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On writing, reflecting and taking stock

After the whirlwind that was November, I haven’t done any writing since. It didn’t feel right to jump straight in to editing and I decided to take a step back and take stock of what I have been doing and where I want to go with the novels.

I’m reading a book called Story Engineering – Mastering the 6 Core Competencies of Successful Writing, by Larry Brooks and it’s like a revelation to me. Someone tell me why I haven’t read this book sooner? Honestly, if there was ever a formula for successful story writing, this is it. The six core competencies are concept, character, theme, story structure, scene execution and writing voice and the author shows you how to put them together (and more importantly, in the right order) to make your story work.

I know, reading this book, that I have all the right elements to my story, but before I begin working on it again, I need to make sure that I put it all in the right order. Perhaps the weakest area I have recognised is the character arc of my protagonist. His journey and how he develops throughout the story needs to be more defined. Again, it’s all there, but it just needs more work.

Yes more work, lovely, but that is the nature of the game. Writing a novel is a learning curve and it’s amazing how difficult it is to get right. I’m prepared for that work though because I want to get it right. Jake and Sophie are like real people to me (sad, I know), but their journey from meeting under the sad circumstances of her sister’s disappearance, to growing as individuals and perhaps as a couple, is desperate to be told. I owe it to them and to me.

So it’s Christmas soon, which means busy time of year and not much time for writing, but with the start of the new year, it’s back to work and trying to nail this thing.

I can’t believe the year is almost over, it’s crazy. Have a great Christmas everyone.

Sharing this for What I’m Writing.

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Comments (0)

  1. Marija Smits 15th December 2015 at 5:53 pm

    The book that you’re reading sounds really good (I’m always a sucker for a writing manual!) and it sounds like your novel is progressing well – a break between the first draft and the first edit is totally the right thing! Wishing you a Happy Christmas and all the best for 2016.

  2. maddy@writingbubble 15th December 2015 at 8:10 pm

    I’m not surprised you need a writing break after all those words in November! That book you’re reading sounds excellent – I’m tempted! Sounds like you’re preparing yourself to be in the perfect writing headspace come the new year and I don’t think it’s sad to get attached to characters, I think it’s bound to happen and is the sign of a good story. Have a lovely Christmas and thank you so much for being such a loyal and wonderful supporter of #WhatImwriting this year. xx

  3. Alice @ The Filling Glass 16th December 2015 at 10:26 am

    This month is definitely a good time to do a bit of a stocktake on life and progress over the last year, or whatever period works for you, and I don’t blame you for needing to do so by taking a break from writing after getting all those words down. That book sounds interesting and it must be good feeling to have that the ingredients for the ‘recipe’ are all there they just need to be mixed right. Enjoy the rest of the your writing break. Happy Christmas. x

  4. Tracey @ One Frazzled Mum 17th December 2015 at 1:06 pm

    I think I need to get a copy of this book it sounds brilliant. It sounds like a break will be great for you to do your story justice and with what you gain from the book will help you with your characters. I also know how you feel about your characters being real I feel that way about mine too #WhatImWriting

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