will expire, but we’ve had three thunderstorms already. The first was the fiercest – it came with hail nearly the size of ice cubes, and rain that made seeing to the end of my backyard impossible.
My daughter doesn’t like thunderstorms, and, due to the rotation of the storm and our basementless house, I felt it was wise to wake her, although she’d been up all night and well into the afternoon, when we were listening to Hamilton together.
I packed a bag with essentials, in case we needed to head off to emergency shelter.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that this post began its life scribbled in a notebook that will fit easily into my computer bag. I decided to delete the last page or so, but, even though its now late Saturday evening, and it’s taken me longer to get back to this than I wanted or expected. That was due in part to the storms. All that turbulence led to a disruption in my rhythm that was followed by neighbors setting off fireworks. After all the thunder and lightning, I thought there was more weather chaos happening.
And then I’d tell you that I feel like it’s been too long since we visited like this. I’ve been writing, and plotting, and planning – not so much blogging. That always seems to be the thing that gets left behind when the creative surge tugs at me. I miss being here, chatting with you. Eventually, I’ll work things out so that I can both indulge my writing passion, and the one for connecting with others.
If we were having coffee, I might show you the notebook that currently holds all the relevant materials for my current novel-in-progress, The Far Shore. I might show you my emerging character work for the next novel on my agenda, Tsunamis. I’d tell you that, once these are added to A Rising Tide, which I finished drafting last week, that makes six novels drafted for my Kifo Island Chronicles series. It’s a solid start toward my goal of having the first dew novels ready to publish within a few weeks of one another, with more in various stages of production.
I’d tell you that I’m getting much faster at the writing phase of this venture. Now that I’ve done some research into story structure, and experimented with open-ended plotting methods, that part is moving along more efficiently, and I’m even getting faster. I try a new method for each year’s projects, and keep the best of each for my own. So far, I’ve explored Rock Your Plot, which I’ve kept quite a lot from, and The Snowflake Method. I’ve adopted a little from that, but, on the whole, it wasn’t a good fit for the way my mind works. I don’t see that as a waste of time; learning what doesn’t work for me is as important as learning what does.
This year, I’m loving my work with The Writer’s Coloring Book. I’m going to be keeping a lot from this – maybe nearly all. I love the way it engages both sides of my brain, and I get to play with color-coding, which I absolutely love. Like RYP, there’s a lot of layering, and a strong focus on developing characters before plot. Since everything I write is character driven, I find that approach intuitive and delightful. And both are open-ended enough that, although I end up with a solid outline and understanding of the story’s “bones,” I’ve got lots of room for the story to unfold and evolve, so there’s still plenty of surprises.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that the part of the process that takes the longest, right now, is revision. I don’t know as much about it, but I’m learning. I’m gradually rough-editing Sea Changes, the first installment in the Kifo Island series, so that I can submit it, scene by scene, to my local critique group. After that, I’ll compile all the notes, and devise a revision plan I’ll be working on in the early months of next year (I’d like it to be sooner, but time is a finite resource…)
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that writing is not an avocation for sprinters! It’s more, even, than a marathon. It’s more like a decathlon!
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I appreciate your letting me rant a bit before I dive back into the writing. I’d also tell you that this post is both part of Diana’s #weekendcoffeeshare over at The Part-Time Monster Blog, and Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday -an unedited stream of consciousness piece that ties into the weekly prompt: ‘long,’ used any way we like.
I’d also ask you to forgive me if I wander off into the worlds in my head. Feel free to finish your coffee; writers just do these things, sometimes…and sometimes we post random Hamilton clips, because it’s Independence Day Weekend, and because, well…Hamilton!