Saturday, March 13, 2010

Writing a Garden

After the very somber mood of yesterday's post I didn't feel like writing today but I have something to share with you.

One of my daughter's little pals came over for a play date yesterday and the Mommy and I are pretty good friends. She's not a writer but likes to read. I told her about the new story and described it to her, then I told her what I wanted to do to it. Either write it as a straight up romance or take it to the next level and make it women's fiction. The story I refer to as "Genna & Tony" -- Then I told her HOW I was going to do that.

I explained the difference between panster and outliner, then I explained the three act as opposed to the five act story arc, how many scenes per act, how many pages per scene, and what happens at the end between the climax and the denoument. And how, one would ultimately get to the end. She was fascinated and totally blown away that writing a book isn't about just sitting at a typewriter and banging the keyboard all day. I told her what most writers go through, how we have to query, then wait, then query some more, pray to the gods we get an agent, then pray some more we get picked up by a publisher and then, even with the money, how it's not all Danielle Steele and Dan Brown.

She said to me, "So you'll never be rich." And I said "No, of course not." And she said, "Then what are you doing it for?" and I said, "Because I have to. It's in my soul. Like some people paint, or write poetry, I have to write. If I didn't, I'd go nuts." She thought I was nuts that I would waste all this time working on something that might never get published, never make money is what she really meant. I then explained to her that writing, to me, was like growing a garden. You til the soil, you put your compost in, til it again, sow your rows, plant your seeds, water and sunshine and hope for the best. Last year I had lettuce and onions but no tomatoes and no watermelon. The soil composition was wrong for those two plants, so this year I have to try something different.

Last year I wrote and queried Masquerade this year I'm writing/finishing Genna & Tony (God help me I have got to find a title for that story). Hopefully I'll be finished by the end of May and then I can edit over the summer, query by the fall. As I was talking to Lulu (my friend) and telling her about the book, more of the story began to emerge and I now have the beginning of Genna & Tony, I also found the glich, I also found her guilt (And when I tell you what it is you will say I am the MOST BRILLIANT WRITER IN THE WORLD) but I can't tell you now, because it's still in my head and I have to get it on paper. I've also found a few more little plots, Robby and Lauren, the cancer scare and I think Fortuna may have the beginning of Alheimer's, I'm not sure yet. It might just be that vitamin deficiency thing.

Can you tell I am excited about this? I really am. Sarah over at Falen Formulates Fiction had this totally cool scene thingy posted on her blog the other day with all different colored post it notes and I just thought that was way cool and I think I'm going to use that with this book. There are so many places this could go, but I like what I've got so far. Now I just have to write it. (And I'm sorry for not linking but it was Thursday's post there's a picture of it.)

So my dearest friends, this weekend I am playing with pen and paper and getting the outline done. I've also some conversations in the pad in the car that need to come to Word, and I've got to really really really get all those new scenes down before I forget them.

I've also got to try and get the fence posts in, 8 in all, and I'm really not into digging 2 feet deep times 8, but I really have no choice. I promised my dogs last summer that they would have free reign over the back yard. I'm such a bad Mommy.

Have a great weekend everyone, and if I don't see you, you'll know that I'm working on something.


Kristi Faith said...

I often get the same crazy look...."You'll never be rich?!" I started lying.

"I can't wait to publish and be rich." LOL

Nicole Ducleroir said...

Anne, you are an angel in my world, though you probably have no idea. I've been so blocked. My story is scattered around in my head and I don't know if it's fear or lack of talent but I just can't seem to gather them all up and string them like beads onto the project's story-cord. But as I read this post, little pin-points of light pieced the darkness and, along with your infectious excitement for Genna&Tony's story, I felt my inspiration lift her weary head and blink, slowly, in the emerging light.

I love the analogy of writing like tending a garden. This weekend, I'll be thinking of this idea a lot. I may even sketch a garden, since drawing is more permissible and possible with the family around on weekends, and put it on my idea wall behind the computer monitor.

Wishing you a weekend -- hell, a season -- of more inspired writing. This year, I'm looking forward to admiring all the fruits and veggies you've nurtured into bloom.

ALL my best~

sarahjayne smythe said...

Hi, Anne. Like Nicole I love the analogy of writing to tending a garden. Because it is so true. And such great imagery to express that simple truth. I can't garden to save my life, but I still love the idea.

And like Nicole, I can't wait to see how everything you've worked for and tended to along the way blossoms into fruition. It's going to be glorious. :)

Piedmont Writer said...

Kristi -- Maybe I should start lying too. I never thought of that. I tend not to lie.

Nicole -- Oh, you are such an angel yourself. Fear and lack of talent are gargoyles in the world of writing, banish them I say. I may not be prolific but I know good writing when I see it and you are a GREAT writer. Sometimes you just need to take a break and then something snaps and you have "it". That's what happened with Genna & Tony. I was wallowing and then BLAM, it came to me. When I wasn't even thinking about it. Take out your sketch pad, crayons, whatever you need. Whatever you do will be good.

