Life’s a Prompt

I was unsure what to write on my blog, but words came anyway. Hooray for words coming out of nowhere! It’s a little bit funny that I have no ideas to blog about, but have zero trouble thinking up story ideas. They are everywhere, because life’s a prompt. Just this week:

  • My friend’s cat ate a bunch of LEGO blocks which were perfectly recognizable on the X-ray. It was not a suicide attempt, we think. (picture book: Sad Cat went back to bed)
  • I was tinkering in my shiny new bullet journal for 2020 and realized a Swan-drawing is a two, so next year is the Year of the Twin-Swan, meaning double magic, of course. (Mulan meets The swan princess in this fantasy middle grade).
  • My youngest turned 9 and got a metal-detector for his birthday. We discovered a buried space ship in our tiny garden. It can also be a pipe, but that’s less cool, so it isn’t. (middle grade! Dad thinks it’s a pipe, but Simon knows it’s not)
  • I went to an art –reading and discovered a break-up letter can be a work of art. Also: there have been many women who were artists and were forgotten by history (or ignored). What if there’s a secret society they belong to and they secretly recruit new talented female artists. (Ya, contemporary mystery. Da Vinci code drenched in paint.)
  • I baked a lot of cupcakes and a drip cake which looked awesome, but transformed everyone at the party into the nine year old version of themselves. It turned out to be a cool party, but who is going to tell them the party is over? (creepy creepy MG)

See? Ideas are the easy part.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered. You’re dead.

I’m having a rough writing day.

Even though I know I don’t write linear I struggle to acknowledge that fact when writing. Stubborn as I am I start at chapter one, moving on to chapter two and almost always into what I call “ stuckness”.

This ugly non-existing word means I’m stuck in the story, whilst I know I have to write something further down the line to figure out how the story works, but can’t make myself do it, because I want to follow THE RULES, and go from A to Z in a straight line.

Why do I do this? I’m scared I won’t finish the story. I’m scared it will suck no matter how many rewrites I throw at it. Mostly I’m afraid I can’t do it. I’m also scared the story is too big for my brain to handle, and yet too simple to ever appeal to a reader. I’m scared I’m wasting time. The fear of writing also includes the following fears:

  • Not being original enough
  • Not knowing enough words
  • I write too much Dialogue
  • I’m terrible at Dialogue
  • I don’t write enough Dialogue (you see what I’m doing here right?)
  • My settings/descriptions suck
  • Big time
  • Every word I write is boring
  • I am so slooooooow, by the time I reach “the End” a century will have passed and all words are irrelevant

Conclusion: Writing is scary sometimes

My remedy for this looming feeling of dread near a keyboard is not writing on the story.

I tinker on a blurb, twitter pitch lines or the query letter instead. The fear will shrink and slowly I will add words to paper. (some days I just end up with a handful of blurb lines or sixteen different queries). The plus side is it helps me understand the story better.

My favorite pitch of today so far:

YA THE BLACKLIST with magic. 17 year old Jenya Olivier is the Messenger of Crime. Signed, sealed, delivered. You’re dead. (needs to be said Stevie Wonder Style of course).

Tweeting that one.