October?? #IWSG

This Wednesday snuck up on me. I was typing away during my morning writing time when I came to the sudden realization of what today was–Insecure Writer’s Support Group day! Wha? Already?

I failed at my September goals. I didn’t once touch my Book 2 WIP, and my eating habits have been on a rollercoaster of ups, downs, and spinning whirls. But mentally, I’m in a good state right now. I’ve been plugging away at my companion novel, though there’s not a whole lot of word count to show for there. I’m at 17K (was at 9K last month), but I’ve been doing a lot of discarding and rewriting as I go along. You see, I established a light-hearted whimsy tone in the first chapter, which my critique group loved. But after I’d written the inciting incident, it turned dark fast. That brings me to the question of the month:

IWSG Question of the Month – In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?

Typically, I don’t shy away from much. I refuse to harm children in my stories because that parental part of me is all consuming. But other topics or language I might touch upon at some point.

The inciting incident of my companion novel involved assault and it forced me to face a dilemma. I couldn’t, in good conscience, keep that incident and return to the whimsy tone that I knew would be part of the rest of the story. It felt like I was diminishing it and the last thing I want to do is diminish the pain of someone who might face a similar incident. I thought long and hard on it, because it’s been the incident in my mind for years now, but that was where I drew the line. I wouldn’t make light of the assault.

So I tossed out 4K and switched it to her nearly getting eaten by a dragon-sized bird. Still a catalyst for her learning self-defense, but something I felt safe poking fun at.

I’ve since rewritten another 2K any time I lost that whimsy tone, so technically I’ve put over 25K toward this novel. The progress has been good (though not toward the project I really should be working on). But heck, I’ll take it.

How about you? Have you ever rewritten something because you don’t feel comfortable about how you represented it? Do you get distracted by side projects and end up abandoning your goals?

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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.

21 thoughts on “October?? #IWSG

  1. Hey, ten thousand words is great! I’ve had to refocus on a more limited number of tasks, I have too many side projects. Now if I can just get eating healthy and getting in shape onto my priority list…

  2. I’m sorry about your September goals, but it’s FANTASTIC that you’re in a good mental state. That’s a huge achievement!

    I’ve definitely had to rewrite/rethink things because I’m not sure if I’m handling them correctly/responsibly.

  3. I do a lot of tossing, re-writing, pacing, tossing. Hey, you’ve got ten thousand words. I’d say you’re on your way.

  4. What distracted me? Piffle . . .

    all the time! 🙂 I think finding the tone is key and sticking with it can be hard but it sounds like you’ve found a great way to do it.

  5. It sounds like you made a good call with the whimsical tone vs the darkness of the incident. Glad you’re happy with the result!

  6. Anna

    Rewriting to respect a possible victim’s feelings. Yes, I would. Nothing more offensive than adding a second injury to the first.

    FYI, I agree with your critter group and like light-hearted whimsy too. 😉

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  7. I think ‘distracted’ is a factory setting for me.

    Tone is always tricky. I’m doing dark, not gritty, but still some light humor for relief. Somewhere between Nick and Nora Charles and Sam Spade. Your point about respecting the realities of dark moments is well taken.

  8. Well done on so many words!
    The dragon sounds like a safe replacement.

  9. I love your new idea of “nearly getting eaten by a dragon-sized bird.” It would definitely be a catalyst for learning self-defense. In general though, I think you could make fun of most horrific events. Laughing at death and assault, mocking the villains would diminish their impact on the character, make the incident less scary and remove its power over the hero. For some people, that would be the only way to move forward, not to drown in the terrifying memories.

  10. Sounds like you did very well. 17K is a good start. You’ll be finished before you know it. I’m happy to hear you’re in a good place.

  11. I think it’s fantastic you are in a good mental state. And even though you didn’t meet your goals on one project, it sounds like you’re doing great with another project. I only work on one project at a time because I’m a slow writer.

  12. Joleene Naylor

    My stuff is pretty dark, so there’s not much I shy away from – there are words I won’t use that characters try to say, so I just cut them off halfway through the word somehow, people get the gist but I don’t have to use it.

  13. An uneven tone would throw readers off.

    Right now I am distracted by everything. I can handle chaos in my working life, but not when it floods the world, too.

  14. Sounds like that was a good plan, not making light of someone’s pain. Tone is so important, and there’s not enough whimsy in the world.

  15. At least you are writing something been struggling with that myself.

  16. Glad you were able to figure it out and keep the whimsical tone. I’d say any amount of writing should count as a win!

  17. A darker tone after an inciting incident such as that is justifiable and needed, but since your story will continue the whimsical tone, you made the right decision. ❤️

  18. Sounds like you made the right choice in regards to the tone.

  19. Don’t you hate when you have to change a scene, especially when you’ve had it in your head for years? But you know the story would be BETTER without it? Ugg. Those are the worst! Glad you made the decision and are keeping the whimsy tone 🙂

  20. Great work on so many words! I’ve been falling behind myself, but hopefully I can pump myself up to do NaNoWriMo next month. It’s tough with scenes like that in stories. I have a moral line that I won’t cross, even if it is so difficult at times.

  21. I’ve spent the last month cleaning up a novel. I’ve got 34 chapters of crap to wade through. LOL

    Smart move on the killer bird. I’m like you, when I add a dark curve to a story, I want to make sure I’ve given it the weight it deserves.

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