Give yourself permission to absolutely SUCK!

My simplest rule for myself as a writer is: if I’m not having fun with a scene, I rewrite it until I am. If I can’t make it fun, it goes – Joe Hill

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This past week was all about head banging against a wall. It was painful and for the first time in a while I felt really, really stuck. Normally my muse comes up with some sort of magic to fix whatever snags I identify along the way, but on this occasion the muse vanished and I was STUCK. I think it happened because I ignored the little feeling in the back of my head that said ‘I’m not sure that these new scenes you put in your outline are even necessary.’  Well how could they NOT be necessary? They had all the requirements for a scene! I also just spent weeks beforehand compiling a new outline for my rewrite that transformed my horrible first draft into a book I was actually excited to write about again so how could everything be wrong before I even wrote a single new word?

Going through the conflict arcs for my story really helped open my eyes to ‘that part’ which wasn’t running as smoothly as the rest – so I cut it. A few days later I even cut one of the new characters it introduced realizing he was stupid and not necessary. He wasn’t in my first draft and why on earth did I think he needed to be in this one? However, I couldn’t for the life of me think of anything new to put in place. How could someone with a crazy mind such as mine come up with NOTHING? I tried every trick I knew. I did some word building, free writing, index card shuffling, visited writing forums for inspiration and…nothing.

I realize now that I was trying too hard. I was also feeling quite flat from not leaving the house often enough and putting so much pressure on myself which resulted in the lack of balance in my life. Just being online was draining me. Everything was sucking out my soul – my disorganized work space, my messy bedroom, my lack of exercising.

So after giving myself permission to have crap ideas I managed to come up with cooler ones!

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I spend last night writing out my scenes on large neon pink post-it notes and sticking it to the back of my door. I don’t know if it was the color, or just being in a different space that did it, but I was able to come up with ideas to fill the gaping hole in the middle.

I’ve decided to take it easy this week. I’ll look through the outline which I’m once again happy with but won’t rush into doing anything more with it. After all, I have an engagement party to pull off this weekend and fresh air to breathe!

Hopefully taking a healthier approach to revision will make my ideas sparkle all over the page once again. That’s the plan anyway!

This week is all about breathing and re-energizing.

Happy revising everyone and don’t forget to just breathe...and step away from all things social media and screens every once and a while. Feels so good.

Love and light,

Anushka

xx

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Red Wine Grudges

Let your fiction grow out of the land beneath your feet –  Willa Cather

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Last night I decided to treat myself and have a glass of red while reading in bed. If only that image was as romantic to the soul as it seemed. I managed to spill it….everywhere. The wine even managed to grace my laptop which was no where near me, leaving bloody droplets all over beautiful light carpet. If anyone asks me about it again I’m probably just going to tell them I killed someone. Their cat maybe .But this extremely irritating experience did prove to be a writing lesson in disguise…DO NOT WRITE WITH BEVERAGES ANYWHERE NEAR YOU!  If that wine had spilled all over my manuscript and hand written notes I would have been devastated and very, very heart broken. I have now made it a point to put all WIP consuming beverages on the chair next to me…or all the way over there. It does not explain what the gigantic water jug is doing right next to my laptop though. It really does take a while to form a habit!  In other related news my USB decided to take a trip down the washing machine! If I had not backed my work anywhere else I would probably be crying right about now! But I did discover that by putting the drowned USB in a cup of rice (to take all the moisture away) saved it! I can still access everything on there!

In WIP news, I have managed to develop and flesh out all my character bios which inspired so much imagery in my head. My WIP is based in Russia and I’m using a lot of folklore inspiration for it and I love how it is adding another darker layer to what I already have – really looking forward to the rewrite! I love Russian fairy tales and how they are morbid in comparison to the commercialized stories people are used to. Not many happily ever afters…and when there is a happily ever after tale you still feel kind of…disturbed. I plan on reading Russian fairy tales to my future children.

This week I hope to be much more productive. I had a really bad head cold last week and everything seemed to move in slowwwww motion and I’m actually surprised that I am still on top of my revision schedule. This week is all about tracking conflicts and flower arrangements.

