Skip to main content

Stepping back can inspire

Those of you who read my blog know that I went through a major agent-suggested rewrite of my latest novel. It was painful, I won't lie. And after I completed the revision and sent it to the agents waiting on it, I decided to take a break from writing. In fact, I decided to take a month off -- no querying, no writing, nothing. I felt just...exhausted. So my husband and I decided to take a trip to the very remote Cape San Blas. See photo below:
.

.
By the third day of the trip, I was itching to write. I have three ideas swimming in my mind, and I'm trying to decide which to invest in. The first is a YA thriller with sci-fi elements. The second is a YA dark magical realism. And the third is something of a YA spooky ghost story. I was prepared to take my time deciding and researching, but by giving myself the freedom to step away, I allowed my love of writing to resurface. Now I'm dying to dig in. I'm a fast writer--too fast at times--but I plan to write out a summary paragraph for each and see where everything falls.
.
How about you? Do you take breaks? If so, for how long? Does it help rekindle your love of writing?
.
M.B.

Comments

  1. I plan on taking a break when I start my agent submission in January. It will probably last until maybe March-ish. We'll see!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bravo! I like that you included no querying in that, too. I think it's important to take a little break between every draft and an even larger break between every book. How fantastic that you were able to rekindle your love of writing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Karen -- A three month break would be amazing. Good luck with your agent subs.

    Lena -- Thanks! I am just learning the importance of giving myself a break. I took only a three week break between my first book and this one. Not such a good thing for my sanity!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey Mel! I took most of August off. I just hated that feeling of forcing myself to churn out words for the sake of it and had so much going on that I just gave myself permission to not write til my 'vacation' was over. Now I'm back in Holland and itching to go too! So amazing you have three ideas! Can't wait to see what you've come up with next :-)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Pitch Wars 2017 Wishlist!

Hi! How are you? Excited? Nervous? Hating your MS? Loving your MS? Yep, I get it. Been there, have the wrinkles to prove it. But that's what retinoids are for, and besides--

Wait, let me back up and do this introduction thing properly. And, you know, by "properly" I mean Hart of Dixie style.


So, you're probably wondering who I am and why I think I'm a rockstar, when I'm just a brand new little newbie mentor. Well, here's the thing--I'm not really one of those "I think I'm a rockstar" kind of people, so we won't be going there. Sorry. BUT I can tell you who I am. Here goes.

OFFICIAL, PRETTY BIO:

USA TODAY bestselling author Melissa West is the author of more than fifteen novels, each set in the South and ready to steal a reader’s heart with Southern charm, sweet tea, and a whole mess of gossip. Her novels have received high praise and recognition from RT Book Reviews, Seventeen Magazine, Fresh Fiction, and Harlequin Junkie, among others…

Outlining -- a.k.a pulling your hair out

Outlining...yes, that organizational craziness that forces you to look like the poor cat above. Yep, that's what I'm talking about today. After reading a fellow blogger’s post regarding plotters vs. pansters, I began to research various outlining methods. The snowflake method is a very common approach that involves starting with a summary sentence (a.k.a pitch) then expanding out.
Some claim this hinders creativity, while supporters feel it keeps them on track. I've decided to use elements of the approach (click here). I like the pitch sentence to begin with. This took me quite awhile, but in developing my pitch sentence for Twisted Root I found that it helps to think in broad terms. A+B=C But the more interesting element of this model is the disaster moments in the story. You know, those moments where you become the evilest writer on the planet and your characters are tortured.
The Snowflake method suggests that you have 3 disasters (more with sub-plots) and an ending, ea…

Make your readers uncomfortable

I have this one scene in TWISTED ROOT that is…intense. It is so intense that I’ve had reactions all over the place from my CP’s and betas.

Let me start by saying I have a ton of people read my work. An 8 person crit group, 2 crit partners, and 2 that I would say are alpha readers—friends who read tons and have strong editing backgrounds.

So I receive crits all over the place, and this scene has created some interesting responses. One critter went crazy for it, loved it. Another referred to it as slightly icky. I loved that response. :) Another blushed when we discussed it in person. And all of the male critters I have thought it was awesome—go figure. Men have a much higher threshold for uncomfortable-ness, than most women. (JMHO!!!)

Now I’m not saying I don’t adore all my readers. I do. I couldn’t write without them. Each one makes my work stronger. But here’s the thing, I’m keeping the scene, as it is (for now). Wanna know why?

I think as a writer you should make your reader uncomfortab…