Sunday, 2 April 2017

Day 2 - Blogging outside of my comfort zone

All up, yesterday was an incredibly productive writing day; not just because I signed up for the 2 writing challenges, and blogged about it, but also for the other writing projects that I spent time on.
While being on forced R&R is giving me ample opportunity to immerse myself in writing, every day, I still cannot fight the feeling that I should be doing other things before the writing. Just having my daughter living with me at the moment does free me up to write; she is self sufficient, she is artistic so she knows what it's like to feel that urge, and she's fairly low key to be around (most days), so it's easy for me to jump into my writing every day, but still the guilt is often there. Even knowing that I can't do much of anything else while I'm recuperating doesn't always shut up the loud sound of the inner voices. So when I have a day like yesterday, I acknowledge it quietly to myself.

Today I was fairly low on energy but still I made time to write. #campnano2017: My main focus for "This is NOT a Fairy Tale", was to slowly sort through what I had written in 2015. I am taking one section at a time, looking at it with fresh eyes, and tweaking it here and there. I'm trying not to make major changes at this stage as it's still important to me that I finish that first draft. I have tightened the existing character outlines, but there is still room for improvement. I may have only written 172 words over the past 2 days but I am also collecting my thoughts, and tidying up the draft files that I haven't touched in a longer time, and that will allow me to pick up any major gaps, double-ups and so on, so it's crucial that I do this early on.

#blogyourbooksin30days: Last night, after blogging about my plans for both challenges, I spent time creating the outline for "Pussycat through the Ages", and undertaking some preliminary research. I have written the outline for this story in the past, but I decided for this challenge to start from scratch. I have a prelude and 12 chapters planned at this stage. 10 of the chapters are about significant events throughout history, as seen through the eyes of a pet cat. I have a feeling that I will add more events but 10 seemed workable at the moment.

Prelude: Ancient Egypt.
Chapter 1: Modern Australia. A young girl with a passion for art and history, and the owner of a gorgeous Egyptian Mau with distinctive markings (even for the breed), is attending a special exhibition on cats and art throughout history when she notices a familiar face appearing in many of the pieces. A cat with very similar markings to her own beloved Mau. She is curious; are the cats the same cat in each piece, from the same family etc.

The next 10 chapters will not necessarily take place in chronological order, and these are still just rough ideas at this stage, just to keep me focused.

Chapter 2: Pompeii
Chapter 3: World War II
Chapter 4: Renaissance England.
Chapter 5: Rome in the period of Augustus.
Chapter 6: Egypt - Hapshetsut.
Chapter 7: World War 1.
Chapter 8: The Great Depression in Australia.
Chapter 9: Ireland - potato famine.
Chapter 10: Salem Witch Hunts.
Chapter 11: French battles the English (Joan of Arc).
Chapter 12: We return back to the current time.

Today I identified my main weakness with this book, and that is I find myself almost, but not quite, obsessing over small but crucial details. I do not need to solve these details right now to push the story forward, but part of me wants to have those details hammered out fully before I proceed with the story. This is a trait that is common with a lot of my writing projects, and often results in me walking away from the project, or writing in a haphazard fashion. I brainstormed the problem with my daughter, but we had to take a break from the subject, as it cut close to a subject that we are both dealing with; the loss of our beloved cat Smokey. For now I have decided that the details will have to be sorted out at some later point, and I have enough ideas to carry on with. The next few days will mostly be reading up on subjects, refreshing myself on some information and writing down points that occur to me. Blogging to this extent about my writing process is definitely causing me to step outside my comfort zone. Hopefully it doesn't scare me back into my ivory tower :)


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