IWSG – A Place For Pygmies

InsecureWritersSupportGroupToday is the first Wednesday of the month. That means, it’s time for Insecure Writer’s Support Group!

You can find the sign up for the IWSG here. We owe Alex J Cavanaugh a huge thank you for thinking this blog hop up.

I won NaNoWriMo last Friday. Though I was pleased with that fact, something bothered me. The pygmies didn’t seem to tie into the overall plot. They are necessary to the main character’s arch. Plus one of them is in the novella I’ve got coming out next year. But how did they relate to the monsters that were killing everyone? That made me insecure. Have you ever found yourself where you knew something was a bit too loose within your story? I brainstormed with my husband (he was channeling his inner pygmy) and I realized the pygmies could take the place of another group of characters I’d intended on bringing in. Not only do I have a place for my pygmies, I now have less of a cast (having a large cast is one of my writing flaws). I’m feeling more secure now. Things are going better. I even found an image that represents my main pygmy, Fues.

Witch Doctor
Witch Doctor by APetruk on deviantArt

Isn’t he great? Fues’s mask is bigger, but otherwise, he’s how I pictured him.

What are your insecurities this month? Have you had to tighten a loose plot? Do you have a problem with too many characters?

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

49 thoughts on “IWSG – A Place For Pygmies

  1. I seem to always have a loose end or two when I’m finished with the first draft. I just let it simmer and think about it for a few days. For some reason, it always gets fixed! Congrats on NaNo!

  2. I finally did IWSG on the group blog I’m part of and it was therapeutic to talk about writing while on sub (spoiler alert: IT SUCKS lol) and YES I know exactly what you’re talking about. There always seems to be tons of things I love in my novels but know deep down they’re not developed or they don’t fit well and will have to be scrapped. hate that. sounds like you worked it out perfectly!

  3. I’m currently having this problem. In fact, it’s been a huge distraction since last summer. Brainstorming is a good way to fix it. That and just writing. Also meditation. A way to calm my brain until inspiration hits. Practising what I preach is another good ploy.

  4. Congratulations, Loni!! I’m so happy for you. I love your pygmy. Is it bad I think he’s adorable? I tend to put too many people in my books too. Grr.

  5. Hooray for pygmy hubbies! LOL

    IWSG #151 until Alex culls the list again.

  6. That pygmy sure looks like one not to be messed with haha

  7. Hooray for winning Nano!!

    And to quote the best 80s show ever made-“Don’t you love it when a plan comes together.”

    Ok, sorry to get so much sarcasm on your comments with the best 80s show thing. But still, so glad the pygmies worked out!

  8. Yay for winning NaNo! And I’m glad you were able to figure out how to work the Pygmies into your story. πŸ™‚

  9. This sounds like a great story. With Nano all kinds of things go wrong with your first draft, just keep at it.

  10. Congrats on winning NaNo! I haven’t run into that problem yet. I like the photo and I’m glad you found a place for your pygmies!

  11. C.G.Coppola

    Congrats on winning NaNo, you caffeinated critter! And yes, I always find things in my stories that make me scratch my chin and say, “well hell… should’ve thought that through more.” You’re not alone!! Congrats again πŸ™‚

  12. Is that what Fues looks like? Very cool. Glad you were able to work in the pygmies.

  13. There’s nothing better than the feeling a writer gets when they get that a-ha moment when they figure out how to make a problem in their manuscript go away. When everything comes together and you wonder why you didn’t think of that in the first place. Glad you were able to solve your problem.

  14. I’m not sure if having too many characters is a flaw. As long as they are handled deftly it should be fine. Watch any film by Robert Altman and you’ll know what I mean.
    Never have to tighten loose plot. Although I’m a “semi-pantser”, I usually have that all worked out before. It probably stems from my creative writing classes in college. I took screen-writing and that training allows me to zip together a plot and subplots rather quickly.

  15. I’ve learned to never ignore the things nagging at me. I get them all the time. Then I go brainstorm with my Husband Unit. Love the pygmies. Tying up those loose threads, realizing they’re there to be fixed, is a great thing.

  16. That pygmy is a bit scary looking, but that’s probably what you were going for.

    If something is bothering you about the story, then it’ll likely bother a reader too. It’s good to listen to those types of worries, and it’s good to have them too. Otherwise we might miss something that’ll make the story stronger.

  17. So glad you found a place for your pygmies! πŸ™‚ And congrats on winning NaNo! Are you taking some time to relax during December? You deserve it!

  18. Congrats on winning NaNo and finding a place for your pygmies! I love when things you couldn’t figure out just start clicking.

  19. Yes! I love that pic of Fues. It’s pretty close to what I imagined πŸ™‚

    And yes, loose threads do seem to just be a part of rough drafts. I’m all for fewer cast members, though, so it sounds like you tied those threads up without too much trouble. Headaches, but not too much trouble πŸ™‚

  20. That’s the way the NaNo Ball bounces, it seems. At least you’ve got 50,000+ words to work with and tighten up! Congrats on winning!

