Oh, Saturday mornings! The bliss of my week. A couple of hours for me, writing, and coffee. Being a full time teacher makes it hard to carry out my passion for writing on a daily basis, but heaven help you if you come between me and my Saturday mornings. I’ve been storing up a lot of ideas and writing for today and I’m planning to make some major progress in personal projects over the next few hours. So here’s to another Saturday morning starting with a bit of wisdom from Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird.
How Do You Know When You’re Done?
Here’s the thing about writing: the process is different from person to person and also from book to book. There really is no “aha!” moment in which all is resolved and the book is perfect. In fact, it never will be perfect. So it isn’t really a matter of when the book is done, but rather when you choose to be done with the book yourself. Usually when your intellect tells you that it is time to move on to another project then it is time to put to rest your current one. You are done.
I’m currently on the verge of wrapping up my first book. I know there are still things that could be better, but I’ve started planning out my next book so it’s about time to be done with my first novel.
This is the first chapter of the second section: The Writing Frame of Mind.
As a writer, your job is to pay attention to people and surroundings and to transfer feelings of sympathy and compassion onto those things to create stories. To just tell of a woman in ugly clothes is a boring story. Writers put themselves in the shoes of the people they observe, and oftentimes that’s where stories begin.
Most characters are based on real people. They start in your mind as you pass a stranger at the mall or in an airport. From there the idea for a character snowballs. Sometimes, this is not something we are even conscious of, but many times when you sit down to write a story you pull a character from your subconscious based on an experience or a real person. In order to give life to such characters we should keep an open mind. Watch with compassion and take in the essence of the person to give real life to your characters. Look around and be aware, because in a crowd you may just find your new protagonist.
The Ameri Brit Mom