It’s been a long night/day. My daughter got sick last night, which I believe was a result of a potential food allergy we just discovered. Needless to say that after two loads of laundry, four linen changes, and a 2:00 AM trip to Meijer for Pedialyte, bananas, and Apple Sauce, the Jackson household is pooped today. Since my daughter’s daycare has an issue with bringing pukey babies to the facilities (the nerve!), I took a personal day to play nurse. She seems to have her appetite and spunk back, so I’m guessing this was a one and done occurrence. One surefire way to find out is to give her some more of what she ate last night, but I’m not ready to take another day off this week.
In between laundry and taking care of my little munchkin, I’ve been thinking about writing. The first problem with that is that I’m thinking about it as opposed to actually doing it. Soon enough though – soon enough. What my wife let me know at lunch (she came to check on the patient and nurse) is that I’m not sticking to one idea – which is true. If you read my first post, I mentioned I have a horror novel started and a YA trilogy conceptualized. Lunchtime also reminded me of another idea I was kicking around and was excited to write. Well, my wife is right. I’m too scattered (and she wasn’t helping my cause saying I should think about picture books too – love you dear). I know plenty of authors who can multi-task with several different projects and I think I can do that too – but for the sake of my sanity and desire to get something done, I need to stick with one thing at a time. During my kid’s last meal (which she actually wanted more of – good signs!), I decided I’m going to scrap the horror novel for now and only focus on the YA trilogy. Nixing the horror novel was a bit of a bummer since that’s my favorite genre to read, but of my two main ideas, it was the most under-developed. Besides, there’s plenty of zombie stuff out there these days.
Now that’s I’ve decided to go full speed ahead on the YA stuff, I got to thinking about story structure. The first novel I wrote (which will remain unpublished and as a single hard copy that my wife hangs on to) had no real structure. I had a basic premise and a basic idea of what I wanted to happen, but for the most part, writing it was a discovery. I was making it up as I went along and because of that real lack of form or plot, the novel really dragged and plodded along. I just don’t think I can be solely a discovery writer if I want to be successful. I’ve read many writing books – Bird by Bird, On Writing, Elements of Style, etc. and I’ve gained valuable lessons and inspiration from everything I’ve read, but nothing has helped me as much as this set of YouTube videos.
I’m only posting one of the five-part series, but I highly recommend any aspiring authors take a peek at them. Dan Wells is one of my favorite authors and his Seven-Point System for Story Structure is going to prove invaluable as I proceed on my goal of being a published author.
I would write more, but it sounds like the little lady isn’t going to nap after all, which is good and bad: good because that means she’s feeling better and bad because she lost a lot of sleep last night and I want her to catch up.
‘Til next time, keep writing – maybe I’ll actually be able to report some positive progress on my projects.