  21. It is always a good think to get a chance to decrease the cast. Better when doing so fixes an insecurity you had. And that pic is an awesome one!

  22. First congrats on NaNo! And it’s great your brainstorming helped. It’s awesome when things really fall into place.

  23. Congrats on winning & I would not want to meet that pygmie underneath my bed

  24. Yay for husbands helping out! Your pygmy is great. An issue I keep thinking about is my current cast of characters for my sequel – they all just came at me and now I feel like I have too many characters – still thinking about who to cut but I don’t want to cut anyone! πŸ™

  25. Yay for being a NANO winner. Your little Pygmy is cute. I have trouble tying up loose ends. Great post.

  26. Congrats on winning NaNo. I did not make goal, but I did participate. It is great you worked out what you felt did not quite fit. I am sure it makes your story much tighter. Congrats on that too.

  27. Cool art! I love it when things come together, it’s one of the best feelings in writing, I think anyway. And congrats on Nano success!

  28. Congrats on Nano. Should I say I think that pygmy is adorable? I dunno. Are pygmies mean or friendly? I’ll have to read your story to find out. Yes, sometimes I just sit back and look at the screen and say outloud, “What was I thinking?” I fix my plot holes while walking or in the shower..my thinking time. Best wishes.

  29. Congrats on coming up with the perfect solution. That is one awesome-looking pygmy.

  30. Congrats on winning NaNo! Since you know where the problem is, you’re already halfway done with the battle. It takes me forever to figure out plot problems and then create some workable solution. Readers don’t appreciate how hard we struggle, right? Good luck! πŸ™‚

  31. Congrats on your NaNo win!
    If he’s meant to be scary and ferocious, then that pygmy does a great job!
    Sounds like your story is falling into place… πŸ™‚

  32. Congrats on winning NaNo!!! Great Pygmy pic. And it’s nice to have a husband that will brainstorm with you on your stories!!! My hubby hasn’t even read one word of my books. I’ve never read a book with pygmies, sounds interesting!!

  33. Have you ever played Pocket God? After playing that game I have a special place in my heart for those poor little pygmies! Yours looks appropriately angry. πŸ™‚
    Congrats on winning NaNo, and finding your pygmies a home in your story!

  34. Combining characters – making them do double or triple duty – is a great way to tighten up the story. Well done!

  35. Great looking pygmy. Great too that you worked them in and then won – congrats. I usually start with a ‘cast of thousands’ and then start killing them off or merging them, until they are no longer standing around tearing at the scenery. Thanks for visiting my IWSG post as well.

  36. A smaller cast will make it easier to write!

  37. Congrats on completing Nano! I had my head stuck in a game I’d been waiting to release for months, so all … er life was out the window.

  38. Such a cool pic! And congratulations on finishing NaNo! Woot! πŸ™‚ I know that feeling of something not quite right. I recently had to drop a whole chapter with what I called “midget werewolves” in my novel because they didn’t do anything for the plot. It was a fun chapter, but we all must make cuts to create the best stories we can.

  39. My biggest insecurity remains actually being able to pull off an 80k book. I keep cutting, and now need at least six more chapters. Choices, choices, choices. I hardly ever get stuck when I’m writing creative nonfiction, but stubborn me feels compelled to not give up on my book.

  40. Congratulations! πŸ™‚ And I am so pleased you found a place for your pygmies.

  41. hey loni!!!! glad it worked out for you. hubs can be inspirational when you least expect it. better go reward him! :)~ on the flip side… I say you get that tattooed!

  42. I just hate it when pygmies come in and ruin everything! That can be handy in fiction, though. Congrats on finishing! That’s a huge accomplishment.

  43. I’m looking forward to reading about your pygmies. My insecurities this month stem more from reading articles by authors suggesting that writers should limit themselves to revising their novels only four times, and calling that done. I’m only on round three, but in another month I will be on number five. So does that mean if I’m on round number five, I’m dumb – because I’ll probably still find things to improve? Because I know I will – I find a few new typos each time I go through something I added in the round before. Will I end up revising my novel eight times while the rest of the world gets the same amount of work done with only four runs through?
    So, insecure at times, yeah. Giving up, no. I’ll just convince myself to forget to count. I did it with my birthdays and I felt fine ever since, so why wouldn’t it work for how many times I revise my novel? πŸ™‚

  44. Oh, and I also meant to say –CONGRATULATIONS!

  45. Congratulations on winning Nano!

    I don’t worry so much about having a loose plot as having none at all. Glad you solved your problem.

  46. Yesssss! I hate that feeling. I’m so glad you overcame it!

  47. That’s just a loose end, you’ll get it tied together. The glory is being a winner and being done! Clean up and loose ends is just part of the editorial fun.

  48. You know, this is just how I pictured Fues too!

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