Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Thawing out, for now #amwriting #amrevising #mnwinter


Image by Daniel Roberts from Pixabay

It’s finally getting warm around here. Of course, “warm” is relative; we’ll be hitting freezing by the end of the weekend–woo-hoo! Time to bring out the light jackets! (and yes, that’s a MN joke; do not try this at home if you are not used to 32 degree F temps). Seriously, though, we have another month and a half or so of winter to go. With the emergence from the deep freeze comes more snow (usually).

Finished the third round of revision on Book 2 and realized there are a few spots that need some work due to the tweaked plot. Sigh. Now, a more adept writer might have redone those scenes on their way through the draft, but I often have to ruminate on what changes to make, or how to reconstruct the scene.

Which is frustrating to me. Come to think of it, if I’m working on a project I have already “built” in my mind, it doesn’t seem to be as tough to revise. However, this story has been challenging from the start. I have a few scenes I need to brainstorm. Walking outside helps me think better (at least creatively-speaking), and I haven’t been able to walk much over the past few weeks because who wants to walk in -10 wind chill?

It is warming up, though (40 degrees F by the end of the week–yippee!), so I’m planning to take advantage (provided we don’t get six inches of snow, because walking 2 miles in my snow boots makes my feet hurt). In any case, it’s time to set Book 2 aside for a couple weeks while my brain digests things and whips up some brilliant solutions to my scene issues.

In the meantime, I’m going back to another project. This one I started out writing in scenes (not that I don’t write in scenes, but I think of them as chapters of scenes, not individual scenes. It’s just a mental reference.). Remember the webinar I mentioned a few weeks ago? The one of Jess Lourey discussing her process? I think that project would be a good practice run for her process before I go back to Book 2. I’ll let you know how it goes!

So why is Book 2 such a PITA (pain in the ass), you ask? Don’t all writers know what the story is before they write it?

Um, nope. Some writers just start writing and building the story as they go, and they wind up with a story that works when they’re finished (I am envious of you!). I like to at least have an idea of the story from beginning to end before I start, then I put together a timeline that works like an outline for me. Correction: I have a mental outline of the story from beginning to end for months before I write it down.

That gives me time to do the “that won’t work, what about this” stuff so by the time I draft it, I know the beginning, middle, and end. Mostly. It won’t stay that way, but at least I have a plan I’ve already monkeyed with for a while.

This book? All that mental fermentation ended up being “on paper”, which resulted in 7 false starts. Ugh. On the bright side, I’ve learned what works better for me as a writer when developing stories. Now, if I could clone my creative self and set her loose with the next plot seed, she could work on that so by the time I finish my current project, I’d have the next project all ready to draft.

Hope everyone is warm and safe. This weekend is seed-starting weekend, so I’ll get to dig in the dirt (potting soil) a bit. A taste of spring!

Keep on writing!

You ARE writing, right?

Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for over a decade, I have been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, six chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

17 thoughts on “Thawing out, for now #amwriting #amrevising #mnwinter

  1. I know exactly what you mean about revising, Julie! It can be so tough. I know one of my books took me months to revise. Other times, it’s a much quicker process. I know revision is easier for me when I try to look at the story as though it weren’t one of my own, and then go at it. It gives me more objectivity, and that helps me. Winter is a good time for revision, though, since there aren’t as many distractions. I’m glad your weather is warming up a little!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, that is a great idea! I’ve never thought about revision that way. I’ll have to try that. Winter is the best season for writing/revising, because there’s no garden, or running weather, or other outdoor activities to distract.

      Enjoy your weekend, Margot!


  2. It’s hard to get it all to work out, isn’t it? I often know “what” is going to happen, but then struggle over the “why.” Why would the character do this versus that… especially when the “that” is easier? Ergh. Keep going, Julie. You’ll get there. Congrats on finishing the 3rd round of revisions. Progress! Enjoy the “warm” weather and Happy Writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you are warming up and looking toward spring and a garden. Editing is very time consuming and takes a toll on the brain. I’m forever finding sonething to fix, which leads to fixing something else. Have a great week, Julie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the dreaded “fix this, then fix that, then this doesn’t work anymore …” Then there’s always something to miss when adjusting the story like that, which I’ve already run into. Sigh. At least my Muse is hanging around 🙂

      Have a wonderful weekend, Denise!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I almost feel guilty sitting in the sun in my garden when the rest of the country is piling up with snow. Warming to 40F must be great to you right now, Julie. Congratulations on your progress revising your book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Whaat?! You lucky duck! I’m planning to start some seeds this weekend, so thoughts of spring will be at the forefront.

      Have a wonderful weekend with your garden and warm sunshine, Miriam!


      • Yes, it’s southern CA, Julie. I remember living in Portland OR 40 years ago, cold in the winter and came to CA for Christmas. I couldn’t believe sitting in the sun. 😎

        That’s what I should be thinking next: seeds. I’ll start some in the peapots, milkweed, sunflowers, and flowers attracting butterflies.

        Enjoy your warmer weather of 40F.🌺

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Look at all those papers on your desk. You look so industrious! Just think how easy this process is going to be by your 6th book? By the 9th you’ll be writing them in your sleep!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Even if you didn’t, writing a 6th, 9th, or 30th book would be impressive!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We’re warming up into the 30s, too. There is even a rumor of–gasp!–possibly hitting 50 by Friday. If only! Fingers are crossed.
    Sorry about the 7 false starts. I can relate. I’ve had three of them with my current WIP. Ugh!

    Liked by 1 person

    • False starts suck, because you’ve already invested the time and mental energy into something that ends up not working right. Then again, I suppose they could be considered ways the “story doesn’t work”.

      Glad to hear you are warming up out there, too! Weather wonks are talking 40 out here. Heck, anything close to freezing is good in my book after the past couple weeks!

      Have a great week, Mae!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I wish I’d timed it better to not be revising during winter. It’s tough to be doing a dreaded task during a dreaded season. Hope you weather the storm, literally and figuratively, easily.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is that, a dreaded task during that dreaded winter. And more winter. And more winter. My other challenge is trying to write/revise in the spring, when all I want to do is walk outside because it’s not winter anymore! I remind myself the equinox is only a few weeks away–yippee! Wait, I have more revising to do…

      Hope you managed okay during that nasty stretch of winter storms you guys had.

      Keep on writing! Have a great rest of your week, Staci!

      Liked by 1 person

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