Tag Archives: brainstorm

Of Stale Baguettes and Black Lagoons

Stale Baguette

There are parts of my book I’m totally satisfied with. These parts are the fresh tidbits I’ve been adding. The scenes I’m very dissatisfied with are the ones I’ve written long ago. They feel very stale to me like an ancient baguette and probably because I’ve read them over a million times. I come to write these scenes and edit them… And I find myself eternally stuck. I absolutely hate it.

What will I ever do?

I’ll probably end up printing them off and try different ways of rewriting the parts. I just don’t know how to go about doing it. I mean to say, I don’t know what I should change or keep. It feels like I’m slowly beginning to sink into a black lagoon. I need to quickly find my way out of this swampy No Man’s Land.

The Fascination of Drying Paint

Staring Out A Window

I’m stuck on a scene… Or rather I should say I’m stuck on several scenes and probably the rest of my book.

The problem isn’t that I don’t where to take the scene. The problem is that I feel as if my engine has been used up. As though there is no gas left in the tank. This is a horrible, awful, terrible feeling if you happen to be on a deadline and constantly trying to push yourself to write more.

My book is due to be published… Well, the editors should be getting back to me by November-ish. At which time I have to send them my entire book in its completed state. It’s current state is about eight chapters out of thirty. I’ve a lot of material written from previous drafts. Some of it I’ve been using and it’s helped.

My favorite feeling in the world is that sense of fire you get from inspiration. The flame that burns and burns and propels you to write a really, really good piece. It’s as if the words themselves are coming from some celestial place in the universe. A place of divine inspiration. A place that happens… Not as often as we’d like.

The worst feeling is the moment you start writing and it’s like watching paint dry. Each sentence, description, everything sounds absolutely stark. Forced. I’ve tried everything to bring my words to life this morning. I was completely productive and cleaned. I showered. I did chores. I went for a jog. I came home feeling refreshed and ready to fight the world. But then, I get on here and start typing. The words won’t obey me. My creativity is kaput.

Sometimes, when I feel like this I’ll stick a really good soundtrack on that’s full of energy. A few times it has worked and vitalized my writing. This time however… I’m still watching paint dry.

Shooting Blanks

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I’m trying to finish up a chapter. I know what should be in the chapter but I can’t find the sentences at the moment to do so. I’m on a very tight deadline for my book. In two months, maybe less.. I need it done. Which is a scary thought considering how little I have actually done. Today was a long day at work and my eyelids feel droopy. Half of me is considering brewing some coffee and chugging a cup of dark espresso. While on the other hand, I really just want to crash.

It’s interesting how movies and books are so BS. In TV shows or films, the hero of the story will chug a cup of coffee while working hard on the project that will save the world. Even though he has work in the morning and most likely get no sleep… That doesn’t faze our hero. He runs on zero sleep and gallons of coffee. If only!

There are actually people in this world who only need 4 hours of sleep. These people astound me. I envy them. All the things I could do with the extra time. I once knew someone like that. She’d fall asleep around midnight and wake up at 4am refreshed. She didn’t have work until 8am and would use the free time to teach herself coding.

Lately, I’ve been drinking way too much coffee. It’s not healthy and I’m trying to lay off. I’d usually drink it to stimulate my mind which helps me to write. But then, I’d have difficulty sleeping and would wake up all groggy. Not fun. Coffee and Cigarettes. The addictions of the world.

Tonight, instead of writing. I’m on here shooting blanks. The idea of coffee is a deadly temptation.

The Jigsaw Puzzle of My Book

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For a while now, I’ve been up to my neck in the mire of writing. Every writer has come to this point… Some more times than others. However, I’m in it the worse. I’ve sunk too far this time because of a big mistake on my part. I didn’t outline my book before I started writing. I can’t stress the importance of doing an outline before you begin writing. Every journey needs a road map and an outline is exactly that.

I started three years ago on this adventure and it’s taken me many places. It’s taught me valuable lessons and catapulted me through crazy experiences. It’s been a wild ride. But now I’m sinking in quick sand and trying to find my way out.

My book is a jigsaw puzzle. It’s solvable and not as difficult as a Rubik cube. Thank god. But the problem is I’ve looked at it too many damn times and my head sometimes feel as though it’s ready to explode. This was how I felt a few days ago and then I decided to do something.

