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Blog Description:

Author Sara Cottingham's official site featuring a weekly blog and links to previously published content.
Blog Tags: writer - author - books - blog - education - literature
Blog Added: September 29, 2017 09:54:11 AM
Audience Rating: General Audience
Blog Platform: WordPress
Blog Country: United-States   United-States
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Total Visits: 446
Blog Rating: 4.00
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50 Word Friday #27: Caught Out

Mother and child sat on the bike waiting for the traffic light to change. She desperately wished for green as the torrential downpour had come out of nowhere and hadn’t lessened. She heard him giggle at the deluge and smiled. Sometimes a bad plan can make for a good memory.   I saw this happen...

Mother and child sat on the bike waiting for the traffic light to change. She desperately wished for green as the torrential downpour had come out of nowhere and hadn’t lessened. She heard him giggle at the deluge and smiled. Sometimes a bad plan can make for a good memory.

 

I saw this happen this week because it has just been pouring in Boise. The kid had on the cutest Star Wars Resistance helmet. Luckily when it’s been raining it’s been warm, so it could have been much worse for the pair, and I do hope they were heading home.

On a side note, I’ve changed up my Patreon account, so if you haven’t checked that out now would be a good time. 🙂

Happy Weekend!!!



Why fighting with your writing means you might be at a threshold to something greater.

I haven’t enjoyed my writing in weeks. I’m not ashamed of saying this, I simply see it more as a fact of where my writing is right now. I posted some time ago that I thought I was coming close to finishing this draft of my novel, but it turned out to be I had...

I haven’t enjoyed my writing in weeks. I’m not ashamed of saying this, I simply see it more as a fact of where my writing is right now.

I posted some time ago that I thought I was coming close to finishing this draft of my novel, but it turned out to be I had simply reached a point where the novel was evolving. The ending I had initially planned out was simply a watershed in the work, and I was really motivated to keep going after I realized that I still had a lot more work ahead of me.

I’ve found myself in a similar place now. Similar in that I feel the same uncertainty moving forward, but I know what’s going to happen next. I have a plan for the next big moment in the novel, but I’m having trouble getting there.

I’m in the transition phase between one big moment and the next and I’m bored with it. Granted, this transition phase probably won’t stay in the final product, but I need to write it. Think of it as me checking I have my seatbelt on before pulling out of the drive. What I’ve written before needs to be solid before moving forward for this next stage to work.

It’s these checks that I’m finding immensely annoying. I simply want to skip to the next part of the work. The part that excites me, but I know that I have to take it one step at a time. That’s simply how I work. I find that if I bounce around in a story I tend to create plot holes that I would have otherwise caught by simply following a linear pattern.

Have I thought about the next part extensively and edited it in my head already? Sure, and it shouldn’t take very long to write it out when I finally get to that point.

I really love writing, but sometimes I don’t like it, and sometimes I don’t like the work that I have to do to make sure the end product is something I’m proud of. I think everyone has moments like that regardless of their career path, but damn, I’m avoiding work like the plague because I really, really don’t want to work on this transition piece.

The hubby and I are also heading back to CO for a very special graduation this weekend, and my concentration is way out the window whenever I think about heading home.

Since we’ll be gone, I won’t be posting next week simply because I know that any post I do put up will be half-hearted at best. I’d like to put all my attention in celebrating this time in my family’s life and not have to worry about putting out a less than meaningful post.

Photo by CloudVisual on Unsplash



50 Word Friday #26: Ducks

A: “Why are you acting so weird towards me?” B: “I had a dream about you last night. I’m still mad at dream-you.” A: “Is that seriously a real thing?” B: “Seems like it. Also, if I bring up the duck today just remember to apologize.” A: “Dream-me?” B: “He wouldn’t let me adopt one.”...

A: “Why are you acting so weird towards me?”

B: “I had a dream about you last night. I’m still mad at dream-you.”

A: “Is that seriously a real thing?”

B: “Seems like it. Also, if I bring up the duck today just remember to apologize.”

A: “Dream-me?”

B: “He wouldn’t let me adopt one.”

 



Being an enthusiastic researcher doesn’t mean every fact needs to show up in your work.

I struggled with this problem a lot when working on my first manuscript. I was so worried about representing a culture not my own incorrectly that every little action I wrote about had to be backed up. It felt like I was writing an educational paper, not a story. Did I need that education–about five formal...

I struggled with this problem a lot when working on my first manuscript. I was so worried about representing a culture not my own incorrectly that every little action I wrote about had to be backed up. It felt like I was writing an educational paper, not a story.

Did I need that education–about five formal years of education–to write that manuscript? You betcha, and I still could use more research. But your readers sometimes don’t need a full history lesson to understand what’s going on in the story. Yes, there are people who would be able to tell if you’ve done your research, and you should always be as factually accurate as possible, but the key part is the story.

Most readers will read the story, and it will be the story that will push them into educating themselves on whatever topic you wrote about. I knew a woman who essentially put a “works cited” page in the back of her novel because she wanted readers to have the opportunity to research more at their leisure.

It’s important that the information you put in your story is accurate, but you don’t need to write an entire educational book on the topic. I mean, unless you want to.

I’ve been reading a lot about gentrification in urban cities for my current novel, and it’s been really eye-opening, and it helps me as a writer, but I’m simply using it as a guide to make the experiences my characters are having to be shaped by legitimate issues people like them face every day.

At the end of the day, I probably have more pages of research for a book than I have pages in the manuscript.

Also, my teacher just released her latest book!!!!! Please check out Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, and her newest book Shadow Child. I already ordered mine!!! Click here to read a review of her book!!!



50 Word Friday #25: Absorb

The plants soak in the water from the hose. Glad that I remembered to water them this week, I look out past our yard to the horse pasture beyond. They are gone, consequences of a rapidly expanding city. The land is being rezoned for houses. Expansion absorbing its rural...

The plants soak in the water from the hose. Glad that I remembered to water them this week, I look out past our yard to the horse pasture beyond. They are gone, consequences of a rapidly expanding city. The land is being rezoned for houses. Expansion absorbing its rural roots.



Sometimes giving up control over your writing is the best adventure you can have.

I’m sure that many of you are like me when you write a story. You have a general idea of a plot that you’d like to follow, and I’m the same way. I have a graph in a notebook of the rising and falling action of each character as the plot progresses. It’s color coded,...

I’m sure that many of you are like me when you write a story. You have a general idea of a plot that you’d like to follow, and I’m the same way. I have a graph in a notebook of the rising and falling action of each character as the plot progresses. It’s color coded, just to give you a picture of how much I micromanage my work.

Anyhow, I was writing yesterday and I kind of zoned out while I was working. I was still following the general outline of my plot, but I was letting the character react how he naturally would without me dictating everything. Suddenly, I was in a place that I hadn’t planned on. I have put my character in a dire situation and then took away his last shred of hope.

The thing I took away was the last thing holding his world together, and suddenly it was gone and I was left dealing with the aftermath of a character who had nothing left.

I felt terrible. I cried a little when I realized what had happened, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to change it. We all have our favorite t.v. or book character that has gone through the ringer, and we say the writers should treat them better, but I’m here to tell you that making your characters suffer is what makes the story great.

Even if the book is well written the chances of people wanting to read a boring story are next to nothing. Sometimes all it takes to get there is letting go a little.

I have a hard time not being a control freak, but I learned quite a bit earlier this week, and I think my manuscript is better for it.



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