shaking off the blogging cobwebs with…

… new goals.

I took an intermission from the first draft whose word count appears at the side of this blog to outline a new story idea. Well, the outline and character sketches followed a book I read about doing that exact thing so it turned out to be around forty pages. I guess I was a little disappointed in myself for not starting the rewrite on the first draft of my first story simultaneously, but I realized – a little – that I expect a whole lot from myself.

It turns out, though, that it wasn’t the worst thing that could happen. Now, I feel like I have a great distance from my first story. And, I’ve enrolled in an online class that specializes in mystery writing, which is the genre of the second story.

So, the new writing goals:

1. Write 5 pages a day of the third draft of the first story. (I did 3-a-day on the first draft, and it worked brilliantly. Since this draft is all about character revising, I think 5 is perfect.)

2. Complete the mystery writing course. (Yup, that simple. It’s already been great to have other writers read my outline and ask great questions about it! I’m supposed to end with a complete outline and the first couple of chapters written. It should coincide nicely my first goal and I should have some good working drafts by the end of January.)

I’m not entirely sure why I write these here. I’d like to say to keep my accountable, but really I hate disappointing myself to begin with so here or in my head–it’s all the same.


Moving Past the Post-Its

So the big non-secret is that in the past ten years I have written out the plots, settings and character sketches for three major stories. I say major because they have the potential to be novels. Or movies. Or TV miniseries. Just kidding on the miniseries, but that’s the amount of thought that has been put into these stories.

One came from lucid imagination. I dreamt the characters, and they started interacting. I put them in situations and they started responding. I simply wrote it out. That one is the oldest. It’s probably close to eight years old. It’s also 72 single-spaced pages.

The second came in college. It has a fabulous timeline. It’s part fantasy of mine and part fiction. The character is amazingly stable, and the story sits in a half-completed state.

And the third came to me in a dream. I dreamt the entire story. I dreamt the characters. The location was eerie though. I had no idea where it came from or where I had seen it before. I didn’t think I had. Then, one day I was doing research for a shorter posting I was writing for one of my blogs, and there appeared this picture on the PBS website. A picture of my dream. So I pulled this out. My sketches. Not of the place exactly, but of the layout of the town. And all the beautiful characters on the pages. Then, there was the plot.

My…umm…biography of sorts is about 20 chapters in. That has gotten the most work in the past two months. It’s easiest to see the progress on it, I suppose. And I will admit that the handbook I am partnering with a friend on sits with its first chapter written, begging for more.

The truth is I love to write. And I would love to create a schedule for myself. I really would. It just has never worked out in the past because I tend to jump from project to project or I share the stories prematurely and then feel that they are no longer mine.

But I realized as I provide my students every day with a very deliberate method, schedule and checklist for their own writing that it would not be that difficult to do it for myself. Well, minus the sheer exhaustion (as one students said to me today, “Ms. Sosnowski, don’t you EVER get tired?”). But I figure if I can take 2 hours a day to craft positive comments and constructive feedback for my students, another 20-30 minutes to work on this reflection of my life, I can simply steal moments here and there to start with this creative business again.

So I’m starting with the last one. Only because I truly thought it was a sign when I came across the pictures of my dreams…

And as one of my students said to me one day, “Wow, you’re like a real writer.”

Nope, not yet, I said.