Tuesday, June 2, 2015

IWSG DAY: Unfinished Business

Today is IWSG Day because it's the first Wednesday in June.  IWSG stands for Insecure Writers Support Group and was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh.  You can follow other IWSG members here or on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG. We also have a Facebook page

The purpose of IWSG is to share and encourage. So today I'm wondering ... have you ever started something that you never finished? Whether it was a novel, a knitting project or a jigsaw puzzle, I've read that the number one reason we quit a project is because our motivation fizzles. I must be queen of the fizzlers because I have a lot of unfinished projects--from jewelry projects to journaling to braided rag rugs to novels!

When it comes to my writing, I often give up when I hit a rough spot. What I really need to do is focus and plough through the brick wall I've created. I've noticed that usually the reason I can't go forth is because I've taken a wrong turn, put my characters in a predicament that isn't conducive to my plot or the story, creating an impossible action/reaction--or next scene.

When I wrote The Last Daughter I never had such a problem. You know why? Because I brainstormed and outlined; I had a plan. First I identified all my characters and wrote character sketches for each one. I knew my theme, what the word count needed to be and had a deadline. I followed the "breadcrumbs" I created to the end of the story and successfully completed it.

I wish I could train myself to immediately go into outline mode with each new project, but I don't. I tell myself that each book has its on personality and therefore, its on birthing process. That's true in a way but it only takes me so far. If I know beyond a doubt that I write better and to completion by outlining, why don't I just do it?

How about you? How many notes do you make about a project before or during the writing process? How extensive are they? Do you have any unfinished projects? Any plans to finish them? Share.