A New Year, IWSG

Well hey there, 2017 😉

*Sexy growl*

I’m excited for this year because I think I’m going to publish something new. Something outside my Arizal Wars series which yes, I will be finishing. At some point. Just not in the next twelve months. I have to put it on hold because my muse is still rioting for Better Than This, a project I’ve been working on since last May and in this fourth (fifth/sixth/seventh—I’ve stopped counting) round of editing, I’m finally seeing the shape of things and it doesn’t totally suck balls. Hallelujah!

I had no idea what I was writing before. One book. Two. Three novellas. I was all over the place, not even sure I planned on sharing it with anyone (still not—always on the fence until I get all Eye of the Tiger and press submit.) Anyway, last week I realized the book I was writing is actually three books and everything sort of fell into place which is awesome because now I can focus on the first one, the one I’m *hoping* to publish later this year. So, any YA Contemporary Romance readers/reviewers out there, try to remember this awesome blog that you stumbled upon and the possibility of a kickass book coming out this year that you know nothing about. Yeah. Get stoked.

Now on to the optional question of the month!

What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?

That would be to outline.

I read something (somewhere at some point in my life) that before you write even a SINGLE WORD you have to have a detailed outline of the events in the story and how it’s all going to end. This is bullshit. Okay? Let’s say it again. Bullshit.

I think that maybe yeah, this will work for a certain group of people, but I struggled with having to outline stories I didn’t even end up writing. I forced it. I solidified events and when I tried writing them, I went off script and ended up frustrated. Mad at myself. Blaming myself for not keeping to the outline. Blaming myself for not writing correctly.

Well sorry, you stupid essay I once read–that’s not how I write. I’m a full blooded panster because I don’t believe my stories belong to me. They belong to the characters so it’s their shit to tell. I’m just the vessel that does it.

So anyway, yeah, I don’t do outlines. That’s not to say that if you do, you’re in the wrong. People write however it works for them. I just wish I wasn’t told there was only one correct way.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

14 thoughts on “A New Year, IWSG

  1. C.D. Gallant-King says:

    That’s the thing, writing “rules” are really just “suggestions” and some suggestions work for some people and don’t for others.If there was just one set of rules that worked there wouldn’t be so many goddamned books on writing.

    Congratulations on your energetic focus for the new year! Hopefully you can rein in that swirling maelstrom of creativity and produce (and publish!) something glorious. 😉

    IWSG January

  2. nickielson1 says:

    It’s “more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules,” to quote Captain Barbosa. And I agree – we all have our own way that works for us. I’m a lazy plotter…or a planny pantser, somewhere in between. Maybe it’s good we hear these rules, though, to help us define and embrace our own processes. Kind of like when I ask someone their opinion and then I do the total opposite – because hearing them say it out loud made me all, “Nope.”

  3. Loni Townsend says:

    Woot woot! I’m glad to hear about the passion burning in your veins for Better Than This! I’m looking forward to seeing it, when you get around to sharing.

    I’ve tried to outline, really I have. Then I get annoyed that I’m outlining instead of writing and toss it aside and just write. Then I change stuff and change stuff and eventually come out with something that looks nothing like what I had originally intended. Heh.

    Not plotting seems to work for you, because your stories turn out great. 🙂

    • cgcoppola says:

      Thanks, Loni!

      I feel like it’s more natural for your story to change a lot because that’s how you end up realizing what it’s really about. I’d love for you to read BTT…when I actually end up sharing…

  4. M.J. Fifield says:

    I’m a plotter, and that essay you once read would irk me greatly because there’s no one right way to write a story. What works for me definitely wouldn’t work for others (and barely works for me.) Like the others said before me, these writing rules really should be treated more like guidelines. (And yes, I said that in my Captain Barbosa voice.)

    Happy Writing!

  5. ahtdoucette says:

    Happy New Year! I definitely hear you on outlining and on not always knowing what a story is going to be when you set out. On a related note I’ve found that most of my favorite authors feel the same way while outline type authors are often more boring, rote, read one and your done types. Not always but usually. There’s something to that creatively meandering path.

  6. Sheena-kay Graham says:

    From pantser to another, you go girl! Happy New Year and you are on my co-host view list. But you are so spunky and fun I’m adding you my blogger roll. This book reviewer will keep you in mind without question. Hi!

    2017 IWSG January Co-Host

  7. Stephanie Faris says:

    My writing process appears to be a mess. I have to write three chapters and a synopsis to get something considered by my publisher. If we’re trying for a new publisher, I still prefer to get my agent to sign off on the three chapters and synopsis before finishing the novel. Since I’m not an outliner, writing that synopsis is TOUGH! It does tend to make the writing process easier when I’m finishing, though. It’s all laid out for me. But then you have to try to make the book follow the “map” you’ve created and that is a different kind of challenge.

  8. Mason T. Matchak says:

    I’m glad you learned what works for you – every one one of we writers goes at this madness in a different way, so whoever told you that you *must* outline was full of crap. 😛 And that’s coming from me, and I can’t write worth a damn if I don’t plan it in advance.

    And I know what you mean about figuring out what you were writing in terms of how many books and all that. I tend to think in trilogies, but some of my more recent stuff has been more “no, this is one book!” and the book I’m soon to query is theoretically the first of seven. But knowing that can be really important for figuring out how the story goes, so hopefully it’ll work well for you with your current work. ^_^

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