Wednesday, 1 June 2022

IWSG June 2022

Another month and time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Hosted as ever by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the aim of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share doubts and insecurities without fear of being judged. Today's co-hosts are SE WhiteCathrina ConstantineNatalie AguirreJoylene Nowell Butler and Jacqui Murray.


Let's have a look at this month's optional question: When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

This is a great question for where I'm at. I estimate I'm about a third through a first draft or not far off that, and I'm at that crunch point where things could become severely difficult for my protagonist or I could give them an easier ride. Of course I always gravitate towards the former, otherwise there wouldn't be much grip to the story, but I know it's going to be gutwrenching and emotional. Being a plotter/pantser hybrid, I also probably need to make a pitstop around now to nail down some nuts and bolts to the story and how this world works. It would be better to have that all worked out in advance, but I actually need to spend some time in a location to get a feel for what's going on. It feels like I've got a lot of ideas swirling around, which I'll have to iron out and make sense of on the second draft - basically I'm throwing a lot of stuff at the wall and I need to see what sticks!

So to answer the question - or the first question - what keeps me going is the need to see my characters through whatever trials I'm putting them through and get some sort of conclusion. I don't want to leave them hanging once I've taken that initial step! Also, I told my publisher I'd have a draft to send by the end of the year. Outside accountability definitely helps.

I'm interested to read other answers to this question, especially from those trying to get started. Check out those answers here.

23 comments:

Denise Covey said...

Ha Nick so you're at the point where you get your character up a tree and throw stones at him/her. Fun.

Liza said...

Outside accountability is a wonderful thing! I'm like you. I basically know where I'm going, but have to discover how to get there. I always know I have to chart the hard course, but sometimes I'm resistant because I am the one who has to live through the writing!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sometimes throwing spaghetti on the wall works!

Diane Burton said...

Nick, I'm a lot like you regarding setting. I need to live there a bit before I really know where it is--then I have to write it all down, separately from the story itself. I find I really like world building. I'd better since I'll be living there for a while. LOL

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Nick, I agree that outside accountability helps. I tend to write the books that I have signed the contracts for very fast.

Jacqui Murray said...

The power of accountability--can't short change that. It works for me, also.

Melissa said...

Reading about your deadline with your publisher makes me nervous, and it's not even my deadline. LOL Good luck with the WIP!

JeffO said...

I'm with you on the idea of needing to see things through, but I also find there are certain points in the past where I have looked at a project and just felt, "Nope, it doesn't have any legs" and I've dropped it. Usually this happens where I just find there's...nothing. No inspiration, no view down the road where I can see the next thing, and no amount of trying to "logic" my way to the next point works. Fortunately, this doesn't happen *too* often, I'm usually able to finish what I start.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Good for you, Nick, to be so far along in your story. You are right, of course. We need to make life as difficult for our protagonist as we can. And yes--it is truly difficult to do. I think it's because we like our protagonists. And we worry about them and how they will get out of the trouble we put them in. So you're right. We continue to the end because we need to see how our protagonist gets out of the trouble. Bravo, Nick!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Don't leave them hanging. I plot, but I understand needed to know more about the world the characters inhabit first.

Liz A. said...

There is something to working in a world before nailing down the plot. Glad to hear you have something that keeps you going.

Loni Townsend said...

Accountability does help! It's always nice to have someone checking in on you.

Lee Lowery said...

Outside accountability works every time - especially if a paycheck is attached to it.

I love how you're invested in your characters' lives. For some reason, it brought to mind the movie Delirious, with John Candy.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I didn't really think about what you answered, but that does motivate me too. I feel so guilty when I let them linger in a tense situation.

Jemi Fraser said...

I like writing for a while before the world and characters are settled in my mind as well. It's not uncommon for me to stop after a third or so and toss the draft. Then I'll start again with a better idea of who everyone is and what they want/need. All part of the fun!

Jean Davis said...

Accountability and deadlines are always helpful. Good luck with your story and everything your throwing at the wall. :)

Adrienne Reiter said...

Hurray for accountability. Boo to procrastination. Why does it feel even better to take breaks when you have tons to do? Maybe it's just me. Happy IWSG Day!

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Oh yes! Those deadlines work a treat. But they have to be external deadlines. Self-imposed ones don't work for me. I'm too lenient on myself ;)

Karen Baldwin said...

When I get to a stalemate in a manuscript, often my brain clogs up. Taking a side trip to another writing helps, but the nagging in my brain to contiue with my manuscript kicks me back again.

Kate Larkindale said...

Always make it harder for the protagonists, that's my go-to every time. And there's nothing like a hard deadline to kick you in the pants.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick - congratulations on keeping going and now with that goal at year end ... good for you - all the best - just keep the wall clean ... less to wash off! Cheers Hilary

cleemckenzie said...

You've given yourself away, Nick. You're basically a good person who writes, so no wonder you have to keep going. Leaving a character in the lurch is like leaving your friend dangling from the cliff by his fingernails. :-)

J Lenni Dorner said...

Loyalty to characters is certainly a big motivator. Great answer.
I wrote a humorous piece for the June WEP prompt.
And I have my favorite book world narrowed down for the IWSG July prompt.
July 03 is Plastic Bag Free Day, which hopes to eliminate single-use plastic bags.
Over at Operation Awesome, our Pass or Pages query contest opens Monday with July's family saga genre. Know any writers who might want to enter?