Friday, April 15, 2011

The Process.... sorta

If you follow me on Twitter (Mia Watts), you'll have seen me post about my upcoming release, Hitched (Resplendence, June 29th). I've been trying to work out the plot, and coming up empty. Since I'm not really someone who plots things, rather I let the story unfold organically, all I really need to know are who the characters are, and what the basic problem will be. The rest is driven by the characters and how they react or develop the plot from there.

I've put my subconscious to work on it. Thank you all who responded to that post. Unfortunately, my subconscious is way too wrapped up in having fun while I sleep. Last night, it I dreamed about swimming laps in sweat pants and a bra. Every time I got out of the pool, someone would tell me to change my diapers. I'd be all, "I don't wear diapers." And they'd be all, "Well, you just sh*t your pants." And I'd be all, "No, I didn't." And I'd pull out my waistband but sure enough, there was stuff. And then! THEN I had dreams about my cat lecturing me on proper cat etiquette.

I chalk this all up to the fact that she didn't approve of the way I had her litter box cleaned yesterday. I know this, because it's cleaned every single day, sometimes twice. But yesterday, I let my younger niece do it. And my reward? My adorable cat picked up a dry turd and gently placed it beside my work chair. Then sat there and looked at me.

She's so damn picky.

Oh, but I got sidetracked. This is about The Process of Writing, which is always so formal sounding and therefore deserves the caps. Okay, so this book is biting my ass. Reluctantly, there are times when I have to pull out the drawing board. Sometimes seeing it on paper helps me put the pieces together in my mind. So here's what The Process of Writing looks like to Mia, when Mia is stuck and must use actual handwriting to get a thought down (while referring to herself in third person like a whack-job).

The indispensable drawing pad.
Having a large drawing pad to make plot webs is incredibly valuable. Especially if you are a visual person like me.

I fretted kind of loudly, so my cat came to investigate and offer solace. I decided to tell her my problem, because she was the only one here, and listening.
Then I started off with the things I already know about the book. Things that are involved in the "Series Bible" that can't change and must be incorporated. Do ctrl + in order to increase your screen to read. No messy handwriting comments. I know already.

Then I stopped for a nutritional breakfast of Greek yogurt with a handful of Cracklin' Oat Bran. Yum.
Next I thought maybe I should put down the things I knew had to appear in the story. Because I was wasting time and thought, what the hell.

My cat had some advice.

I agreed with her, and put it all in a Plot Web. This is where you put down the characters, and all the elements that must be in the story. Then you link why they have to be there, and connect the elements together where they are either integral parts (solid red curve), or areas of possible sub-plot because of conflict where two things might merge (the double break in the line). Usually, the conflict comes to me this way. As yet, I'm still undecided on the primary conflict.

My cat is not impressed. She's patronizing me about the complaining issue again.
 So The Process of Writing is definitely different for everyone. This is one of my methods for when I'm really stuck. Apparently, I'm going to have to set this book aside today and work on another one.


Amber Skyze said...

Okay you take the cake with the dreams. Mine are usually of someone trying to kill me or the DH hooking up with some hot chick.

Good Luck getting this book figured out...keep talking to the cat.

Mia Watts said...

Last night it was all about spiders and mice. Spiders I dropped in bucketfuls to kill the one black ant I found in my kitchen yesterday. Then a bucketful of mice to kill the spiders. I called my cat in to take care of the mice, and she sneezed on them, so I walked away telling the mice where they could find the food and to please put away their dishes when they finished.

And Bronwyn thinks I'm weird. Whatevs! I'm TOTALLY normal (-ish).

And people do talk to their pets. I'm just sayin'.

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