Wednesday, August 7, 2019

IWSG: Writers' Surprises


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to the IWSG page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! If it links to Google+, be sure your blog is listed there. Otherwise, when you leave a comment, people can't find you to comment back. 

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 


Remember, the question is optional! 


August 7 question - Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you'd forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming? 
 
The awesome co-hosts for the August 7 posting of the IWSG are Renee Scattergood, Sadira Stone, Jacqui Murray,Tamara Narayan, and LG Keltner!
 

I talked about my writing last week, so I'll skip past that quickly and get to the question of the month. I'm making slow progress on my MS, working on polishing the writing, since it came back from the editors without any demands for significant rewriting. It's rewarding rewording (sorry!), but tiring so I don't try to do too much at a time.

Still hoping for better inspiration for the IWSG Anthology contest. My struggles here frustrate me because children's historical fiction is one of the things I most love to read, and I have a novel drafted that I haven't quite been able to bring to fruition. So why can't I make the story work?

Now for surprises from my writing.

Aside from the unpleasant surprise of having so much trouble with my story for the contest, I've had a few disconcerting shocks along the way. Sadly, never the happy one suggested in the prompt, but I've had some endings that didn't do what I expected. Biggest one I think was getting to the final chapters of my first draft of Death By Adverb--and discovering that I'd been fingering the wrong perp! That definitely was a surprise. It also made for a lot of work; once I'd figured out whodunnit and why I had to go back and rewrite a lot of scenes to make it work right.

My flash fiction (something I haven't been doing enough of lately!) has led to some disconcerting moments, as well. Usually that's when I look at a story and wonder uneasily just where *that* came from. Who knows what lurks in the subconscious mind? Apparently my keyboard does.

How about  you? Any fun surprises? Or scary ones? 

Surprising developments... like a downpour in the desert.

 


21 comments:

  1. I've stopped wondering where my imagination comes up with the things that it does. I don't want to know. :)

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    1. LOL! I definitely have a few flash bits where I feel that way about it. My novels stay light, but I have gone down some dark wormholes for the short works. I don't think I could stay there for longer than 1000 words, though.

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  2. Having to go back and get the right perp sounds challenging! I'm working on a story now where I can't decide who did it. I thought I did when I set out to write it, but the characters are being difficult. I need to make a decision soon so I don't have to rework things too much.

    Cheers - Ellen

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    1. Yeah, I strongly recommend stopping and figuring it out before going on. IIRC, in my case it required a very long coffee-cookies-and-brainstorming session with one of my writing buddies.

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  3. Hi Rebecca - I think that's what puts me off writing a book ... way too many tie-ins ... I do not want to rewrite stuff! But good for you - sorry about the 'poor little wrong perp' - he'll be put out! Cheers and good luck - Hilary

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    1. I think highly relieved, not disgruntled at being relieved of the murder duties.

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  4. I think my mom wonders where I get my imagination more than I do.

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    1. Mine too. Maybe because they worry we got it from them? Or is it "that didn't come from MY side of the family!"? (Sorry, Mom, but I know which of you has a writer's heart...).

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  5. I like rewording (I call it wordsmithing, to differentiate it from editing). It is rewarding. I feel like I'm finally saying what I mean. That's where I am right now in my MS.

    Good post!

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    1. Yes, wordsmithing! Best feeling ever when I get even one sentence that I can look at and say "Yes. That is EXACTLY how it should read."

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  6. Awesome that you did not have too many edits to do. That must have been tough figuring out that you had the wrong perp. Good luck with your anthology story.

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    1. That was a mess, and the book sat for nearly a year before I had the heart to address the problem.

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  7. Whooboy. I've been there with having to go back and change a bunch of stuff because of something found later in the story. At least you figured it out!

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    1. Yeah. See above note about it needing lots of cookies and coffee.

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  8. I hope you can get past your frustrations with your IWSG Anthology Contest story!

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    1. Me, too! It's probably my favorite genre to read. I got the opening words right last night. Not sure how to take it from there, but I like the words.

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  9. I think I've solved the problem of commenting on my blog. But I'm not getting email notifications of your blog posts any more - seemed to stop at the beginning of this month... Any ideas?

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    1. I’m pretty sure there’s a gremlin trying to break up the friendship, because I wasn’t getting email notices about your blog, either. I just re-subscribed and got the latest (oh, wait—that was from Princelings Publications). Anyway, try re-upping.

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  10. The good news is that you figured out whodunnit--the bad news is you had to rewrite. We've all been there.

    Regarding the contest, maybe because "it's your thing" is why you're being too hard on yourself about it? But whatever it is, you're a great writer and your story will be wonderful!

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    1. Aww—thank you for those kind words. I think part of my problem with the larger story this short is connected to is that it’s a version of my grandmother’s early life. A bit of reality can get in the way. And now I have the story moving, but for some reason it’s in present tense, which I’ve never done before and turns out to be HARD!

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