November 29, 2007 at 5:48 pm 10 comments

So, I’m at the tail end of Chapter 3 of the secret story. I’ve already got 7k and the initial set-up of the story isn’t close to being over. I know what needs to happen, but not sure of the right words to get it down. I’m racking my brain. Then like a left jab out of no where the thought hits me…

I Said Never doesn’t have true conflict. Don’t ask me why ISN popped into my head. Really I was ready to put that story on the back burner. I have two submissions out on it and trust me with those publishers it may take months to hear back from them. If they even respond to little ol’ agent-less me. I’ve got time to make this story better.

Anyway, lightening bolt hits–and then I’m thinking of the first three chapters, what am I setting up (externally) that will keep these two apart?

Did I let the reader know? Or did I assume they’d figure it out by reading the book?

Are both their goals concrete? Or one of those wispy feeling ones?

When do the goals change?

When does the internal struggle start?

How best can I show the hero’s struggle in first POV? Does the definition of women’s fiction make how he feels mute? Hell, is this book even a true contemporary romance?

To make a long story short…there isn’t any conflict. The heroine has a negative goal. Not to fall in love. When it should be (externally) find the money and get the hell off the mountain and back to her real life. The hero’s goal at the moment is pointing out she doesn’t really want to go back to her old life. But he doesn’t even know this chick so why does he care?


Needless to say I’ve had a DUH moment.

I’m still going to write every day on secret story. But now I’m back at the drawing board. Since my camera is back in full use I’m probably going to make a series of how I fix my writing f&*k-ups. It should be entertaining. Stay tuned.

For the writers out there, when do you usually get these blinding moments of clarity? Shower? Driving? Writing another book? Let me know I’m not the only person.


Entry filed under: revising, secret story, writing woes.


10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Merry  |  November 30, 2007 at 9:28 am

    I usually get the lightning bolt when I’m half asleep in bed, and then I have to stagger around to hunt down the pen/ paper that the cat knocked of the bedside table. I’ve also been known to get hit while driving (usually on a road I can’t stop on) and then have to keep repeating it to myself like a mantra so that I can put it in a notebook when I stop. Otherwise I will forget, because I’m pants like that!

    Good luck with the sekrit story!

  • 2. Mel  |  November 30, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    “then have to keep repeating it to myself like a mantra so that I can put it in a notebook when I stop. “

    Lol. I’ve done this also and I try not to think of what other people think of me muttering to myself in my car.

  • 3. Toni Lyons  |  November 30, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    LOL I’ve done this too…that is so funny.

  • 4. bettye griffin  |  November 30, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    The Answer I’ve been seeking can and does come at any time. I often come up with the opening hooks first and fill in the conflict later, but I have to know what it is before I write any further. While I’m waiting for lightning to strike I’ll move on to something else.

  • 5. Mel  |  November 30, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    Toni-I figured I wasn’t the only one. It’s been termed by both Lani Diane Rich and Samantha Graves, “Writer Crazy”

  • 6. Mel  |  November 30, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    Bettye-If I waited for inspiration I’d probably never get any writing done.

  • 7. raine  |  December 1, 2007 at 6:46 am

    You guessed ’em.

    Shower. Walking. Driving (hard to repeat the idea over & over while muttering, “you stupid asshole, where’d you get your license–Cracker Jack box?!”).
    And when I’m drifting off to sleep, and need to get up in a few short hours.

  • 8. Mel  |  December 1, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    Those moments come at the strangest times. I try to keep a notebook and pen on my night stand just in case. I get the clearest scenes while I’m drifting off to sleep. Thankfully, after I write them down I pass out from exhaustion.

  • 9. Edie  |  December 3, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Everything Rainey said is what I do, lol. Sometimes just getting up from the computer and walking away I’ll get the answer.

    I work hard on the GMC in the beginning. I write WF’s, so it’s internally driven, but my characters need an external goal too. I have one in mind as I start and the big ending goal too.

  • 10. Mel  |  December 3, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    Yeah, I knew I wasn’t the only writer who gets the best ideas when NOT thinking about the story. For me I overthink things and I think that’s why I get lightening bolt moments.

    GMC…well I have no idea who my characters are. I have to write them in order to get to know them. Much of my thinking process happens after I’m done. I do not recommend my method to anyone.

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