I uploaded my book to my tablet in weird crazy font with the hope it’d look a little fresher to my eyes. It worked. I was able to read it easier. I found many mistakes I wouldn’t have otherwise noticed. It also helped that I hadn’t look at certain chapters in a long while. I also decided to create a storyboard of sorts.

Storyboarding… Isn’t torture. Ever since stories about CIA waterboarding torture came out, the phrase Story Board always reminded me of that. But story board is probably one of the best techniques a writer could use. It helps you outline your book. Most artists use it when outlining their cartoons or ideas. I spent the weekend, pouring over my manuscript and outline each chapter on a notepad. I then transferred my notes to pieces of paper titled Chapter 1, Chapter 2… And taped them to my wall.

SherlockHolmesGameOfShadows16I’ve always been fascinated by the maps or plans people in movies made on their walls. Such as the one in Sherlock Holmes. I’ve secretly wanted to do that. Now I’ve an excuse to without seeming slightly mad or crazy. Of course, I didn’t go all out like Sherlock did in the picture above.

I’m a visual person. I think better when my idea can be mapped out. When I can actually see it. Creating a story board for my book has so far greatly helped me. I’m able to see the skeleton of the plot more better. I can see what happens and what is about to. A feeling of excitement rushes through my bones. I imagine this must be how God feels sometimes when he views the world. To be able to see everything that will happen to the characters involved and to imagine all the possible things that could happen. In other words, to build a 4d and 5d model.

Dearest Pete

Memories and Characters

Over the length of this writing adventure that my book has taken me on, I’ve been startled to discover a character taking over the book. When I first began writing this thriller, Dana Marie was my main character. Her bold, energetic, and forever inquisitive personality leaped off the pages and demanded to be center stage. But gradually another character stepped before her and placed himself in the spotlight. Curiously enough, Dana has allowed him the spot.

Pete Watson. In many ways he hasn’t and has changed. His inner core; the goodness and honesty hasn’t changed. It’s his courage and strength that has. Before, he was the unwitting boyfriend of a villainess. He had the courage of a mouse. By the end of my book, the little mouse eventually stood up for himself but with the help of Dana. Without her help, he’d never be able to stand.

But now. Pete has changed. He is no longer the timid little mouse. He can stand on his own two feet. He’s taken the stage away from Dana without a fight or begging. She’s allowed him the attention because she knows he deserves it. After all, he is the hero. His and Dana’s friendship has expanded as well. Their relationship is stronger and has more depth that before.

I realize those reading this don’t have the faintest what I’m talking about. You haven’t read my book. You don’t know my characters. But hopefully you will.

I’ve read countless times posts and articles written by other authors about characters in their books. They mention how a smaller, lesser character came out from the shadows to be the main character. They’d talk about how surprised they were by a characters actions or true nature. When I read these things, I’d laugh. How silly writers are! Would be my exact thought. They talk about their characters as if they’re real. They make it sound like the character does the writing or telling of the story. They make it sound like they didn’t write the books themselves but the characters.

A famous writer once said, characters tell the story. Writers are only the interpreter. I never quite understood this until I saw for myself. Until I realized how true it is. When I started out with this book, I had a certain idea for it. I had a vision for how it would end up. Well, the original vision is far from what it’s turned out to be. Life seems to be exactly the same. You start off walking on one path in one direction. And mysteriously you wind up elsewhere!

It’s absolutely breathtaking seeing a story unfold before your eyes. Your story. It’s thrilling to hear your characters discussed in public. I’ve only had this a few times after my friends finished reading my manuscript. The characters in your book may be imaginary but they are real. They’re real as you and me. A good book draws you in by how human the characters feel. Your job as the writer is to make them feel real to the reader. Allow them to leap off the page. I really can’t stress how crazy this adventure of writing has been for me so far.

Writing: Stuck in a Scene

Brainstorming

I’m currently going through my novel that is soon to be published. And I’m stuck. Yes, I admitted it. I don’t quite know what to do. A few weeks ago, my editor returned my novel with a lot of edits and helpful advice. Her main consensus: My characters require further development. That is what I’ve been up to. It’s been going really well for the most part until now.

I don’t want to say too much and give everything away. My problem is with the father. I want to write a scene that explores his character, but I’m having difficulty. Up to this point so far in the story, he’s a workaholic who doesn’t appreciate the fact he has a daughter. I want to show why he is a workaholic and why he treats his daughter the way he does. I’m having difficulties figure out exactly how I can show this, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

I’ll just be over here endlessly brainstorming until I do.