Read Around the Rainbow | Writing Advice I Take With a Grain of Salt

ReadAroundTheRainbow

It’s Read Around the Rainbow time! Every month, we’re a group of authors who blog on the same topic, and this month, we’ll be talking writing advice. More specifically, writing advice we take with a grain of salt.

I’m gonna go with plotting here.

The surest way for me to get a story to forever remain a WIP is to have an outline. I see all these gurus out there saying that ‘Yeah, I was once a pantser too, but…’

Traitors, the lot of them! 😆

I often have a scene floating around in my head, something that gets my mind creating a world or a character. It’s happened that I’ve written stories where I had a scene that sparked my inspiration, but I never wrote the scene, because when I started putting words on the screen, they took me somewhere else.

I don’t do character sketches. I don’t know what they were like as children, and if it isn’t important to the story, I don’t know where they went to school, what their mother’s name is, or what their favourite foods are.

I know their hopes and dreams and their deepest fears, but I don’t need to outline to know that. It’s all in the way the character is built, the push and pull, and the reason why they do or say what they do.

And let’s be honest, there is no greater high than when it all falls together. When that little detail you don’t really know why you added in scene two all of sudden is important toward the end. Why would I ever want to kill that joy by planning it beforehand?

mapI’m not saying don’t plot if that works for you, to each their own, but don’t buy the guru’s gospel if it isn’t for you. Being unable to plot does not make you a bad writer.

And please, not all stories need to have a break-up scene in the third act.

I could rant about the break-up scene if you want because it’s so stupid. So stupid. And more often than not, it doesn’t fit with how the character is acting up to that point. The story doesn’t get better because the characters break up, BUT if you outline according to romance novel praxis, *they* will tell you to have a break-up scene at the end of the third act.

Oops, I feel myself turning ranty 😆

What I take with a grain of salt, is everything that has something to do with plotting. What do you take with a grain of salt?

Check out what the others have to say about ignored writing advice!

Addison Albright

Nell Iris

Holly Day

Ally Lester

Amy Spector

Ellie Thomas

K.L. Noone

Update | Still Here

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. 

-John Lennon

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I opened a Scrivener file this morning. I didn’t write more than 124 words, but I read through what I’d written so far. Before today, I haven’t written a single word in about two weeks, and it’s not good for my sanity. I’ve been unable to focus and have only been doing the absolute musts on my to-do.

It’s not a good feeling, but what are you gonna do? I’ve spent time with my mother both in her home and in the hospital, so I haven’t written much. Every week is a decline, and we’re at a stage now where it feels as if it’s moving fast downhill. I have no idea what timeframe we’re talking, I don’t know if it’ll go in stages or a constant slope to the end.

What I know is that Mum’s changed. And I’m probably changed too.

Most of us will have to face the failing health of our parents at some point in our lives. I thought I’d have another twenty years before I’d be here, but we don’t get to pick our fates.

I have written 18.214 words this month, which is less than I wanted to but more than I thought I had, so…

My total is 322.335. I think I should be able to make 350.000 this year, but I’m not gonna set any goals right now. One day at a time. If I write, I write, and if I don’t, I don’t.

Update | What Are We Doing Again?

Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.

– Mary Anne Radmacher

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If you’ve hung around me anywhere, you probably know September was a nightmarish month for me. My mother-in-law passed away, and we learned my mother has liver cancer that’s incurable and inoperable. So I’ve mostly been trudging through black sludge.

My brain hasn’t been with me at all, and I don’t really know what I’ve been doing. Mostly, I’ve been operating on autopilot.

Summing up my words, I was shocked to see that I’ve written 34.815. I’ve felt so disconnected, and the story I’m working on will need so much editing to even make sense, but yay for words, right?

It leaves me with a total of 304.121 words, which is 121.65% of my goal of 250.000, so yay! My daily word count is 1105.

Now I just need to delete a heap of them and rewrite. Sigh.

In the last Update post, I wrote that there will be a story out in December, but it looks like it’ll be out in November instead 🥳