Tag Archives: novel writing

So What Happened to the Writing Class?


Well, in three words… It’s on hold.

I progressed through three weeks of it, and really enjoyed it, learned a lot of things, was reminded of even more things, read some interesting short stories I never would have otherwise read, that I hated at first, and then came to see were quite compelling in their way. I still remember some of the images they conjured up, and the fascinating techniques that were employed. And I even think I may have the start of several short pieces of my own. So I definitely plan to get back to it once I have a little more of The Other Side of the Sky under my belt… like perhaps a first draft!

So why did I stop?

Well, for Lesson three we were to go somewhere and observe someone and make detailed notes in our writing notebook. I went to Starbucks, got my latte and blueberry scone and a table to go with them where I sat and observed a young girl on the other side of the glass, seated slightly facing away from me as she focused on her smart phone.

It was fascinating. I took lots of notes. Then I came home and looked through the accompanying class sheets designed to aid us in developing a character and realized that I had already done all that when I was developing my characters for Sky. I have a huge notebook with all the notes… I didn’t need another character!

Also, by that time I’d begun doing the writing exercises from the standpoint of my WIP, and the lights began to come on again with respect to the book, so that I started working regularly on it…

But then came an emergency trip to California in October, followed by visits from our son and his family for Thanksgiving, followed by the all-too-soon advent of Christmas and another trip to CA, and my writing work took a back seat to all of that. I’ve picked it up again these last couple of weeks and…dare I say it? …things are going well. Which is to say, I’m moving through chapter 13, rather than staring out the window blankly..

None of which is to say that I’ve abandoned the class, because I haven’t. Sky just happens to be the writing project with the (sort of)  deadline, while the class is self-regulated. I can stop now and take it up again as I choose. In fact, I’m looking forward to doing that when I have the time…

Relearning the Story

In addition to the developments I described in my A New Week post the other day, I’ve also had a change of focus with respect to what I am doing in regards to the book writing itself.

You may recall I’ve described time and again the feeling of blankness that’s come over me as I go in and try to work. The sense that I have no idea what I want to do, what anything’s about, where I’m going…

So concurrent with the other realizations… or are they new directions? …it suddenly occurred to me that I have an entire notebook of developmental notes on this novel-in-progress. A fat notebook. I have writings about characters, about various aspects of the world, the races, the churches, the conflicts, the aliens, the history…the PLOT!

A notebook I’ve been ignoring. So, recalling that I had this notebook full of stuff… I thought maybe I should be looking at that instead of trying to pull stuff out of the air, or “remember” what I had intended. Plus, just coming in and reading through all these notes (many from 2001) I’ve given myself something concrete to do, something I actually can do, and that, I think, will help me to reform the habit of daily work.

So far it’s been very effective.  🙂