Monthly Archives: July 2015

Sue Harrison’s “Writing the Third Dimension”, part 30: Ende, Fin, Mwisho, Loppu, Einde

Welcome back! For the rest of this year we invite you to return here, specifically on the fourth Thursday of each month for the newest installment of Sue Harrison’s teaching: Writing The Third Dimension. You can read and learn from all the fabulous segments from 2013-2015 by clicking on the page title WRITING THE THIRD DIMENSION, found under Writers’ Helps & Workshops on my drop-down menu. Please feel free to ask questions and leave comments for Sue. Now for the topic for month thirty:

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“Writing the Third Dimension” – part 30: Ende, Fin, Mwisho, Loppu, Einde

So here we are, last draft. If you’ve been counting, you know this is Draft  6, but, for me, it’s actually a conglomeration of Drafts 6 and 7. During Draft 6, I add in the corrections, suggestions, and changes from my Beta Readers, those precious folks who read the completed manuscript and give me their input. Draft 7 is my final read-through.

Draft 6: I compile the Beta Readers’ comments, chronologically from the first chapter to the end of the novel. Then I start at page one, making corrections and changes. Usually, I can complete three to five chapters a day. My chapters are about 2,000 words in length, and I have sixty to seventy (or more) chapters per novel. Draft 6 takes me from two to four weeks to complete.

Draft 7: I use a two-prong attack on each chapter. The first time through, I read the chapter aloud, just to be sure the rhythm is what I want and that the words flow. I read from my computer screen, and I make changes as I go. As I finish each chapter, I print out a hard copy. I try to work as quickly as possible through the book so I catch the gaps and glitches in the storyline. Once in a while, I have to stop and rewrite a few pages, but I do it on the spot and continue reading as soon as possible.

When I’ve finished this read-through, printing chapters as I go, I  have a hard copy of the entire manuscript, which I punch and place into a huge ring binder. Then I start again at the beginning with a ruler, a dictionary, and a red pen. This is a slow read, and I generally sit at our kitchen table, which gives me more room for my manuscript (and tea and snacks…).

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By this time in the draft process, I’ve nearly memorized the manuscript, so I have a tendency to read what I think is there rather than what really is there. Therefore, I place the ruler under each line to slow me down and keep my brain from skipping or adding words. I check for typos, spelling problems, and grammar. I also check page numbers, paragraph indents, and I watch for font discrepancies.  It’s a word by word, page by page review, and when I’m done — again this is at least a month of intensive work — I spend the next few days putting the corrections into the manuscript on my computer.

Then — finally — The End, Ende, Fin, Mwisho, Loppu, Einde!

My big, thick, imperfect novel has taken on a life of its own, apart from me, with characters who I hope will live in the hearts of my readers as they have lived in my heart. For that time before the submissions, the critiques, the reviews, the loud voices that praise and those that don’t, I am content with my creation.

Next month and through to the end of the year, we’ll talk about the business side of writing a novel: the agents, the editors, publishers, and your options as a writer. Do you have any questions or particular areas you would like me to address?

Strength to your Pen,

Sue

 *Writing the Third Dimension, copyright, 2010 Sue Harrison*

Sue HarrisonBestselling author, Sue Harrison, has written two bestselling Alaska trilogies: The Ivory Carver Trilogy and The Storyteller Trilogy – all of which went digital in May 2013. She also wrote a middle readers’ book SISU. Prior to the publication of her novels, Harrison was employed at Lake Superior State University as a writer and acting director of the Public Relations Department and as an adjunct instructor in creative writing and advanced creative writing. For more information, click here. To inquire about booking Sue for workshops or speaking engagements this year, click here.

Thanks for joining us! Please feel free to leave your questions and comments. We invite you to come back August 27, 2015, for part 31.

Hello, I am a writer

I   Am   A   Writer.

I was born to write, it’s all in the way I think and view things.

You know it has been a struggle for me – one of self-doubt, lack of confidence, discouragement. There have been times I felt disillusioned, frustrated, disappointed. And more.

All that is behind me.

Today is a new day!

Life and death are in our words. That includes the things we say about ourselves and the things we think about ourselves. Perhaps you have heard negatives about you since your childhood. You don’t need anyone to say them now, they replay in your mind over and over and over so that they have become your own personal mantra. You believe those ugly words.

STOP IT!

Stop lying about yourself to yourself.

Life and death are in our words. It says so in the Word of God.

Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing.  – James 3:10

That also means life and death are in our unspoken words, our thoughts! WOW!

This is something I have been taught and shown over a period of many years … but Wednesday the Lord make it so clear to me in a new way. He set it in my heart and mind that I have to stop speaking (thinking) death into my own life. I have to speak (think) life into my own life. It is time to not just know that fact.

IT IS TIME TO LIVE IT OUT.

Do you have thinking challenges? By that I mean, do you hear yourself thinking negative things about yourself – the challenge being to stop doing that? What do you believe about yourself? Are you hard on yourself as I am on myself? Or as I had been, I should say. It’s time for us to be good to ourselves. It’s time to KNOW who we are and BE who we are.

I AM A WRITER!  That is exciting, and I am eager to see what the Lord has for me to say – be it words of encouragement, stories to captivate the imagination, or whatever it is. And not only to think about writing but to do it.

