Taking that first step

Writing is

Today I took a first step and emailed a friend the first three chapters of my book… I am both excited and scared on what he will think. What if he hates it or what if he loves it and the rest of the chapters don’t live up to this one.

With all the worry swimming around in my head, I’ve decided to try not to think about it. I’ve done it, it’s done. There is nothing else for me to dwell on. It is what it is. But at least I did it. Now if only I can get past chapter six…

Writing, Erasing, Rewriting.. Does it ever stop?

This week has been a success and a disaster. I was Finally able to wrap up chapter 5 and made significant progress with chapter six. But instead of moving forward with this progress, I stated going back through my story and changing, rewriting, cutting, adding, etc. with everything I have already done. I know this process needs to happen, but I fear that if I will be spending far too much time doing this then actually getting the story on paper.

First question is: Is it better to push through and write the story in it’s entirety before you start revising, adding, cutting, and whatnot? Or do you do a little bit of this along the way?

I think a part of me spends so much time rewriting as opposed to extending my story because I have no idea if what I am writing is garbage or if there is actually something there.

Second question: How do you know if you are actually a good writer? Do you let someone read what you have written so far and get feedback? And if so, where do you find these people?

For me, this is one of the scariest things- putting myself out there and letting someone read my story. For me it’s not just the fear they won’t like it, but what if they judge me based on what I write? So I often wonder, maybe I should find someone who isn’t a friend and have them read my story. But with this thought brings the fear that someone would steal my idea. Ugh, what to do, what to do…

Writing Roadblock

Roadblock

How do you come up with the ideas you want to write about? Do you read a book and get ideas? Do you listen to music for inspiration? Do you use your own life events?

For the last two years, every time (and I really mean every. single. time.) I went for a run or I worked out, I would fantasize about the same scenario. It sounds silly to me and maybe this whole thing is silly. Recently I told a friend a little bit about this reoccurring fantasy and they told me I should start writing it down and see if I could turn it into a book. This is one of those friends who is perpetually optimistic and thinks you could conquer the anything because he believes that much in you. Everyone should have a friend like this!!

It wasn’t long before I started writing before I came to a huge roadblock and felt completely stuck. All weekend I have been stuck with this one aspect of my book. Thinking it over, I realized I had a HUGE plot hole. For days, I have tried to figure out a solution and nothing came. Finally I gave up and went for a swim and the darn solution jumped out at me. Ha! I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner and in retrospect, it kind of makes sense. The book idea came to me via endorphins and working out. Why wouldn’t solutions come the same way 🙂

Typwriter

Now that I have the solution, I am at a lack for words. And the more I try to pull something onto paper, I worse my writing becomes. And to me, that’s the worst. I hate how I have this great (at least to me) idea and I am unable to explain it well enough. So what do I do when I can’t write… I read. I read a LOT!! I have read three long books in three days. And I fear the longer I don’t write, the worse it will be.

Searching the web, I found some hints for overcoming the dreaded Roadblock.

Exercise: Surprise, Surprise, this one came from me. Endorphins help everything look brighter and better. It would only make sense that endorphins help give you a better outlook on something you’re not feeling confident on. Give it a try, what’s the worse that can happen. My favorite is running. I do my best thinking while I’m running 🙂

Just Write: Write anything and everything, but just write. I like the saying that if you don’t use it, you lose it. I have read that if you write a little bit every day, you will become a better writer. I think that’s true but I also think you can get burned out easily. During one of my creative writing classes my teacher would set the timer for ten minutes and we were required to write continually for that period of time. It didn’t matter if you write, ‘what am I going to write. I don’t know what to write. Just write.’ over and over for ten minters. Although I truly doubt that will happen. I remember doing this and some days, it really worked to getting the creative juices flowing. Give it a try and it might help!

Move: Maybe a new location would help. Sometimes when I get stuck on a character- what does he/she look like? Mannerisms? I will go to a new location, usually a coffee shop, and I will people watch. I found the mall to be over stimulation and too loud to concentrate. But a coffee shop not only provides inspiration but also smells delicious!! Just an idea..

Read: The suggestion is to read something you have already written. I think this is a great idea but what if you are a first time writer?? Well, I think just reading can help in many cases- It helps you see how other authors phrase things, the structure they use, and even how detailed they get.

Writing Exercises: Write something that has nothing to do with your story. Look up a fun writing exercise topic and just attempt to write. An old teacher of mine once had me pick up a book, open it randomly to any page and point to a line. I was supposed to use the line I pointed to and write something completely new using that line. I ended up picking a line from George Orwell’s 1984 and I had so much fun writing it. I think the same thing could be done with using your favorite quote or song lyric.

Blog: I guess this is the route I am going today. Write in your blog and hope for the best. And I do kind of feel better about my writing.

Get Support: I think it is easy to get down on yourself and wonder if you are wasting your time or if this idea you are writing will ever turn into anything. Sometimes all we need is acceptance and someone to tell us that you have a great idea or this chapter is awesome. Maybe just enough encouragement to keep moving forward.

I have no idea if any of this helps but here it is. Hope you have a great day 🙂

Paranormal Powers?

So here is my dilemma: I am at the point in my story that I need to finalize details before I can continue on writing my book. But I’m not exactly sure which direction to take. This is where I could use some help 🙂

Simply put- my book is about three families (similar to mafia) run the town. Each family with either have one special power or a small collection of powers that similar. The main heroine will have a special power above the others- an elemental power of Nature/life. I’m not sure if she will have any other but that will her primary.

My question is: What should I have the other families powers be? Do I keep them in the Elemental power category or would it be acceptable to add sorcery?

What are your thoughts?!?!?

***Edit***

I need to add more detail about the story:

There are three families:
Blackfield: This is the family the Heroine is from, Ally. She gets kicked out of the family but they bring her back because they need help. She is reluctant and doesn’t want to help but the Marcello family changes her life and pushes her to help. I am not sure what powers this family will have. But I feel like it should be something strong. Any ideas?

Marcello: This is the tyrant, the main bad guy. The other two families team together to try to defeat this man. He kills someone close to Ally and wants her for himself. He will have Sorcerer powers and some type of elemental power. Not sure what. Any Ideas??

Frost: They will have a weather Elemental power. They will control water and air- being able to create storms, tornadoes, and whatnot.