May Take A While #IWSG

Happy May everyone! Today, my parents have been married for 48 years. Woot! I hope you join me in wishing them a very happy anniversary. šŸ™‚

I didn’t accomplish much toward my personal goals in April. We had our big launch at work, followed by a frenzy of fixes and tweaks. It didn’t leave much mental processing available for things like plot problems and story issues.

And I have those aplenty. Book 2 had me announcing it was a flaming pile of poo while I spiraled into a depressive funk caused by all the rewrites I know await me. You’d think I was a perfectionist by how much I’ve put into this book. I’m not. Seriously. But a critique group member had repeatedly stated how valuable he found Brandon Sanderon’s talk on Plot, and I had to go listen to it and see what I could apply. There were aspects I felt I conquered in previous rewrites, such as structure and circling back to themes. But promises, progress, and payoffs?

I found I was lacking in the “progress” portion of the alliteration. I’d made promises about my main character where he has to step into a role he really doesn’t want. He evades it for 75% of the book—first intentionally, then unintentionally. It’s the unintentional part that’s the problem. I dropped all focus on that subplot because he wasn’t around the entity who was hounding him to step into the role. I see now how that’s a problem.

That’s just five more chapters added to my rewrite list. *sigh*

IWSG Question of the Month – Has any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn’t expect? If so, did it surprise you?

Does my sister-in-law telling me she absolutely hated my first-draft main characters count? I certainly hadn’t been expecting that.

Do you ever try to apply new knowledge to an existing project? How did that go? Are you making progress with your work?

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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.

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

19 thoughts on “May Take A While #IWSG

  1. Happy anniversary to your parents!!

    I run a writers group in which I give a monthly presentation on some aspect of writing. In the process of prepping and researching for it, I generally end up applying whatever the subject is to my own WIP. This month, I’m talking about writing endings, and I keep saying things like, “Huh. Maybe THIS is the problem I’m having.” Always eye-opening and interesting. Even if it does result in more work.

    Best of luck with your rewrites. Just think about how AMAZING that story will be when it’s done. šŸ™‚

  2. Damn! Once again I was reminded that this month’s IWSG post was due when I spotted your tweet about your IWSG post. I can believe I let May slip up on me like that again.

    Your book 2 has a lot of stuff going on, so it makes sense that it will take a lot of work to get everything into shape.

    I wish your parents a happy anniversary!

  3. Congratulations to your parents on their anniversary. 48 years is quite an achievement. This year will mark the 24th for my wife and me so we’re half way to where your parents are now.

    A writer would hope that some of their biggest supporters would be their own family, but I don’t think that is often the case.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  4. Anna

    Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

    Sometimes crit groups can be hard on a person. When I crit, I almost always say, “It’s your story, and only you know where you want it to go.” I never forget that a writer’s instincts are more important than my opinion. From what you’ve written over the last few months I know you are spot on with your instincts. You know what you want to change. Stick with that.

    I read how-to-write manuals often and have taken up watching writer’s webinars as well. And hell yeah, I’ve used what I’ve learned to fine tune my work. But I choose what applies and what I think will help and ignore the rest.

    Have a good month.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  5. Happy anniversary to your parents!
    You have a very blunt sister.
    Five chapters. You can do it.

  6. Happy Anniversary to your parents! I’ll have to check out Brandon Sanderson’s YouTube talks. I’ve heard they’re good. And having to rewrite five chapters isn’t bad. You’re almost there!

  7. Happy Anniversary Loni’s parents!

    OUCH, the sis-in-law was brutal.

    I try to apply new stuff all the time. šŸ™‚

  8. All the best to your parents!

    Wow. The sister-in-law seems to have some latent hostility issues. I have a family member like that, and she will never get to read my stuff before it’s published.

    Thanks for the Sanderson link. I love his work! Promises, progress, and payoffs should be a mantra for fiction writers!

  9. My best wishes to your parents.
    My son also loves Sanderson’s writing videos. I need to watch them too.

  10. Did you ask your sister, “No, tell me what you really think!”? LOL

    Happy anniversary to your parents. We just celebrated 30 years. Next year we’ll get to do that celebration right, too.

  11. Congrats to your parents! 48 years is a big deal. Sometimes those brutal critiques can really hurt. Thanks for the Sanderson link! It sounds intriguing!

  12. It sucks while you’re in rewrites, but you’ll be happier with the end result. I can think of so many things that were hell while going through, but out the other end, I was happy that I had taken the trouble. (I tell this to students all the time. They don’t believe me. Because it sucks to go through it.)

    Good luck with rewrites. Maybe take a break before starting in on them?

  13. Happy Anniversary to your parents! We’re at 22 years. šŸ™‚

  14. Happy Anniversary to your parents!
    I feel like I’m in a similar place, stuck in the funk of knowing I have so much work to do.

  15. Sarah Brentyn

    Happy Anniversary to your parents! šŸ„‚

    I didn’t get much accomplished in April, either. Sounds like you’ve got a lot of work ahead but you know where you’re going and pretty much exactly what needs to be done. That’s…good. I mean, it is good but might not feel like it right now.

    I hope May gives you a bit more breathing room/space to process your writing.

    (The reaction to hating your main characters is weird. Like, all of them?)

  16. I love your little squirrel hugging the red bull, or at least I think it’s a red bull.

    I do find tips and apply them to what I’m working on. I have never heard this plot talk. I’ll have to check it out.

    My first book I ever wrote, my mother read it and said it sucked. I was like, whhhaaattt??? She pointed out that I was trying too hard to impress her with all my writing techniques and forgetting to tell a good story. The next book? She didn’t like that much better. She said my plot was predictable and my characters were trite. I rewrote it and when she said it was good, I about fell over.

  17. Happy anniversary to your parents!

  18. First of all, congrats to your parents! That is insanely awesome. Secondly, I get having little to zero brain power after work. Bet your happy the launch is over! And remember, every time you work on your story, you’re making it better. Every edit. Every rewrite…it’s getting better each time.

    Hang in there! You’re doing GREAT!

  19. Happy belated anniversary to mom and dad! Rewriting is such a challenging process. It is my least favorite. Edits & rewrite – yuck! All you can do is keep moving forward!! You can do it!


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