On to the next project…

A couple of weeks ago I started my next project. I made previous posts of things I’m trying differently this time. For starters, I’ve read two books on the craft to get my mind in the right direction. I’ve learned the free-form style of just writing is great for practice, but when I really want to create a story I need structure. Taking the time to frame out the plot, create characters, and do an outline so far has helped.

What’s also different this time is, well, time. I have less of it but I’m starting think that’s a good thing. I’m married, with a young son, and a mortgage. All take time and for good reason. My writing seems to fit in whenever it can. I seem to do my best writing in the morning before work. I usually get about thirty minutes (possibly more if I’m not checking emails or the news). I aim to get down about 250 words. Sometimes it’s more or less – usually depends what kind of flow I’m in. What I do know is that the time I do have I use it and make it work.  

As I’m writing, I realize I’m not getting caught up in the minutia of details. I can remember my first chapter of my last project. I painstakingly described the characters clothes, the room, the weather outside, etc. all of which detracted from creating a strong opening. I know my approach is different and time will tell if it’s better than my last effort.

My take on this novel already has a different vibe to it and I like it. I feel less pressure to get it done and really enjoy telling the story. I’m hoping it will someday transform into something tangible that I will get published. I can’t worry about that now as I’m only concerned about one thing when I’m at my laptop: writing.



  1. Chris…have you considered getting a contributing editor on-board? It really HELPS! I’m lucky as my CE really believes in my work and is an avid reader (and has a connection or two). I am a technical writer by trade (airline, legal) BUT LOVE telling stories. Writing by the book is a non-sensical approach to telling a story as, so often, the words we choose define the actual outcome. My two finished novels ended COMPLETELY different than my outline intended. The situation that my CE pointed out was, due to the (to my) surprise endings, certain other information has to be injected into the story. WE ARE WAY TOO CLOSE to our stories! They are SO personal (I even cry when a character dies THAT I HADN’T planned on!)

    I am getting ready to start posting excerpts at my blog. You want to use social networking to drum up interest in your work. Do you Tweet? Do you have a Facebook account? Post excerpts. People won’t steal from you as MOST people can’t tell a story!

    • Kathleen,
      Thanks for the idea of considering a CE. I haven’t thought of using one and not quite sure I would go about doing it. I’m not really involved in any kind of writing community but I wish I was. I definitely need to find an outlet for my novel for a critique. You’re so right. We are too close to our stories. I believe you’re right in finding a third party to review work. For me, it’s a growth area of mine. As I get closer to finishing my first draft (or maybe sooner), I’ll find that avenue.


  2. Chris…I am also not a member of a writing community. My CE is a trusted friend I made online quite some time ago. She reads every genre and is an artist. Though I’ve never met her face to face, we have talked on the phone. The trick here is to find someone who can read your story and find the loose ends. Stephen King, et al, have interns to do this. I can’t afford interns.

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