Tag Archives: stuck in the middle

Monthly Journal – May 2018 part two

Hello, everyone!

Welcome to my blog series, Monthly Journal. This month, I’m right on time…Yay! I can’t believe it’s the end of the month already. This is part two of this months blog series. Here is part one…

https://melindamariealexander.com/2018/05/31/monthly-journal-may-2018-part-one/

A few years ago, I started making inspiration boards for my story. I loved making them, they were very motivating while I was making them, but they would just end up in a photo file on my PC, on my blog, and in albums on Facebook. I certainly didn’t look at them everyday, so I stopped making them. I decided it was a waste of time. They are pretty though!

This month, I had an idea! I thought about making a vision board for my office, so I could see it everyday. Why didn’t I do this in the first place? I found a couple of 16 x 20 stretched canvas boards in the garage, that I never used. Years ago, I thought about doing some painting, but I never tried it. So, I grabbed the canvas, brought them inside the house, and started looking for copyright free photos on pixabay.com and pexels.com. I saved the pictures I found to a file on my PC, printed them out, and cut them up like I’d cut paper dolls when I was a kid. I arranged the photos the way I wanted it to look, and then I took a photo of it with my phone, so I could glue it on right. One section has been redacted…it’s for my eyes only.

After taking this photo, I removed all of the pictures and then started gluing the photos to my canvas board with Mod Podge Waterbased Sealer, Glue and Finish (Matte Finish)

It’s almost done, I only have one more thing to add, but it’s for my eyes only…sorry! As you can see, this one is slightly different then the first photo…before I glued everything down. I tweaked it, there was too much going on. I like it! What do you think?

On May 16th, things changed and the rest of the month went downhill. I went to see my doctor, because I wasn’t feeling well. I had a sinus infection, and was put on a high dose broad spectrum antibiotics. It was the strongest I’ve ever had, and I’ve had sinus infections ever since I was 18. The strong antibiotics wiped me out, I had to rest. So, I didn’t do any plotting. It’s May 31st and I still don’t feel well. I hope the antibiotics worked, because I don’t want another round of that…that’s for sure!

My goal for June, is to get to step three, and I can’t wait!!!

June, please be good to me!

Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!

If you haven’t seen all of the Monthly Journal blog posts, I’ve made it easy for you. Just click on Monthly Journal at the top of my blog, there’s a link to each blog post.

P.S. I think I might try plotting and writing next month. The writing will get me back inside my story, and the plotting will give me a road map. I’ll let you know how it works out.

Advertisements

Monthly Journal – May 2018 part one

Hello, everyone!

Welcome to my blog series, Monthly Journal. This month, I’m right on time…Yay! I can’t believe it’s the end of the month already. If you haven’t been following my blog series, and you’re seeing this for the first time, this is why I started my series.

I decided to do this blog series, for several reasons. I want to let you know what I’m doing every month…to be accountable. I also want you to know how…plotting my book series is going. It’s going slow…really slow. Plotting is not easy for me. I feel like a square peg being shoved into a round hole. To be honest, I’m struggling with it. I’m a plotser…not a plotter, or a pantser, and I’m definitely not a planner. At this point, I’m not sure I’ll ever be a plotter or a planner. A few of my friends and my husband, have told me to stop plotting, and just keep writing. I was so tempted to do just that, to give up on plotting and just write. But then, my stubborn side kicked in, and it wouldn’t let me. I really want to do this! I want to become a plotter. I want to write faster. I want to be organized. I want to finish my book! I’m a linear, slow writer, and I edit as I write. I know, I’m not suppose to do that, but I do. I can’t help it! If only I could write as fast as I come up with story ideas. That would be amazing! There’s so many story ideas floating round inside my head right now, I need to get them out, I need to make some room in there.

It’s getting a little crowed!

When I get stuck, and I don’t know where I’m going…I tend to stop writing. When I feel pressured about plotting, I step away from it. I feel like I’m going around and around in a vicious circle. I don’t know if I should go up, if I should go down. I feel like I’m never getting anywhere, and I don’t know how to get out!

I usually take a few notes, then start writing, and somehow those notes seem to get lost in the piles and piles of notes I have. So, I’m working on getting organized. I write like I’m driving down a dark, and twisted road, in the rain. I can only see what my headlights show me, and sometimes my headlights go out, that’s when I can’t see anything at all.

The further down the road I go, the more I see…as long as my lights are still on.

When I got to the middle of my first book…I stopped writing. I realized that I didn’t like not knowing where I was going. That’s when I knew my husband was right. Crap!!! He bugged me about outlining all the time, and of course, me being an ENFP, Scorpio girl…I didn’t listen.

Lacy, my main character, has been stuck in the library for more months than I’d like to admit too. I know the next few scenes, I just haven’t written them down yet. They’re trapped in my head somewhere. When I was writing the library scene, I found out that publishers want the first book finished, and an outline of all the other books in the series. I’m not really sure if this is true, but it derailed me. It derailed me, because I haven’t nailed down my ending yet, and finding out that I have to outline all the other books has overwhelmed me. I’ve tried so many different ways to plot, nothing has worked…so far. Right now, I’m doing the Snowflake Method, and if this one doesn’t work, I have a backup plan. Harmon’s Plot Embryo.

Fingers crossed that this one works!

Another reason why I’m doing this blog series, is to hopefully help someone else, who might be going through the same problem with plotting a book series.

