Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holy Thursday

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I can't believe it's Holy Thursday. The year is going by much too quickly. Yikes. But I really enjoyed the lesson I did with the three sessions I lead on Wednesdays at my church. I presented the Origin of the Eucharist. Perfect given today!

My day will be hectic. I have to do some shopping. No if ands or buts about it. Groceries and Easter stuff. This is my only non-kidlet time the rest of the week. Sunday's menu is complete, just need to buy the items. And eggs. And dye. The list goes on. Ack!

I will also be writing. I figured out a few more things out about my story. And yes, there is a story there. One that I can sustain for 50K words. One that actually has a hero and a heroine with opposing goals. Yay!

So a couple lessons learned (okay, relearned) that I don't want to forget again:

1) Percolation time required.

I submitted four ideas to my editor. One was more formed then the others. I'd even written a prologue that wouldn't go away so I could get back to my manuscript that was due. That book idea then percolating in my head while I finished up Firefighter Under the Mistletoe. But it wasn't the idea I choose to write first. Jumping into a new idea with out mulling on it for a bit is very hard for me. I know this. It's happened before. I'd forgotten.

2) Planning should be completed before starting.

I'm a plotter, not a panster. That means I need to plan things out. That doesn't mean I do a lot of pre-writing. Character interviews and such don't help me at all, but over the years I've found a couple of things that do work with my thought/writing process.

I realized I'd filled out Blake Snyder's Beat Sheet before starting on the first chapter, but I never did any of the Michael Hauge StoryMastery templates. Big mistake. One I rectified the past two days.

I first learned about Story Mastery in January 2010 at a workshop put on by my RWA chapter, The Rose City Romance Writers. Michael Hauge and Bob Mayer were the guest speakers. I made up templates to use based on that talk. This was my second workshop with Michael Hauge. I took a screenwriting course from him way back when in the Bay Area. I learned how to plot using the techniques he taught.

3) You can't rush it.

This one kind of goes along with #1. I had all the forms filled out with Firefighter Under the Mistletoe. I'd been thinking about the story for months. But it still took me several different attempts (and different scenes) to figure out the best way to open the story with. In that case, I was burned out. I needed a break to fill the well and get some sleep. That's one reason I want to build in some down time between projects this year.

When I go back over the lessons learned, I realize they don't apply just to my writing but to many of the other activities I'm involved in.

Note to self: Remember them!