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Pinterest and other random WIP ramblings

“It takes courage to be a writer. Courage to face yourself, work through your demons & make your art.” Terry Rossio

I’m falling in love with my story all over again. It’s been a tough and fulfilling couple of weeks…I’ve really had to sit down and put together a scene outline of what I want my book to be when I finally begin the rewrite process and I’m really excited to begin every single scene like right now. I know that things will change along the way (hopefully for the better, because that’s the kind of writer I am) but it’s good to know that I’m starting off with something that doesn’t resemble my first draft! My outline has grown by 10 more scenes and the majority of the outline encompasses new scenes or scenes which require an 80%+ rewrite. More importantly…they are more exciting to write!

I also signed up with a pinterest account over a month ago and I never realized I was a visual writer. I just thought everything happened in my head – but  it’s good to be open to other avenues of creativity (outside my head). Just seeing photos which inspire my work really helps me get a solid grounding in my world…which is how I should have felt like during my first draft! I plan on having a few of them printed out and stuck all over my writing space once I begin my heavy rewrite.  I’m also thinking of having a playlist and so far I have lots of creepy music box/ circus music. If anyone has any suggestions for innocent yet creepy sounding music let me know. It’s something I am drawn to and afraid off, so I foresee myself being extremely terrified of every noise around my house in the following months!

Right now I’m working on character bios. Surprisingly I did have some handy during my first draft (not that I ever looked at them!). Just redoing some of the major ones is making me learn more twists and turns to my story so in the future I think I will put more time towards them! And who would have thought that combining a few weaker characters together will give you a even cooler villain??

So goals for the week:

– Complete character bios

– Dedicate 10minutes everyday before I sit down to revise updating my pinterest…since it’s actually helpful and not so much a distraction, unless I start drooling over wedding cakes!

– Double check to see if my work is still backed up in multiple places

– Chase down R.S.V.Ps for a certain someone’s engagement party…like hello….does no one understand how to R.S.V.P anymore? I am not a mind reader! Expect a future rant about this issue in the future. Facebook has turned everyone’s brains to virtual rubbish. (I’ve deactivated my account and I have to say it feels great!)

If anyone would like to follow my boards on pinterest it’s http://pinterest.com/thatcreature/novel-inspirations/ You’ll probably be shocked to discover that my name isn’t findingmycreature ;p Also if you had an account, just leave your link in the comment and I’ll have a bit of a sneak into your mind too.

How is everyone’s WIP going? I may not be active on this blog most days, but I get notifications when the people I follow post something new and I just want to say it’s inspiring to know that somewhere out there there’s another author working on their love.

Love and Light,

Anushka

xx 

What's her story? Fallen lover in arms?Photo

 

Back into the Cave of Revision

Writing a novel is just like writing 3,215 tweets connected by a solid story arc, compelling characters, and a strong sense of place -Yuvi Zalkow

Today is officially my second day of getting back into my first draft revision and I finally feel like I’m making progress. I stumbled across a few long-forgotten notes and was stunned to realize that I have already logged in 48hours of solid revision-related work before I had my break from revision. I honestly have no idea how I managed to fit all that in between moving my life to Canada and working. I surprise myself sometimes. I’m even more surprised that I kept a record. Therefore I have made a point to record what I’ve done each day to see how I can use that information to be more efficient in the future and to know when I procrastinate too much!

My next step in my revision plan-of-attack is outlining the book I want for my final rewrite (the one that’s in my head). So I’m really going to have to think about this and make sure it’s not a repeat of my first draft outline! But I know that story so much better now and I know the transformation from first draft to revised draft will be massive!  For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been using Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel (HTRYN) course as a guide during this process and do not regret it in the slightest. There aren’t many writing related books/courses that sing to me, but all of Holly’s stuff does. Maybe it’s her no bullshit approach. 

Oh and on a totally unrelated note, I think I finally have a title…but I’ll savor it for now and see if it still captures me.

That is all for now.

Love and light xx