Unable to put into words what you see? Try this trick.

If you are having a hard time putting down the visual you see your mind, close your eyes, immerse yourself in the scene and then type. Don’t worry about mistakes. Don’t worry about wording. Just write what you see in as much detail as you can. When done, open your eyes, fix the spelling errors (there will probably be a lot!) then edit. It is amazing how easy it is to put down in words what you see in your mind when there are no distractions from what is around you.

Rabbit Hole: How deep does it go?

One of my favorite authors, Laurel K Hamilton, has recently been talking about what she refers to as “Rabbit Holes”. This is when the story you are writing starts down a path that does not necessarily go along with the plot yet we, as writers, either don’t recognize it or decide to see where the tunnel leads. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and we can find out way out and sometimes it leads us down into darkness only to leave us stranded and wondering how the hell we got here in the first place. Then comes the ponderous job of going back and trying to figure out where we fell in. I think this may be what has happened to me as I sit writing the second book to Destiny. The problem is I’m not sure.

It is true that the original story has changed quite a bit in the years that I have been writing and tweaking it. I realized that there was something that was missing. A piece that would explain some of my characters behaviors. I’ve said this before so I won’t delve to deep into this part, but I thought maybe it needed a supernatural aspect to it. Sure enough things became clearer. New characters were introduced, sub-plots, and as events began to fall together where this story may be going.

As I started writing the second book (I still don’t know what to call it), I realized that I may not be able to keep some of the original storyline that kept the storyline going. That would bring in key characters that would play major roles later on in the story. How to fix that. Then the first rabbit hole appeared as one of the major characters in Destiny that I thought would be around for awhile went and got himself killed. I’ve tried to see another way for this to happen, like maybe when I planned for this character to die much later in the series, but no, the act has been committed and apparently it is going to stay right where I didn’t not plan it to happen. A second tunnel appeared as one of my characters started not acting like himself. In fact he is so out of character it is starting to worry me. This is the one tunnel that I am not sure if I can backtrack and re-route. It fits, yet it doesn’t. The action is appropriated to the scenario, and the scenario needs to stay, yet that character needs to get his head out of his….well you get the idea.

The book is far from done, yet I am afraid I may have to scrap it and start over again. Something I don’t want to do. So more thinking, more writing and we will see if there is an end to this to this tunnel and I will see the light of day, or if I will dig myself into an even deeper hole and drown in the darkness.

Have a wonderful day. 🙂

Words That Haunt My Writing

As a writer, I am always learning. What words work, what don’t. Does that comma really belong there, or should I leave it out? Better yet, should I put one there? Then there are certain words that always make me stumble.

Then…than. It’s a work in progress to remember which one to use and to not overuse them.

Slide…slid, your…you’re.  These are more I know which is which, it is just my fingers don’t always type what my mind says. Then when I edit I miss them.

Just! (Which I just used in the above sentence. LOL) This word isn’t needed most of the time and needs to be deleted.

Up. For some reason I also use this word when it isn’t needed. “We went up to the door and opened it” when “We went to the door and opened it” is so much cleaner.

There are a few more, but the ones I have recently realized I over use are get, got, getting and gotten. There are so many other words that would fit and sound better than ‘get’. For instance, “I get it” would work, however “I understand” sounds a bit more sophisticated in my mind. “When we get there” sound  better as “When we arrive”.

Maybe I’m being picky, but as I re read one of my stories I have decided I need to ‘get’ rid of a few of those words. Editing, a never ending process that even when you think are done there is more to do. Sigh….

© 2015 Heidi Barnes