A Drift of Quills is back on this beautiful First Friday! This month we’re talking about tough writing challenges we’ve faced, and how we’ve resolved them. And—we’ve got a guest! We’re so pleased to welcome P.S. Broaddus, who has recently released his debut middle-grade fantasy novel.
My partners in this month’s endeavor will probably not be glad that I’ve procrastinated writing this until the last minute (I have a laundry list of
excuses reasons!), but it’s given me the opportunity to get a sneak peak at what they’ve chosen to write about.
It’s good stuff—and I think every writer struggles at some time or another. I do. I love hearing how others deal with their hurdles. Sometimes they suggest things that work for me, too.
Isn’t it fabulous that we can connect so easily? Discover new options? Learn so much?
The same goes with learning the craft. There are so many websites, books, and podcasts available to help us learn. We can easily find out how to create outlines, how many obstacles we should include in our protagonist’s journey, why we should set up the end in the opening scene, how to plot with beats, how many characters should be included, how to “show—don’t tell,” why and how to raise stakes, why you should use deep POV…
Great googly moogly!
The details of How to Write a Book go on and on and on.
The bajillion options can be overwhelming.
I’ve been writing since I could first manage a pencil. I wrote what I wanted, when I wanted, and how I wanted. I wrote with joy. Gleefully!
Along the way I figured that if I were going to make a career of it, I should study up on the craft.
I’ve learned a lot, but I’ve also been nearly paralyzed with fear by an overload of strategies I “should” employ. (Writing challenges, anyone?) How was I supposed to use all those things in my book—and still produce something readable? Something enjoyable for my readers and for myself?
I couldn’t. Not all at once, anyway. Practice will help, sure, but along the way the joy of writing started becoming a chore.
I feel that it’s important to keep learning, but I must—today, every day!—step back and remind myself why I write:
- I have stories to tell.
- I have a good instinct when it comes to story-telling.
- I get to experience adventures I normally can’t in everyday life.
- I have control over the world in my book (Well…usually. Mostly? Hehe!)
- It’s my favorite form of art, of self-expression.
My collection of forty-eleven How-To books should add to my skills, not replace them. Perfectionism will kill my creativity.
Write with joy…
Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they’re yours.
~ Richard Bach
Author of A Hero’s Curse (The Unseen Chronicles Book 1)
Would C.S. Lewis Tweet or Facebook? What if J.R.R. Tolkien hadn’t been able to find the time to finish The Hobbit?
A Drift of Quills invited me to help welcome in May by penning a short note on “Writer’s Challenges.”
Writing is a serious, fun, and tough discipline. Here are a couple of my biggest writing challenges, cut down to size.
When it comes to writing, who hasn’t had a hard time with discipline and time management?
I have yet to meet a writer who says, “No way, it’s easy-peasy! I get up with the creativity bubbling, nothing gets in my way, my family never intrudes—shucks, I don’t even have to eat!”
I mean, who even says “easy-peasy?”
More often when I chat with serious writers, we talk about time management and scheduled writing. It’s always interesting to hear what works for someone else—and it’s almost never right for me… (Read the rest of Parker’s thoughts!)
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Author of Oathtaker and Select
Every writer knows what it’s like when an idea comes to her, then fleshes itself out into a scene that plays out in her imagination. Sometimes she has to wrestle to put other life events aside so that she may clear the time it will take to get the words down. Occasionally those words then flow out with a rapidity that defies her wildest dreams. Then there are those “other times.” These are the times when the blank screen before her can—at least temporarily—cripple her efforts. But in due course, comes the telling.
Thus it is that there are two parts to this craft I find most difficult: the first is in getting any words out at all; and the second, is in “the cutting.”
As to the first, what some call “writer’s block,” I’ve recently put a new practice into place… (Read more of what Patricia has to say!)
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Are you a writer? What do YOU struggle with?
Are you a reader? What would you like to see us talk about next?