Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

IWSG: November Challenges

The Insecure Writers Study Group invites writers to post their thoughts about writing challenges/insecurities the first Wednesday of the month. Here are  mine:

Challenge: NaNoWriMo. Every writer dreads the words: writers' block. When this happens, we may find ourselves stuck for days or weeks or months for an annoyingly long list of reasons. Because real life does happen outside our imaginations, and we cope the best we can. Sometimes that translates into fewer words on the page than we want. Enter NaNoWriMo to the rescue!

I do appreciate NaNo very much because my efforts to meet the goal of writing 1,600 words each day -- even crappy words -- pushes me into new territory. I mean this quite literally. Generally, I'm a recursive writer, going over scenes instead of moving forward. 

My current wip is close to that editing stage, but I discovered in the read through up to NaNo several problems in the main character's story arc which led to a major restructuring of the plot. And that led to missing chunks -- scenes, characters, plot points. All those tidy 3x5 cards on my corkboard came down. New cards went up, and I'm writing those 1,600 words a day . . . so far.

Challenge: Marketing. The other challenge I'm confronting is the dragon known as marketing. I have mapped out steps to take, but like many other writers, I'd rather be writing! Encouraged by what other indie writers have done, I've set up a GoodReads giveaway, scheduled three free days on Amazon through KDP, and sent out my first e-mailed newsletter this year. See links below. 

If it were only for myself, I wouldn't feel so inadequate. But over the summer, I editing and formatted my dear husband's (DH) Vietnam war novel for launch during Veteran's Day week. The book is not an easy read, but tells a story that I really believe needs to be out there. 

Challenge: Being an active part of a writing community sometimes seems like one commitment too many. Setting measurable goals and then assessing my performance is never easy. 

But in the process of setting those goals, something happens. I make progress. I gain insights about the writing and marketing process, and, hopefully, my comments help other writers.  

So I will continue my commitment to online groups like the Insecure Writers Support Group, A Round of Words in 80 Days, NaNoWriMo, and WIPpet Wednesday -- and face-to-face groups, like Spokane Authors. 

If any of these groups are new to you, why not check them out?

Now back to the writing. For WIPpet Wednesday, here's an excerpt from Rivers of Stone, based on today's date: November 11 = 11 + 4 (for today's date) = 15 + 2 (for my second post for IWSG):   In Rivers of Stone, my heroine, Cat, disguised as a boy, crosses the Rockies with a fur brigade in the winter of 1846:

After a short conference, two of the strongest men made a chair of their hands for Mary Lane to sit upon. Cat watched as they carefully carried her across the Wood River, holding her aloft when the water ran waist deep. Then it was Cat’s turn. Though she was one of the smallest, she was not carried. Cat gasped as the ice-choked water reached her chest. She grabbed the hand of the man next to her. One by one, each man held hands to support each other as they crossed.  

“I’m glad that’s behind us,” said Cat as each man pulled the next onto the bank.

“Dinna be so fast to celebrate. We have a few more crossings ahead.” Thurston pointed at the snake-shaped river ahead of them. Before breakfast, they crossed the Wood River another thirty-six times. 

“We’ll halt here for breakfast,” shouted Lane. “Rum to warm us, a bit of food to lighten our load, and then we’ve got the swamp.” He waved at the open, marshy area that opened ahead of them. “’Tis about three miles. That should be easy,” Lane said, “after all we’ve done.” 

Athabasca River near Jasper, Wikipedia

As the picture suggests, I'm with my characters on a winter crossing of the Rockies. Make it a good week!


Allen's website for REACHING: A Vietnam War Novel and links to the GoodReads Giveaway (November 4-15).  NOTE: Reaching (Kindle format) will be offered as a freebie November 10-11-12 to honor Veteran's Day.

Links to my GoodReads Giveaway for Years of Stone (paperback) (November 4-12), and my first newsletter of the year through MailChimp. 

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