2014 Goals- How’s It Going for Ya?

Me?  How am I doing on my 2014 goals?

Let’s see.  My short term goal was to write everyday in January.  I don’t have an exact count, but so far I’ve missed one day because of head a cold and several others from sheer laziness.  The smart thing would be to keep a writing journal so I can hold myself accountable.  This is where the laziness issue comes into play again.

And then there’s the damn cable.  Yes, I could (read, should) get up and walk away from the boob tube.  But I’ve just discovered Dr. Who.  And have you seen Tom Mison Sleepy Hollow?  Ugh, I have no will power.  And my kids are no help.  “Mom, come on.  You’re gonna miss Major Crimes!”

Still, I’ve gotten in more writing this month than I did in December, and January isn’t even over yet.  So I’m not feeling too bad.

So now let’s talk about my 2 long range goals:  Finishing 4 books in 2014 and blogging regularly.

Notice I didn’t say “get 4 books published in 2014”.  That would be, like, insane.  Come on.  But I feel taking 4 wips in various stages of completed-ness and getting them ready to send out, or even send, out is doable.  That is if I can find a method of story structure/writing process that works for me (see my previous post).  Once I get it down pat with the current wip, I’ll be able to apply it to the others and zip right through them.

At least that’s the plan.

And as for blogging, I’m going to have dig out the agenda I bought from the dollar store and start using it.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  If I’m gonna commit myself, I mean, be committed to producing certain things on certain days, then I damn well better get myself organized.  Right?

I can always take lessons from the 19-year-old.  Her organizational skills amaze me.

So, how are your 2014 goals coming along?

Many thanks to D’Ann Lindun who’s blog post reminded me what day it was and put a fire under my behind.

http://wordwranglers.blogspot.com/

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Story Structure

For some ungodly reason I decided to make as my writing goal for 2014 completing 4 wips. I Tweeted it for heavens sake. I’ve really set myself up this year.

In a previous post I highlight several author sites where I’ve found a lot of helpful information. (I’d put a link to it here, but I haven’t learned how yet).  But, as great as all this information has been, I’m still struggling to get my next book finished.

What’s the problem you ask?  Well, for one thing, I’m a procrastinator my nature.  It takes me frigging forever to write a book. Why? Because I lack organizational skills. So it seems flying by the seat of my pants isn’t going to cut it if I want to meet my goal.

While perusing my favorite sites for additional inspiration I came across Larry Brooks’ Storyfix.  His four-part story structure really seemed to resonate with me. I like the idea of breaking things down, learning what needs to be in your story and where to put it to make it flow. A place for everything and everything in its place.

But I realized this method was only a piece of the puzzle.  What I really needed to do was take a little bit of everything and put it together.

So I sat down on the floor with all my printouts spread out around me, a big roll of paper, and a handful of colorful markers and proceeded to build my story.  I drew a big circle (ala the hero’s journey & Dan Harmon’s circular story structure with eight steps http://tinyurl.com/yhcgdku), divided into 4 parts (Larry Brooks’ Storyfix http://tinyurl.com/mqcqt2), added scenes, plot points and pinch points.

I probably should have used pencil, because I kept moving to different parts to find just the right spot they needed to be. Still, it was pretty satisfying seeing everything coming together, meshing, flowing.

It’s not quite finished, but it’s getting there.  I just need to add chapter placement and rearrange a few scenes.

If I keep focused and stick to the plan I should be able to reach my goal.

But cross your fingers for me, just in case.

Maryanne

Title Envy

Title envy

I’m not ashamed to admit I have title envy.

You know how it is when one of your favorite authors comes out with a new book and the title is so awesome, so dead on you think “Oh, yeah”?

Or when you ask your author friend what inspired the title of her newest book and she says, “Oh, the it came to me in a dream and the book practically wrote itself.”

Okay, I realize it’s not really that easy.  I’m sure most of us agonize weeks if not months over what we’re going to name our “babies.” Right?

So how does one choose the right title?

You need to make sure it fits the genre you’re writing in.  A modern-sounding title wouldn’t be appropriate for an historical.

Keeping with the tone of your book is important, too.  A comical title wouldn’t do at all for a dark paranormal.

Is there a phrase in your book that captures the essence of your story?  Maybe a quote from one of the characters?

Or maybe try using a play on words. Take for instance Damsel in This Dress, by Marianne Stillings. There’s our heroine (the damsel), and she’s in distress (this dress).  Get it?

Some of my other favorites:

Charmed and Dangerous, by Toni McGee-Causey,

Nearly Departed in Deadwood, by Ann Charles

Keep Me Ghosted, by Karen Cantwell

Still having trouble?  Check out these articles for more help:

writersrelief.com  (http://tinyurl.com/lh4adxj)

lightmessages.com (http://tinyurl.com/lj6ngvw)

Now it’s time for me to play a round of  “name that book” with my next book, which has a Valentine’s theme. I’m going the self-publishing route, but I’m stumped for a title. There’s a female sports writer, a hot accountant, his three nephews, and they’re stuck together in a snowstorm.

Suggestions are always welcome

Maryanne