My Cluttered Hard Drive

black-18320_1920I don’t tend to hang onto things, and I actually enjoy cleaning out closets and getting rid of clutter.  On the other hand, I never throw any of my writing away.  Right now, I have several floppy discs (old school!) full of unfinished pieces I wrote about thirty years ago.  Although I’ll probably never be able to get at that data since I haven’t had a floppy drive on my computer in this century, I take comfort in the fact that the work is preserved there.

Unfortunately, hanging onto all of that unfinished work means that I often waste time re-reading the old stories rather than working on new ones.  After all, there are reasons why those incomplete novels were never completed.  Usually, the plot is broken, or the characters are cardboard, or I need to do some research.

 

Still, I like to tinker with them.  I recently completed a women’s fiction novel called Just the Two of Us, and it’s hanging around on my hard drive waiting for something to happen.  Until I decide what to do with it, I’m trying to write something else.  Which is proving impossible since I can’t seem to settle on any one thing.  Already, I’ve attempted two novels, each of which are going nowhere.

Now, I’ll save those two novels with the others in my ‘unfinished’ folder in hopes that, some day, I’ll complete them.  Hopefully, my computer hard drive can handle more files.

 

Road Map to Writing

IMG_0444Whenever I begin a writing project I feel like an explorer entering a new world.  I have no idea where I am, where I’m going, or what I’m looking for.  All I can do is press on and hope to discover something exciting.

This year, I’m beginning a new writing project in a completely different genre than I’m used to.  Already, the manuscript has taken many left turns.  What started as a romance has become a mystery.  The male main character was a man, but now she’s a woman.  Third-person point of view has changed to first.  I’ve added some characters and deleted others.  I know that, eventually, I’ll end up with something I like, but getting to that point will take time.  What I really need on this voyage is a good guidebook!

Enter one of my favorite writers, Anne Lamott.  I’ve read Bird by Bird before, but I want to study it all over again.  Bird by Bird is part autobiography part writing bible.  It’s funny and encouraging.  It boosted my confidence as a writer when I first read it, and I’m looking to it now to give me inspiration.

There are many great books on how to write a novel, but this one remains my favorite.  I can’t wait to continue on my journey of both reading and writing.

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