Wednesday, 2 August 2017

IWSG August 2017

Time once again for our monthly gathering in which to share our insecurities to do with the writing life. Yes, it's the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted as ever by the inimitable Alex J. Cavanaugh and co-hosted by this month by Christine RainsDolorah @ Book LoverEllen @ The Cynical SailorYvonne Ventresca and LG Keltner!


This month's optional question is: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

I'm just going to keep this to a discussion of my own work - I've no wish to blast anyone else and the thing that irks me the most when reading is excessively poor editing. I'm happy to say I've not come across any book that falls into that category for quite some time!

No, I think I'll stick to my own particular foibles. Some of these are certainly current insecurities - like not getting as much writing done as I would like. At the moment, I'm working a job where I start at 6am - so I get up at 4/4.30 to do my writing done. If I'm too tired to get up then, it obviously limits what I can do. Something else that I still do - and this is actually where I'm at right now - is getting stuck on a particular plot point and being hung up over it for days (or weeks, although I'm hoping that isn't going to be the case). Sometimes, as with now, it's a matter of logistics - how exactly something is achieved. I need to get over it, write a placeholder solution and come back to it in the edit. Why does that feel like cheating? It's a draft, the most important thing is just to get through it.

I'm really near the end of the last book in my trilogy, but that ending feels like it's taking forever to come. I've had this feeling before, but maybe it's magnified because this is a much larger work that has occupied a significant proportion of my life. Getting everything wrapped up neatly is a giant balancing act. Maybe I'm also reluctant to let go, but of course I won't be - there's a lot of editing to come in the future.

I could probably think of other peeves, but I don't want this to become an extended diatribe! There are other IWSG posts to read here. If you haven't already done so, why not join? You'll get a warm and fuzzy feeling of fellowship as well as many other benefits. Speaking of which, let's turn to some really cool news...


Show Us Your Writer Insecurity!

Are you proud to be an insecure writer?

Then show us!

On Wednesday, October 4 (IWSG Day), post a photo of yourself (or your alter ego) with any of the IWSG swag or with the IWSG logo. Then leave a comment that day at either the IWSG website’s post or the IWSG Facebook post directing us to your photo. (All blog, Facebook, Goodreads, and newsletter members welcome, but photo must be posted on a blog or Facebook to qualify.)

The IWSG site admins will visit each one and pick the top three. Why? Because there are cool prizes involved:

Third place – EBook of A Change of Mind and Other Stories by Nick Wilford, eBook of The Remnant by William Michael Davidson, eBook of Cling to God by Lynda R. Young, eBook of Already Home by Heather M. Gardner, and eBook of Dragon of the Stars by Alex. J. Cavanaugh.

Second place – The entire eBook collection of the Totem series by Christine Rains, eBooks of Princess of Las Pulgas and Sliding on the Edge by C. Lee McKenzie, audio book of CassaSeries by Alex J. Cavanaugh, eBook of Black and White by Nick Wilford, and your choice of eBook from J.L. Campbell.

Grand prize winner - IWSG website interview, IWSG newsletter spotlight, IWSG pinned tweet for one week, C. Lee McKenzie's Featured Follower for the month, the IWSG Goodreads book club eBook for October/November, a short chapter critique, and a pair of IWSG erasers.

We have some great IWSG swag – pens, mugs, magnets, erasers, etc. Proceeds go to fund the upkeep of the IWSG site. Check it out here.

You have two months to prepare – show us your best insecurity!

37 comments:

L.G. Keltner said...

I get hung up on plot points too, and it's a terrible feeling to be stuck like that. I can't seem to get anything done until I work my way through it, too.

The Show Us Your Writer Insecurity event sounds like fun! I'll have to give it some thought.

Lynda Dietz said...

Sounds like a lot of fun things are going on! As for your writing peeves, there's nothing wrong with wanting to finish well in a series. Taking your time can't hurt . . . and it seems like you are already making some heroic efforts to carve out writing time as it is.

dolorah said...

Its really hard to remain patient with our own writings. We know what it all should look like, but getting every word just right on the page is hard. And, life interferes.

Good luck Nick. You are a dedicated author, you will get there in the proper time.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick - well done on all you do ... and getting up for six is ok at this time of year, but not so clever in a few months - and 4.30 is positively horrible to think about ... but you can achieve much getting into the habit now - so winter won't be such a 'blight' ... good luck - you are achieving and that's the main thing - cheers Hilary

Laura Clipson said...

First drafts are so hard to write - I have the same problem, if I come across a block I don't feel like I can carry on writing until I've solved it. It really does feel like cheating just to leave it, even though it is just a draft!

Sarah Foster said...

I hate getting hung up on plot points. Sometimes a certain chapter will take me weeks to get through.
Hmm I think I'm gonna have to buy some swag now!

The Cynical Sailor said...

Wow - you are dedicated waking up so early to focus on your writing! Very impressive and what's even more impressive is that you're near the end of the last book in the trilogy. Hopefully, I can say something like that one day. Cheers - Ellen

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I already get up between five and five-thirty and no way my brain would work at that hour. Good for you.
Write a place holder. I did that with my first book. I had no idea the logistics of the big key ending scene. But I figured it out when editing.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Good luck with getting up so early to write. Yes, I think you should move on with the plot point. You'll be thinking about it after you do that and the solution will come. This way you can get other work done and then edit any needed changes.

JeffO said...

