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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Little Lift

Sometimes it's funny how just when you're feeling down or discouraged, out of the blue comes something that picks you up.

I was in that very position a week or so ago, and then I received an e-mail from the contest administrator for Writers of the Future. The message mentioned my semi-finalist standing in the first quarter and then indicated they had not seen any further submissions from me and asked if I was still writing. Then the kicker, and I quote, "You are too talented to give up! I hope that is not the case."

Of course I haven't given up, and I responded as such. My most recent contest entry just came from a different e-mail address is all.

Work is progressing on the sequel to "Dreamer," but I'm reaching a point where I have to go back and make a chart of what happened when and who knew what when. Since my writing opportunities come in fits and starts, it's easy to lose track. When I find myself scanning through more than a hundred pages of text, looking for past references of a name or event, it's time to make a chart.

Someone asked me recently if I storyboard my novels. The answer? Not really. While working on one novel, I actually did sketches of a scene to figure out how the room should be laid out and where all the people would have to be positioned for the denoument to work out. Usually, I kind of work it out as I go, developing, going back and revising when I think of something that makes me say to myself, "Ooooh, that's good!" That method sometimes gets me into trouble, though, because the revising opens up all sorts of opportunities for inconsistencies to be introduced. I guess that's what proofreading is for.

I don't know that I would have the patience to outline an entire novel before starting on page one. What would happen to all the great ideas for bits of conversation or the perfect words to describe something? I think I also secretly fear that if I put the whole story down in an outline, I'll feel the story  has been told and lose interest in it. The general story is in my head, the urge to put it into print is irresistable, the doing of it a satisfying labor of love.  

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