Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Progress Is Like A Wave In The Ocean

Progress is like a wave in the ocean. When the tide is in, I make so much progress. But when it is out, I feel like I am slogging through wet sand. Yesterday was a 'tide is in' kind of day. Today? Knee deep in wet sand about covers it.

I am so excited about where my story is going. I made a big change in my plot. It set me back a bit, but I can already tell it is worth it. It took having my head metaphorically banged on a brick wall before I would admit that the change needed to be made, but I must admit the pain was worth it.

I feel as though I should share something with my readers from my book. Something that I hope will wet your appetite. So, I will share my hook line. It is the line that hopefully will reel an agent into becoming interested in my work. I came up with it on my own, but I would not have tried without Bill Bernhardt's insistance. Enjoy the teaser.

From The Severing by Sabrina A Fish
---Ruark is summoned to his father's dungeon to watch his mother die.---

Does this make you want to read more? I hope so.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My muse needs a new watch!

I just returned from a 3-day vacation. I feel rejuvenated and ready to write after swimming, hiking, and hanging with my family.

When I left Tuesday, I was mulling over an issue with my book's plot that did not make me happy. As I was driving the 2 1/2 hour trip to my destination, it became a little more clear what I needed to do. I was so excited. Since I was driving and, therefore, could not write it down, I called a dear friend. Not only did she answer her phone, but she also agreed to write it down and email it to me. Thanks, Ang!

I arrived at my destination, greeted family members, and unloaded my stuff. I forced myself to push the book to the back burner and concentrate on relaxation. That night I sat straight up in bed from a heavy sleep. The plot issue was now perfectly clear. I grabbed my phone, cursing that I had made myself leave my computer at home, and emailed myself notes. I looked at the time when I was done...3:30am.

 My muse seriously needs a new watch!

She(the muse, of course) did not want to be pushed to the back burner again. She chattered to me all night, refusing to let me sleep. I now have several emails.

I really enjoyed the fun and relaxation, but am extremely eager to get into my office tomorrow and write. So is my muse!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sad Endings

      Today was the last day of my level 2 workshop and I must admit that I am a bit sad. The last few weeks I have been so caught up in the intensity that is Bill Bernhardt's writing workshop. I didn't realize how fast it was flying by. Now it is over. I already miss it. We had a farewell lunch today and I will admit to feeling a little teary eyed as I told Bill goodbye. He really is such a fabulous person. It is very apparent that he loves teaching new writers all of his hard learned tricks. My book is much more polished and will only continue to get more so as I apply what I learned to the rest of it. Thank you, Bill.
      I now have a fabulous synopsis, an incredible query, and most of the important parts of my book are finished. So close to being finished, yet so much work left to do. I even have an outline for a completely different book.

      My friend, Erin, stayed with me during the entire workshop this week. It was fabulous having someone to bounce ideas off of and have read my work before I submitted it to Bill each night. I am truly going to miss having her here. Thanks, Erin, for being so awesome.
      The sense of family I have for these wonderful people with whom I have spent such an intense week of baring my soul is amazing. I am truly going to miss them all. I am glad they will be only an email or phone call away.

      I am super excited to use all the ideas from this workshop even more on my book. What a blessing that I was in the right place and the right time and met Bill. God truly has blessed me in my life!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My version of scene arranging!

Most writers use notecards or sticky notes to write their individual scenes on in order to arrange them the way they want, but I have found that typing them up on paper and then cutting them out into individual strips does just as well for me. Here I have them arranged on my son's art table, complete with his personal art on its surface.
I was studying the table and noticed that beautiful art, so I had to share with you all. My husband made 2 of these 6 foot tables so my son still has one to play on, but this one is mine. Though you cannot see all of it, it works perfectly for helping me see all of the many many scenes that are in my book!

Feel free to share you method of scene arranging. You may help some other new writer find a method that works better for them!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Writing Despite Distractions

On the last day of the workshop I recently attended, Bill Bernhardt gave each of us the official "Writer's Contract" to sign. As he is also an attorney, signing the contract makes it morally binding.

As soon as I purchase a document frame for it, I am planning to hang it on my office wall as the quintessential reminder. I think that holiday weekends like this one are definitley going to be the real test. The fact that I am managing to stick to it, is telling.

Yesterday, despite family 4th of July plans, I got myself up in the morning and dedicated 3 hours to writing. I am so proud of myself. It would be so easy to say, "Well Sabrina, you said you would write at least 30 hours a week, so theoretically you don't have to write today as long as you write tomorrow." But I haven't had any problems with motivation.

Though it is a ton of work, I genuinely enjoy writing. I have found that if my mind is not actively engaged in another thought or action, then it defaults back to thinking about some aspect of my book.

Do you have a dream you are chasing but are having a hard time committing to? Well, how about drawing up a contract for yourself and having your spouse, partner, or someone else you trust witness for you? My husband is my witness and he has been fabulous in supporting me, motivating me, and generally checking in on occasion to see what progress I have made. I hope you have someone in your life like that. Remember to frame that contract and hang it on the wall. Seeing a reminder like that everyday will do wonders for helping you not 'forget'!!!