Proverbs 12:25 says, “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”

So may my words – and yours – bring blessing and delight into the lives of others.

Question: What do you hear yourself say about you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Funny for one person … not so much for another

Sometimes the funniest things happen, things that for the one to whom it happened is not so funny, but for the onlooker or the one being told the story … it is hilarious!  Know what I mean?

Here is an example, with back story first. 

When I got my little Schnoodle I had a hard time settling on a suitable name for her. You know the story.  I thought Minnie was it, but soon after I renamed her to Meyya.  (I tell you this so the story makes sense.Also, this incident occurred at my dad’s in the early puppy days.

By the way, this is Meyya today, all seven pounds of her. She loves her belly scratched and rolls over immediately to make it easy.  🙂

Meyya.July 13'15Meyya.July 13'15.2

To continue …

For anyone who has had to wear boots, have you ever had that frustrating experience of losing your socks in them? You know how they always seem to sneak down into your boots and when you pull your feet out they are sockless?

Okay …

One day I was busy upstairs in Dad’s big house and my daughter – who, fortunately, has a great sense of humour – texted me from downstairs to let me know what had just happened.

Her words are in the white bubble, mine are in blue.

mishap

 

 

 

 

 

And I still laugh.  (Sorry my darlin’ but I do.)

Do you have a funny story to share that to the one it happened was less comical at the time? Perhaps it happened to you and you can laugh about it now but not so much in the moment. Please do tell!

FYI: I am trying to get things done in my own home these days to not feel as overwhelmed, I’m working on my health while being mindful of Dad’s, and wishing I could do more … of everything! As a result I’m reading less but still plugging away at it, book reviews to be written, blog posts to be composed. It will happen!  In the meantime …

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

I APPRECIATE YOU SO MUCH!

Yesterday I quit

The only place where dreams are impossible is in your own mind.  – Emalie

 

Yesterday I quit. I gave up. I told myself I can’t do this. I’m not a writer. I’m not even good at this.

I looked around me – at the writers I know – and told myself I am not like them. I don’t write, or even think about writing, the way they do.

You won’t find notebooks full of my writing; I keep most of my thoughts and ideas hidden away in my head and heart. That’s not a writer.

You won’t find my stories on your local bookstore shelves; they aren’t even set free for anyone to read. That’s not a writer.

You won’t find a blog with my ideas shared and out there for review; they are secreted away where no one can judge them. That’s not a writer.

You won’t find my drafts being discussed in a critique group; I don’t belong to a group. That’s not a writer.

So, yesterday I quit.

Then a friend told me it’s not that I’m not a writer, it’s that I don’t have opportunity to write. Well, yes and no. A writer would find opportunities regardless of how complicated life gets, or how tired her body is, or how overloaded her brain feels. A writer would not purposely keep her thoughts to herself, make excuses to not let it happen, fail to release some of that overload through setting her words free. No, that’s not a writer.

So, yesterday I gave up.

I told myself I am kidding myself. I am letting myself believe the impossible when the impossible is … IMPOSSIBLE! 

And then …. I wondered … what then will I do?! When I don’t have that dream, what do I have? And what of my binder full of ideas? My few picture book  manuscripts? my (still) almost completed first draft of my first young adult novel?

Then I thought … HMMMMM

I DO have pages and pages of ideas (for PBs), some just scraps of possibilities, some glimmers of hope, some silly shadows of something that could be … something – or not.

I DO have dreams of sharing my words and ideas – although that’s a scary thing to me – and finding someone eager to publish them because they believe in me.

I DO have the experience of being part of an online critique group for awhile where I shared a couple of my stories for suggestions, also scary for me.

In March I learned that I’m a shy writer. (Check out my review of The Shy Writer by C. Hope Clark.) And I sabotage myself by not allowing my words to find a life and be shared. I’m afraid of not being good enough. I’m afraid of maybe being good enough … and what then?

Maybe I am a writer. Yes, I do write. I’ve had to write in some way for most of my life, probably getting a real start as a troubled teenager full of angst, when expression came through the poetry that flowed from my heart. Since then I’ve captured many poems on paper over the years, most coming out of my faith.

Yes, I am a writer. I think it’s more that I was giving up on my dream. Perhaps it’s that I see it as a fruitless endeavour when what I have wanted for a very long time is to be a published author of children’s books – yet I haven’t taken myself there.

It helps to be rested. I don’t get quality sleep at my dad’s, and then when I’m home every other week I find it hard to settle into sleep. Yes, it helps to be rested. Discouragement feeds itself off one’s weariness. Quitting comes easier.

One dream I’ll share with you is this:  My mother (who is no longer with us) wrote a cute maritime story many years ago, one which would be a delightful picture book, and I know my dad would love to see it in print while he is still able to know. I almost paid (big bucks) to have it done, but … how I would love for a traditional publisher to see it and, of course, their wanting to publish it would be the most exciting thing ever. It would be a sweet memorial to my dear mum.

I am a writer. With a dream. A weary writer (weary everything I am) with a hope to improve. The daughter of a writer with a brilliant imagination who didn’t pursue her talent of writing in the way she would have liked. I want to go beyond that.

Yesterday I quit. I gave up.

Today I am trudging on.

Someday I may give up — But today is not that day.   –  anonymous

Any words of advice or anything to share regarding publishing or anything else?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