If you could change one thing about your novel, what would it be?
If you could change one thing about you as a writer, what would it be?
I woke up at about two in the a.m. last night.
Lay in bed and realized that my whole life is chaotic and I am always behind. Always.
This isn’t new.
I used to sign my name Carolwhoissofarbehindshecanseeherownbutt.
How do I get caught up? Organized? How do I get rid of things? Make time for what I love to do, like read and write and take walks and cook and eat and spend time with my girls and go to lunch with friends and learn to do watercolor work and and and?
It’s no secret (unless you’ve never heard me say this, and then it’s still not a secret) that I believe we make time for what we love.
But what if we’re tired?
Feeling like a failure?
Missing dear friends?
Upset about things from the past?
Hmmm. I could go on and on.
Getting organized in your writing may or may not be easy.
Here’re a few things I found on the InterWeb to help.
Write three goals on how you are gonna get organized.
Send them to me.
I’ve lost my phone.
This worries me as I have an appointment with two friends. What if I’m late?
I fought against getting this phone. But year before last when people were messaging all over Waterford trying to find me, and the last time my agent had to listen to Carolina’s weird answering machine, I realized it was time to get a phone of my own.
Where is that darn thing?
What has your main character lost?
How important is it to her?
Does this loss play a necessary part in your story?
Look through your novel. IF this loss is important, in needs to be present. It can’t be forgotten.
When Rick Walton was ill, he was always on my mind. Always. He’s still on my mind quite a lot.
Loss can be anything. Anyone. Keep it age-appropriate, and remember loss for a young child is as important as for an older person, even if the object isn’t as huge as a lost cell phone. 😉
Write the perfect birthday party for your main character.
Write the worst birthday party for your main character.
Now, do this exercise for the antagonist and one other character of your choice.
Sometimes we have characters in our novels that just aren’t doing anything to move the plot along.
Perhaps we like this character and so we mold and shape him. We give him the correct lines, witty banter. We even make him wowzers handsome.
Here’s the truth of it.
That guy’s gotta go.
If he ain’t pulling his weight, no matter how dynamic he is, you gotta get rid of him.
Look at the earlier writing prompt where you drew a circle, with your main character in the middle. All those lines lead to characters in the novel. Are they all important? Can you do without a few? Are there any people not doing their duty?
Every person who shows up in a book must DO something. No talking heads. No mannequins (unless you are Richard Peck writing SECRETS OF THE SHOPPING MALL. Mannequins WERE used in that story.)
So, get rid of all those who are weighing down the story.
And if they are super cool? Use them in another book.