Wednesday, April 07, 2021

IWSG April 7: On Risks and Challenges . . .

 Today is the first Wednesday of April, and it's time to check in with the Insecure Writer's Support Group. This online community of writers 'meets' via a blog hop, so join in to support other writers and to share your thoughts/reactions in response to this month's question.

April 7 IWSG Question: Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work? Please read on!

Doubts and fears since last month? No one is surprised that the pandemic has affected our writing habits and commitment. Somehow 'normal' challenges that can occur have seemed magnified through March. Usually, I write every day. Not last month. April also marks National Poetry Month, the one time a year I do attempt to write a poem a day. Again, not this year. 

For National Novel Writing Month (November), commonly referred to as NaNoWriMo, has issued a challenge and an invitation to Camp NaNoWriMo. For the month of April, participants set their own goals (writing and/or revising), and measure progress daily. And, I'm in. Happily in. My goal's set for a minimum of 500 words a day for a total of 15,000 for the month on my current project, Island Wife. Seven days in, and I've made/surpassed that goal of 500 words every day so far. 

Before, when the writing slowed down, I stopped.

Now, instead of stopping, I'm blocking out scenes and writing. When I slow down, I use scaffolding (a simple list rather than formal outlining) to map out the scene. This just might be a new skill I needed to learn. I hope my experience will help you!

Which brings us back to the question: What risks do I take when writing? Simply put, I'm pretty concerned with the story, somehow stuck in 1840's Scotland for this project. My characters are working class, so they have plenty of problems. My focus is on bringing my characters, their struggles, their emotions, and their setting to life. So, I don't feel like much of a risk-taker (other than being a writer, ho ho). 

Maybe the risk is in telling the story entwined with two points of view -- Moira and Dylan, separated at the beginning and perhaps reunited by the end of the story. Like following a braid, the reader travels deeper into each character's journey -- at least, that is my intention.

The question of taking risks is an interesting one that I hope to return to when I resume work on my art crime mystery series set in contemporary times (Egypt and Paris). For now, I'm making notes and hope to learn from what others have written for IWSG this month!  

Stop by to thank the co-hosts for IWSG's April 7 posting: PK Hrezo, Pat Garcia, SE White, Lisa Buie Collard, and Diane Burton!  As Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh, our fearless leader says, "Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!"

PS: Draft covers for Island Wife. Not sure which one . . . yet!