romance, Romance writing, writing

NaNoWriMo ms done… now what?

My personal NaNoWriMo has come and gone. My manuscript is finished and with it I entered a contest in which I received SEVEN requests for either full ms, first three chapters or first 50 pages. I was floating on cloud 9 for quite a while – let me tell ya! Now, as I wait for a response from someone, my mind starts turning over ideas for another book. I could add more to my current one – more detail to scenes, more depth to emotions. Yes, I will definitely do that and then I will tackle a new ms.

I have some ideas of doing a second book using one of the secondary characters from my current ms. What will be her backstory? Who will be the man who turns her life upside down? What if? All these questions continue to make the rounds in my mind. Soon it will be time to get these thoughts down on paper.

I also have another complete ms – one I put aside to write my current one – and it could use some work. And why not? Get it ready to send out, but a part of me says, “this was your practice novel – keep it that for a while yet”.

So here I go again…There is NaNoWriMo in November but before that is So You Think You Can Write in September and a writers conference in October. Life never gets less busy….

plot, writing

Plot

Wikipedia defines Plot as “a literary term for the events a story comprises, particularly as they relate to one another in a pattern, a sequence, through cause and effect, or by coincidence.”

When I try to wrap my mind around that definition I get frustrated. To me plot is a story line full of events that unfold as the characters learn and change and grow. When I look at it that way I can sit down and plan where my story is going, what I want to happen to my characters and visualize the beginning, middle and end of my manuscript.

During my current rewrite I realized my middle was stuck as my beginning had changed so much and my ending still reflected my old beginning leaving me high and dry in the middle. So, I’ve been coming up with different scenarios of what could work for my characters, and let me tell you, it’s quite a process. I find myself going backwards to make sure something I said earlier is true now and vice versa. Consistency is important as well credibility. Readers are very smart and they’ll know if something doesn’t match up.

I advise the use of a chart or detailed synopsis of every chapter and where you want to take the story before you start to write. I didn’t do that with this manuscript. I jumped right in and wrote what was in me. It was a wonderful experience doing it that way but then your left with inconsistencies and unbelievable characters, events and settings.

I fully believe that writing is a never-ending learning process.