04 January 2006

I'm thinking about goals and achievements at the moment. It's a New Year thing to do. Most writers will say their main goal is to write more and I'm no different. That's my aim. But I'd like to write without fear. Or more correctly, I'd like to write out the fear. I don't think I'll ever be a person without fear, but finding some way to integrate it into my life so it doesn't dominate would be ideal.

One of my biggest fears is getting a third of a way into a manuscript and realising I don't know what comes next. It happens when I don't plan and start writing before I know what I'm doing. But if I don't start writing I can't get a grip on the action and the characters. So I freeze. Instead of using this third of the mss as a weaving into the tale, I become too committed to it and can't let it go. And it often needs to be discarded. I find that painful. But if that's the process, then that's the process.

This year I want to learn more about, and play around with, plot and structure. These are my two anxieties so I need to do something about them. I'm doing some online courses, (one over at Kiss of Death, the mystery and suspense chapter of RWAm) and read some more. Both craft books and analytical reading. I'm going to sit down with a highlighter and note book and go through some of my favourite writers to find out how they structure.

My biggest goal which seems so pathetic when I consider it, is to get up every morning at 5.15am and write for two hours without first checking my email. I can't tell you how hard I find this. Any suggestions?


At 5 January 2006 at 3:39 pm , Blogger Nan A said...

Now that I talk to people all over the world in lots of different time zones, I have had to get up 15 min. earlier than I used to for walking the dog, to check my email first thing. I just need to see what's there. Don't always read it, but I hate wondering. Then I write after the dog and I get some exercise.

Good luck with figuring out what works.

At 8 January 2006 at 2:15 am , Blogger magdelena said...

I welcome the honesty of your posts. Six months ago I had no idea that the extension of journaling (aka sex blogging) I had begun to embrace, would reveal a love of writing about all things erotic. I've only written a couple or so stories and consider myself very much the newcomer to erotica, but I love it. I really love it.

I don't enjoy the fear, and I'm relieved to see you discuss it with such candour. In part, I recognise that my unease derives from an unfamilarity with the craft. I'm painfully aware how my disregard for style must make professional writers shudder. But I am learning and more importantly, doing so more seriously.

But the email thing has me beat too. The only way I escape it is when I house-sit and there is no pc. At those times, I enjoy the early rise and writing time but otherwise, I don't know. Sorry, I wish I had an answer to that one.

At 11 January 2006 at 6:23 pm , Blogger Keziah Hill said...

Thanks Nan and Lena. I've been slow to respond with life and all that. I have a feeling allowing myself a little bit of time on email might work. We'll see.


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