Discovering My Story

One of my all-time favorite authors, Ted Dekker, recently came out with a short interview and e-book about how he views writing, the thing he says has helped him sell millions of books and able to write for a living. You can download both items for free HERE!

Ever since listening to and reading his advice, I have been diving deep into planning for the Book Book. (I’ll fill you in on The Blessed status later.) I had my world built, my characters developed, my plot structure basically figured out, and, upon gaining his advice, have been seeing the Book Book and its characters in a completely new light.

It’s a viewpoint that says “this is my story”, not simply the story of my characters. I spent an evening soul searching, being vulnerable, and listing down my insecurities, fears, struggles, and false identities. I looked at the list and found that my two main characters could identify with many of the things I struggled with, but there were a few themes that were the strongest connection between the three of us.

It’s a theme of people pleasing, spurred from the fear of failing others. A theme of sacrificing doing what is right in order to do something good that others will see.

This theme has spurred on a lot of searching, and while a few answers have risen quickly to the top, I know there is further down the rabbit hole to go yet:

 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I were still trying to please men, I would not be a daughter of the King.
Galatians 1:10

For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?
Matthew 16:25-26

I love the reminder that Ted Dekker brought up time and time again, that when we have inspiration, we are in the Spirit and I look forward to having my eyes opened as I grow with my characters in discovering what it looks like to have a servant’s heart but not with the goal of gaining other’s approval, but instead as a way to live out my identity as an Heir with Christ.
Romans 8:17

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NaNoWriMo 2015: The First Three Days

The first three days of NaNoWriMo have gone by and I have been at the height of productivity. All of my super outlining has paid off! I’m currently hovering around 12.5k since Sunday, and a total of 25k on the novel – that’s double in just three days! I’ll need the extra boost, because I am aiming to keep up the typing and finish up the entire novel (surpassing the 50k goal) this month.

A big struggle for me with NaNoWriMo last year was I go to 50k, took a giant sigh of relief, and went straight into celebratory/relaxation mode. It didn’t help that I was working 25+ hours in retail as well. There was a huge lull in my writing and it took me more than half a year to finish up THE VARKEN. If I had kept up the momentum, without increasing or decreasing my word count pace, I could have been finished by January and much closer to publishing.

This year, I am hoping to mimic what happened in 2013, when I wrote THE KEEPER. I didn’t have too much on my plate and so that allowed for a bunch of writing time. I cranked out almost 90k that month, which was the entire novel. This allowed me to take a little break, and then get dirty fixing it up. That novel went through at least seven re-writes as I worked a lot on improving the world the book took place in, including big things like a deity and the Blessed! THE BLESSED wouldn’t fit into that original world, but thanks to those many rewrites, there is now a great overarching story.

I’m very thankful that my writing has been rolling along so well. I’ve not been allowing myself time to overthink anything and instead focusing on getting the story out of my head, off of note cards, and into a narrative. It has been wonderful seeing characters I have spent so much time developing finally come to life, and I love having so many POVs to choose from.

It is so interesting how different characters experience, access, and impact a situation, that sometimes I am tempted to write the same scene twice from different POVs so the reader an see all the different angles! But then I remember that mystery is good too, and if they figure out the little things happening between the lines, then that’s more exciting for the reader anyways.

So that’s the first three days! I’m almost through Act I, where chaos has erupted and the world is turned upside down!

So exciting 🙂

How have your first three days of NaNoWriMo been?

NaNo 2015: The Outline

Some of you may know that I am a Super-Outliner. I don’t ‘pants’ anything when it comes to writing. I fill up every inch of our white board several times.

Each time I outline, I do it a little different, being guided by revelations I’ve had about plotting. I love a story that builds well and develops characters in an interesting way, something I worked on a lot in THE VARKEN. For THE BLESSED, my outlining developed even further, but I started the process the same way I always do.

Three Act Structure. I love it.

With THE BLESSED I had a vague idea of where things started and where things ended. The beginning of Act I and the end of Act III. Because of how the conflict is sparked, I knew where Act I would end, but that left Act II and III largely ambiguous.

So I put on my thinking cap. “How am I going to get to that big finish? What makes sense?”Read More »