Why didn’t I just write a standalone book first?

Writing a book series is difficult!!!

Another reason why I’m doing this blog series, is to help me get more organized, to help me keep track of what I’m doing, how long it’s taking, what’s working, what’s not working.

Last month, I posted about being in Step two of the

Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson

https://melindamariealexander.com/2018/05/03/monthly-journal-april-2018/

Step two is to write a one-paragraph summary with five sentences. 1) Explain the setting and introduce the lead characters 2) Explain the first quarter of the book, up to the first disaster, where the hero commits to the story. So far…so good, I did this part and then I froze. 3) Explain the second disaster, where the hero changes her/his mode of operations. 4) Explain the third quarter of the book, up to the third disaster. which forces the hero to commit to the ending.

I’m still in step two, but I’m happy to say that on May 4th, I found #3. I found my second disaster. I’ve actually had it all along. I just wasn’t sure about it. Wasn’t sure if it was strong enough, powerful enough. My ending has been getting clearer also.

I can move forward in my story now.

I think I just might see the end of the tunnel!

This blog post is getting long, so I’m dividing it up into two blog posts…part one and part two. If you haven’t seen all of the Monthly Journal blog posts, I’ve made it easy for you. Just click on Monthly Journal at the top of my blog, there’s a link to each blog post.

Here’s part two!

https://melindamariealexander.com/2018/05/31/monthly-journal-may-2018-part-two/

Monthly Journal – April 2018

Hello, everyone!

Holy Moly…I’m late again

Blogging once a month is a lot harder than I thought it would be. It’s the second month in a row, that I’ve been late with my blog post. I should have posted this on April 30th. I’m not very good with time management. I’ll try and do better this month. As I type this…I keep hearing my mother say, “Melinda, time waits for no one!” I would always say, “It waits for me,” as I would continue to go at my own speed. I think, she said that to me every single day, as I was getting ready for school. Looks like, not much has changed since then. Mom, was right…time doesn’t wait for me, but I wish it did. I seriously wish I could control time, or better yet…

I wish I had a time machine.

I hate to admit it, but I didn’t write anything down in my journal…for the whole month of April. It’s completely blank, just like this photo. I’m really not sure why, I didn’t write anything down? The month just flew by. That’s been happening a lot lately.

In all fairness, I started behind the eight ball in April, because my March blog post was late. For some reason, I had no desire, or ambition to write or plot or do anything where writing was concerned. I know I’m suppose to write everyday, but sometimes, I just don’t want to. I really need to work on that. I think there was a reason for it though.

Step two in the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson…

is to write a one-paragraph summary with five sentences.

1) Explain the setting and introduce the lead characters

2) Explain the first quarter of the book, up to the first disaster, where the hero commits to the story. So far…so good, I did this part and then I froze.

3) Explain the second disaster, where the hero changes her/his mode of operations.

I’ve been stuck in the middle for so long, I’m not sure where I’m going? Writing and plotting is so far out of my comfort zone. Sometimes, I feel so unsure of myself. I never feel like this with pottery, or photography or anything else in my life. Why does writing and plotting do this to me? I don’t really know the answer to that question. I do know a couple of things…I don’t like to plot, I’ve never been a planner or a plotter, and I don’t like not knowing where I’m going, only when it pertains to writing. I’ve been going on joy rides (that’s what my Dad would call them) ever since I can remember. We’d get in the car, and my Dad would just drive. We never knew where we would end up. The same thing happened after I got married, my husband likes to go for rides. We’d get in the car almost every weekend, and just drive. It never bothered me, that I didn’t know where we were going, or where we’d end up. So, why does this bother me?

When I’m stuck, I stop writing and sometimes, I even stop working on my book entirely. I tell myself, I need some time away from my story, so I can come back with fresh eyes. Sometimes that actually works, but sometimes it doesn’t

So, how do I fix this?

I’ve read so many books on plotting, story structure…you name it, I’ve read it. The more I read, the more confused I get. I’ve been unsure about my second plot point for a while now, not sure if it’s good enough, powerful enough. Sometimes brainstorming, or just talking to someone about it helps. I asked my husband about it a few days ago, and he reassured me that it was a good plot point. So, I think I can move on now…phew!!!

4) Explain the third quarter of the book, up to the third disaster. which forces the hero to commit to the ending.

OMG…I’m stuck again! I don’t know this part. It’s so hazy, so foggy…just out of my reach. I think step two in the Snowflake Method is going to take me a while.

5) Explain the fourth quarter of the book where the hero has the final confrontation and either wins or loses or both.

Crap! I don’t know this part either. I’m lost in the woods somewhere.

Someone, please come find me!

I do know one thing though, my hero is going to win.

Yikes!!! I have a lot of work to do, and I can’t let it scare me. I have to push through this step, even though I don’t want to, because I can’t wait to get to step three…Write a Summary Sheet for Each character.

That is going to be so much fun! I love working on my characters. I really wish I could skip step two, but I can’t, because it’s exactly what I need help with, what I need to work on. If I can figure out the second half of the book…I can finish it.

Wish me luck, because I’m going to need it!

In other news, I found some really cool copyright free photos the other day, on pixabay.com that I can use for inspiration for my book series.

Love these!

Well, I hope this month will be my breakthrough month. The month that I finally know where I’m going, so I can finish book one and move on to book two.

May, please be good to me!

Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!