Wednesday, August 6, 2014


ALEX J. CAVANAUGH'S awesome co-hosts for the August 6 posting of the IWSG will be Sarah Foster, Joylene Nowell Butler, Lily Eva, and Rhonda Albom!

  Be sure to visit the
Insecure Writer’s Support Group Website!!!

Genre? Check: Mystery

Length? Check: Novel/75K

Setting? Check: Wisconsin

Protagonist? Check: Pepper Bibeau

Plot? Antagonist? Main Characters? Story Structure? Subplots? First Sentence? Motive? Method? Open with action or build to it? Prologue? Climax? Denouement? Epilogue? 

So many questions and decisions make the idea of writing a novel daunting. If every question had to be answered and every decision made before the writing began, there probably wouldn’t be any libraries or book stores. 

I reminded myself often that it wasn’t necessary to know exactly where I was going, and who did what at every turn, before I could write the next scene or chapter. Some days I wrote two thousand words, other days barely two hundred. On three days of the five weeks I spent writing the first draft, I wrote over five thousand words. Those prolific days produced accomplishments and memories that encouraged me to write another day. 

That’s all it takes, some encouragement to write for one more day, because you cannot write for two days at one time. 

Another trick that kept me moving forward was doing only small stretches of research. If I needed information to advance the plot, I would do a quick check on the Internet for details to assure that what I wanted to do wouldn’t paint me into a corner. Next month, I will learn the weight of a rifle loaded and unloaded, the exact distance from one county to another, and the correct bait needed to catch sunfish in June. Knowing a rifle fits into the story, the driving distance is feasible, and catching sunfish in June is legal, I could keep writing. 

What encourages you to keep writing?



  1. My ideas, observations, memories, hopes for the world and dreams inspire my writing. You're so right. There is an almost overwhelming amount of elements that go into the art of fiction. Together as writers we can muster through, gaining feedback and insights along the way. (IWSG)

  2. You are so right, it is incredibly daunting. It's extremely difficult to face. I'd rather spend months polishing an old one than start something new. What motivates me is wanting to have another book out first, and second, when I get an idea I just must follow.

  3. Some of that stuff you can fudge until you know for certain.
    Deadlines drive me forward. I'm a lazy writer and need them. I hate to lose, so a deadline will keep me moving forward.

  4. Deadlines drives me crazy but they do help to keep me writing forward.
    I also love that 'having written' feeling.

  5. I'm glad I'm not the only one who writes a few words one day and a thousand the next! Some days I write nothing - then I'll get a whole chapter out... I am not consistent with my daily word counts.

    What keeps me going? The story inside me - it seems to have a will and a life of its own and a need to be born - although the labor is long and painful.

  6. I like the idea of small bits of research at a time. Thanks.

  7. My very first novel was for myself. I sat down and wrote and wrote all by pen and lined paper. In those days of ignorant bliss (it would be if one had no intention of publishing), I had never heard of internalization, characterization, adverb abuse, flowery language, blah blah blah...

    I *did* know of setting, plot, characters, sensory detail (my favorite), hooks...

    What motivates my writing? My absolute love for it!!!


  8. Great advice to limit or control the research - because that can become so distracting. :)

  9. Yeah, it really doesn't work well when you try to write for two days at one time. I try that all too often, and it rarely works well.

    And I do research like that most of the time. It makes writing go faster.


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