Friday, November 04, 2016

IWSG: Writing with Focus

We're on the road just now, at least until the elections are over, and I'm packing my relatively new travel computer, a massive 15" laptop. Too big. Too heavy. But, oh, does it have memory -- and speed. The Toshiba's a definite first choice over that cute mini HP netbook that can hardly take a semicolon before the memory flashes full. 

So I completely forgot about IWSG (Insecure Writers' Support Group) this month! Ouch! Two days late. Too many distractions. So on the first Wednesday of each month, participating writers share their challenges and current thoughts about writing.

My thoughts take me to FOCUS. As I think back over the last month, I can see real progress in taming an unwieldy first draft of about 90K. The draft is now divided into four workable sections, and I have a breathable outline for each section. Those plot holes look more like muddy puddles instead of bottomless pits. And there are far fewer plot holes!

My motivating mantra? End each writing session with a FOCUS QUESTION that emphasizes the story. Far too often, I end up writing about the story, editing, and researching. But by pushing any reading/research outside my writing time (early morning well before anyone else is up), I'm finally, finally telling the rest of the story.

I'm not writing with NaNoWriMo this year (too much), but you might like a daily writing blank sheet at  I love this site! This morning's research/reading led me to a hanging in 1845. It's so much fun when the words flow, the research meshes with the story, and the characters come alive.  May your own writing go well. Why not stop by to see what other IWSG writers are up to -- some 260 of us? Or join us!

We're still on the road for another week. This afternoon, we're traveling to Sisters, Oregon, to admire mountain vistas and maybe visit a quilt store. Yesterday, we spent hiking at Smith Rock. Yes, my office at home has books, a good computer, and quiet mornings. But when we're on the road, we get to explore . . . 

Smith Rock Vista
near Redmond, Oregon (November 2016)