Everyday life is full of choices, changes and challenges for each of us, but so, also, is the writing life.
Challenges: As I purge and pack the accumulation of many, many years in my present residence in preparation for a move later this year, I feel a bit overwhelmed by the writing projects looming before me. Well into the current novel, WEDDING AT NEW CANA, I seem to have developed -- shhh -- writer's block. With the mess of packing around me, I just don't seem to be able to break through.
Choices: Timing! This morning's e-mail brought an invitation from Randy Ingermanson via his own writers' blog: http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/blog/2010/05/24/got-a-question-get-an-answer/ Holler for help and see what kind of lifeline Randy throws me.
I sent my question: Lois Hudson Says: May 25th, 2010 at 7:22 am "I have been developing plot lines for several novels that I envisioned as stand-alones; however, current advice recommends series proposals. The only thing that might connect my stories besides the era (pre- and post-WWII) is the possibility of placing them all in one town. That was not my original intention–even had mapped out the towns in which they take place. Now I’m almost overwhelmed in planning out the way the stories might overlap if I move the characters into the one town. Then I must insert mention of the characters in the current WIP which is already 12 chapters going. Any recommendations on laying it out? I think I need a huge grid of dates, plot lines, where the characters can intersect, etc. It has me frozen. Thanks for the Q&A options."
At least it was action taken. It got me out of the frustrated funk I was in yesterday.
Changes: In the meantime I have pulled everything out of two large - very large - closets to purge and pack. I'm a saver. Everything anybody has ever given me immediately becomes sacred, never to be thrown or given away. Books, especially! But I'm learning. All the household organizational gurus insist we must cut half of what we've accumulated. I've learned that if I do my purging one day, then look at the saved pile the next day, I can usually get rid of another third. That's real change for me.
It's a bit different with the stories. Publishers are looking for series possibilities now instead of stand-alone novels. How can I merge and manage the populations of several towns, and intertwine their stories in such a way that one story emerges from the one before, seamlessly and naturally? Has anyone else dealt with this, or a similar challenge? Tell me about it.
P.S. I highly recommend Randy Ingermanson's blog as well as all the other writing help he offers at his website: http://www.ingermanson.com/. Check him out!