I have done the placeholder thing. Sometimes, when I know I just need a line or two but can't quite get it, I write something like "BLAH BLAH BLAH" or "NEED SOMETHING HERE." I suspect your resisting the placeholder in this case because the plot point is probably especially important, if it's the one near the end of your trilogy. It probably feels too big for a placeholder. Good luck with it!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I hear you on getting stuck on those plot points. I'm trying to get better at either figuring it out ahead of time so I don't get stuck or reminding myself it's fine to put in a place holder and just. keep. writing. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I felt that way during the fifth and final book of my series. It had to wrap up right and it had to end with a bang. You'll get it.

Crystal Collier said...

LOL. No one wants to leave a place holder, but sometimes it is the only way to get past a point. I find even when I put something in place to hold the gap, my mind keeps spinning while doing other tasks, until the aha moment comes.

Angeline Trevena said...

I'm exactly the same with getting stuck on plot points. I can't put placeholders in and come back later. My brain just doesn't work that way. The way you work may just be different, and that doesn't make it wrong. Even when all the writing advice tells you otherwise! But, of course, if it peeves you, you just need to keep adjusting until you find what works for you.
angelinetrevena.co.uk/insecure-writers-support-group-sunscreen-and-scary-stuff

Annalisa Crawford said...

Wow!! You get up at 4am to write! I'm not sure I'd even remember the alphabet at that time of the morning, I'm very impressed :-)

Meka James said...

I get hung up on plot points and scenes all the time. I find it hard to just move on and come back to it. Maybe it's a fear of not getting it right will lead to other possible problems. Or it could be a case that I have some obsessive issue with leaving things unresolved. Either way the problem can and does hang me up often.

Good luck with finishing your trilogy.

Jennifer Hawes said...

Sometimes we just need to outline a little more. It helps me get unstuck. I'm more of a pantser than a plotter/outline person. But lately I think I've crossed over to the dark side.

Stephsco said...

I'm hung up on a plot point and I have a deadline! And it's Friday! You better believe I'll figure something out :)

The photo challenge sounds fun. I need to brainstorm...

Here is my IWSG post for August: Top First Pages Pet Peeves AND How to Fix Them!

Chrys Fey said...

I write out detailed chapter outlines before I start writing. This prevents me from getting hung up on a plot point. But I still tend to change the plot if something better comes along.

Robert Bennett said...

I definitely feel you on the time thing. Anyone who's ever followed me knows I have a tendency of disappearing. Sometimes it's health. Sometimes its something cool. A lot of time it's raw exhaustion from working 12 hours a day.

You can do it.

Diane Burton said...

Looks like we all feel the same way about getting to the end. Sometimes, it seems to take so long. Other times, it feels like it's too soon. Best wishes on finishing the story. I give you lots of credit for getting up so early to write.

Ryan Carty said...

Recently, I adopted a German Shepherd puppy, thinking that surely I would still find time to do all my writing. Um, yeah. That's not happening. I went from having almost unlimited time, to barely being able to squeeze in an hour for this months blog hop. Foolish foolish me! I'm sure I will find that balance again, but as for now, I'm also struggling to find that ideal writing time.

cleemckenzie said...

It must feel darned good to be wrapping up that trilogy! Congratulations.

Liz A. said...

Some people can skip around with their MS. Some need to start at the beginning and go all the way through to the end. Being one of the latter isn't a failing. A good trick is to have another project you're also working on. When the main project is stalled, you have something else to occupy your time while your subconscious (or your conscious) works on the problem at hand. Hope this helps.

Sherry Ellis said...

Wow. You get up early to write! That's discipline. Kudos to you!

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

Oh me too on the plot points. I tend to get hung up on stupid little things too - a setting, a character, etc. So annoying!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Those things hang me up too. Sometimes for days but I'm getting better at pushing through them and then fixing it in edits.

Lynda R Young said...

Even when you're a full-time writer, there is never enough time to write.

Jamie Ayres said...

When I'm stuck on a plot point, I either hand-write a journal entry from the protagonist's POV, or actually have an out loud conversation with my characters. Yes, I'm answering for my characters too, but this crazy somehow works for me . . . maybe it will for you :-)

Olga Godim said...

Finishing a story is often a challenge for me. My stories all start with the beginnings. I figure out the middle pretty easily, but coming out with the appropriate ending is hard work. So I sympathize.

Carrie-Anne said...

I don't think I could handle a job that started at six in the morning! I'm firmly of the opinion that any hour before at least nine ought to be illegal.

Sometimes it's helpful to step away and work on something else when a plot point or anything else isn't easy in coming, or clear your mind entirely. The right words often come when we're not stressing out over it.

Michelle Wallace said...

Plot points are a nightmare.
Getting up at 4 a.m. to write? That's dedication. Well done.

Trisha F said...

In my current revisions, I had to stop the actual editing to write out chapter summaries, because I knew that my plot timeline was all messed up due to a new scene I'd had to write. So that took me away from actual editing, but was necessary.

I'm all right with putting 'placeholders' in. For all you know, by the time you're done with the novel you may find that you don't need one of those placeholders anymore, so didn't "waste time" writing it. Anything to keep momentum going I think.

Darla M Sands said...

I'm in more than an initial rewrite and finding some of my stories start with entirely too much exposition in the form of info dump. Oh well, I'm actually enjoying the rewriting process. Best wishes!

Christine Rains said...

I think the hardest person to be patient with is ourselves. You're almost at the end and that is fantastic! I'm not one for rewrites either, but I do love a polished manuscript. Good luck!

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I get hung up on everything when I'm writing. And it's so true that working an outside job can get in my way of writing. I get up pretty early and do my writing then, but soooo many things can get me sidetracked.

PS I love your cover. Very attractive.

DeeDee said...

I think my only insecurity is my posts don't get readers.
It makes me sad

Its nice to know about other's insecurities :-)

Click Here to see what Mrs. Dash Says