All the best to you.

Piedmont Writer said...

Sarah Jayne -- Gardening is easy, really easy, just plant the seeds, water them and put them in the sun. Sunflowers are simple and my favorite, start with those.

After the fence posts I'm going to try and do the outline. Once I get that, I think it will be really smooth sailing. LOL if you can call writing smooth.

DL Hammons said...

Your excitement IS contagious! Enjoy your weekend!!

Shelley Sly said...

This post made me so happy! I love the feeling when bits and pieces of a novel finally start coming together, and I'm so glad that it's happening for you! Best best BEST of luck with your story and have a great weekend!

KarenG said...

I'm with Shelley-- that's such a great feeling. I'm happy for you and a little bit jealous because I've been in a slump and I think it's due to an infection and lack of sleep. Napping is one of my remedies for slumps/writer's blocks/ whatever-- so I think I'll take a week off and do a lot of napping!

Lola Sharp said...

Anne--Woot!! This post is full of the AWESOME!!

First, I love the garden analogy. I often use the "seed" of an idea that grows to a thriving plant analogy...but I never thought to take it that step further about an entire garden that may have plants that dont make it/never getting published/writing on hope etc. Brilliant.

Second, you've 'sounded' so down lately. And I could literally (ugly adverb alert) FEEL your glee in this post. Which is where the WOOT! comes in. Yay! You!!

I'm with Shelley...I LOVE when a plot snag (which is always where my glitches live) that's been annoying me, and suddenly, out of thin air, comes a most magnificent solution! It usually happens to me while driving in the car for some freakish reason. (This sometimes finds me writing on the back of a receipt at a red light--because it's faster than digging for my notebook in my purse)



Piedmont Writer said...

DL -- The sun is/was shining, it's 60 degrees, spring is here. The fever has hit. Now I just need to find me someone to kiss and I'll be all set. LOL.

Shelley -- It took a long time, I had so many fragments but nothing to tie them together and then BLAM, out of the blue, there it was. I feel like the weight of the world has lifted off my shoulders.

Karen -- I did the whole nap thing two weeks ago. I think that's what finally allowed all the new ideas to slap me upside the head. I wasn't thinking, you know, I pretty much emptied my mind, I guess so the new stuff could emerge. I hope you feel better and this nap idea works for you too.

Lola -- You are just the cutest little thing. Yeah, I have been down, the whole trial thing with my cousin, not being able to find the rest of my story, not being able to work on anything else. I wasn't feeling good for awhile either. But like you said, "I'm BAAAACCCCCKKKKK!!!!" Watch out now, I'm coming in fast and furious, writing until my fingers bleed (I hope) and hopefully will put this bad boy down to finished by the end of May. I'd like to say April but I know me, better give me some leeway.

Y.F.N. Palindrome aka Hannah said...

I feel the same way that you do about writing. It always helps to solidify that feeling when you have to explain it to someone else.

Good luck this weekend!!

Lady Glamis said...

Wow, yeah, I stopped explaining the writing process to my non-writer friends. They just glazed over and didn't seem to get it, and I get frustrated if people can't respect what I'm trying to do. So now many of them seem to judge me for spending such a freaking ridiculous amount of time on something they don't understand. Oh well. That's why I hang out here in the blogosphere with my friends who DO understand. I just kind of avoid writing-talk with other people. I'm bitter, can you tell?

Good luck with all your writing this weekend! I think I'm going to be finishing up Monarch, so yay!

Piedmont Writer said...

Hannah -- I was just glad she listened.

Glam -- I hear you loud and clear. Yay for you!!

Talli Roland said...

Great analogy!

I love the excitment you get when an idea first enters your mind. Playing around with it; seeing where it can go, is so much fun.


Piedmont Writer said...

Thanks Talli -- Now it's on to the hard stuff. The writing of it.

Falen said...


And i know the fence seems like a lot of work, be we put in a fence around our backyard (wooden picket fence) and it actually ended up being much much easier than we thought it would be.
Your dog will LURVE you for it!

Piedmont Writer said...

Sarah -- Oh this fence! The bane of my existance! I'm hoping to have it finally finished by the end of next week. Yes, I do believe my dogs will be very pleased, they'll have more things to pee on.

She Writes said...

It sounds to me like you are on a roll! And I have put in a fence, at least sections before. Good hard work. Your brain will add to your stories as you go :).

Piedmont Writer said...

Amy -- That's partly why I'm on a roll. I stopped thinking about writing and started working on the fence again. The whole physical labor thing pushed all the crap out of my brain so it could make room for the shiny new stuff.

Falen said...

LOL - we actually commented that by the end of the year, my Dog George will have peed on EVERY SINGLE FENCE POST

Piedmont Writer said...

Sarah -- everytime I read this I laugh.