Navigating the Writing Path: Start to Finish

Navigating the Writing Path: Start to Finish

– I C Publishing Summer Blog Tour

Firstly thanks very much to Kerry J Donovan for inviting me to join this tour πŸ™‚

Thanks also go to the sponsor I C Publishing. Check out the Twitter hashtag for the tour: #ICBlogTour.

1. Share how you start your writing project(s). For example, where do you find inspiration? Do you outline? Do you jump right into the writing? Do you do all of your research first?

My projects always start with a character. As I said in a previous post:

Funnily enough for the person doing the typing, I don’t get to choose if they are in a crime novel or a paranormal romance. I rarely even get to choose their name. The main character always comes to me fully formed all the way to their “The End”. It is, however, up to me to get them there. Easy, right?

So my inspiration comes from day to day life, things I’ve seen, things I’ve read, and sometimes things I’ve experienced. They all moosh together in my subconscious and in the middle of the night or early morning, my dreams spit out a new character. Sometimes they want their own story, and sometimes they want to join an existing story. But one thing is always the same – they tell me who they are and what they want πŸ™‚

In terms of outlining, I very rarely do. Right now I don’t have time to plot everything out and research things before I write, so I trust my character and just write. If I do need to research something, I do it at the time I need it.

2. How do you continue your writing project? i.e. How do you find motivation to write on the non-creative days? Do you keep to a schedule? How do you find the time to write?

With three children in school, two businesses, and multiple other things taking precedence, I don’t need to find motivation to write – I just need the time. Usually I steal it from other things: sleep, accounting, eating… and other times I use it as procrastination from real work I don’t want to do πŸ™‚

When I have a new character to write about, writing is easy. It just seems to flow because they know what they want. Editing, reading, rewriting, editing… that’s the real time and sanity suck. I have some fabulous beta readers and editors, but I really need a few more personal assistants and hours in the day!

3. How do you finish your project? i.e. When do you know the project is complete? Do you have a hard time letting go? Do you tend to start a new project before you finish the last one?

This sounds overly simply but if I’m working on a project that needs a fixed word count, then when I get close to that, I work on wrapping things up neatly. Otherwise I keep writing until either the character’s story is done or it seems like the story needs a series.

Considering I haven’t actually published anything yet, I am in serious need of a pry bar between me and my stories. Every time I read one, I find more little mistakes or something that could be done better.

And I always start new projects before I finish the last one. I have so many characters that want their stories told, that I have to write them down, or my mind will explode! πŸ™‚

4. Include one challenge or additional tip that our collective communities could help with or benefit from.

My big tip that can’t be repeated often enough: Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar. Professional editing costs money, something new authors don’t usually have much of, but nothing turns most readers off a book quicker than constant or repetitive SPaG issues. No one’s perfect of course, even best sellers have some typos I’m sure, but everyone needs at least one set of fresh eyes on their work. You can find free beta readers in Facebook groups and elsewhere online. But my bonus tip is a little place called Scribophile. It’s free to join, and 99% of the people on there love reading, and are friendly and helpful πŸ™‚

Until next week,
MM xx

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Comments

  1. Hi-I’m Alisa (1/2 of the Clifford Rush writing team) and also part of the IC Blog tour. I’ve really enjoyed following the various posts. There are wonderful nuggets of wisdom in every one. I really liked your “moosh together” part. That really happens! SPaG might seem non-glamorous to the artiste, but you are right and it is an absolute must to get right. Thanks for sharing. You can check out my IC Blog post at http://www.cliffordrush.com/2014/07/mary-mary-quite-contrary-ic-blog-tour/

    • MM

      Hi Alisa! Thanks very much for visiting my little blog πŸ™‚ I read your blog post when Kerry invited me to write mine – I loved connecting it to a nursery rhyme – it’s easy to grasp the concepts like that πŸ™‚

  2. I identify with you on every aspect of a writing project–especially the part about grammar and punctuation. What’s the sense in having a great story if it’s poorly written? Learning everything an author can about the English language is time well spent. It’s best to educate yourself–because, frankly, many editors don’t know all the rules.

    • KJD

      Agreed, Linda.

      New authors are so often let down by the technical quality of the writing.

    • MM

      Very true, Linda. Anyone can claim to be an editor, and if you don’t know your stuff, you can’t check them! πŸ™‚

  3. KJD

    Excellent thoughts as always, Michaela. I agree with you about Scribophile, after all, its where we met. πŸ™‚

    Publish girls, the world needs to meet your characters too. πŸ™‚

    • MM

      I’m getting there πŸ™‚

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