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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Talk about an eye opener!

I've recently combed through my files for the Double Trouble characters

"What was I thinking?"

I spent over three years writing it half way out, and then set it aside for over six months, because I made the colossal mistake of starting to edit it before I finished writing it out.

Big mistake!

I ended up getting myself into a huge writer's block because of that. Take my advice and finish writing your MS out, then worry about the editing process.

After setting it aside for so long I've definitely grown detached from the MS and characters. I can see everything crystal clear now. People aren't kidding when they say 'Set it aside until you have a clear perspective.' That absolutely is vital in order to properly revise it.

Today I spent two hours comparing the character sketches for all of my male characters and I realized there are too many similarities in them. They're not completely alike, but not near as diverse as they should be.

Has this ever happened to any of you before? How did you feel about it? I feel like a total amateur for making such a mistake.

I spent the rest of my writing time today going through each of the characters profiles and giving them completely different descriptions. Too many had long hair, and most were the same archetype. Talk about boring. I've decided what each character's dominant strength and corresponding flaw will be. Those vary depending on their personalities.

As for my female MC, I've completely redone her character sketch from scratch. I've vetoed the conflicting character traits, decided what her goals and driving factors are, and have cut back on her strong suits. I've defined the conflicts she will have to face. I still have to iron out a few kinks for her character arch, like fleshing out parts about what her mother was like, but otherwise she's good to go.

I've decided that every character, no matter how small a part they play in the story, will be a different archetype. I've finally figured out which archetype suits each character best, even the minor characters, and have tweaked the details to iron them out.

I can't believe how little has actually been accomplished in the four years I've worked on this MS. I've put just under three years of actual writing into this MS, but I started planning it and drawing up the outline a year before that. Today I realized that I still have a long way to go before it'll be publishable. Talk about depressing.

I just have to remind myself that I am making progress on it. Not as much as I'd hoped for by this point, but progress none the less.

Today I made a major improvement in the characterizations, but I still need to fine tune each character's back story. Having the character-arcs ironed out will allow me to finish writing out the story and fine tune what's already written out.

I hope to have to have all their back stories completely charted out and start on ironing out the kinks in my plot line by the end of the week. I'm slowly learning how to self-edit my MS. I still intend to have a professional editor look it over before it is queried or published, but I like the idea of being able to catch what they look for myself. We will see how it goes.

I pretty much live like the pioneers did, minus the hunting, and with the added technology of electricity. We heat with wood, we lug water, tend animals, burn our trash. It's a bit rustic and sometimes harsh, but so invigorating and rewarding too. I love it and so do my husband and kids. It keeps us active and in shape. It allows us to bond as a family, gives us strong values, which we live by and permits us to be surrounded by nature's beauty.

With winter here my day starts with lugging in wood and tending the fire, then my children, then house cleaning, laundry, ect. So my writing time is limited. I'm not able to write as often as I'd like to anymore, but I wouldn't change my life for anything in the world.

I'm hoping to update this blog once a week, preferably on Friday evenings. So keep an eye out.

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