Wake up and smell the coffee #AtoZchallenge

Writing’s a skill, one I’m struggling with.  Hopefully I’ve done everything I need to.

Storyline – check

Characters – check

Able to write? – maybe

Able to edit – getting there

Enough things to distract me – check  oops..

There’s a tip I learnt many years ago when wanting to write about anything, I remember it as the 5 W’s and a H.  Who, what, where, when, why & how, know that about your topic and you can write anything.

If you’ve been alongside me for any of this month’s challenge, you’ll know I have a few insecurities and worries about my writing.  What was that?  Surely not!  Tee hee..  OK more than a few, I thought this challenge was about the research I needed to do before I could carry on editing my draft novels.  As usual, it was about something much deeper, I’ve learnt more about myself and my skills while writing my AtoZ’s.

So you want to write a novel, well I jumped in, as usual, without checking what my skills were, what was needed and if I could do any novel justice.  When I realised I needed to understand more about story outlines, what on earth was a protagonist, I searched writing tips online, absorbed them through my skin, then tried to see if I followed them, put myself on a writing course that scared me, joined a critique group, ok, founded a critique group with some mates and realising the amount of research needed for said draft novels, set to write an AtoZ on my novels’ research.  (Practicing my elongation of sentences.. I’d usually frown at a 2 liner.. Yeah, I’ve still not worked out where to put apostrope’s..)

Have I done all my research during this month?  No, what my AtoZ’s have been about is me, my insecurities and finding my way amongst many others who are walking the same path.  That’s my nod to wake up and smell the coffee, clichés.  What I’ve realised this month is that my writing is so simple, so basic, so short sentences, few clichés, lots of emotion, hardly any adverbs, some verbs.   Everything most writers try to remove from their writing I need to add.  Make some of my sentences longer, add in some description, throw in a cliché here and there.  And that’s ok!

Wake up and smell the coffee

I’ve been feeling inadequate because I couldn’t talk in the same language as some other writers but I didn’t need to.  I write from the heart, I’m a pantser and years of writing for the media has reduced my writing style to short and snappy, that’s who I am.  With many stories to tell, I’m finally learning how to turn them into novels and that’s great!

We’re nearly at Z and I’ve woken up.  Phew!  Hand me that coffee.  I’m in need here, I’ve got 3 novels to edit and more to write!

My AtoZchallenge posts are about writing my novels.  The current titles that I’m writing about are ‘Bags’, ‘Holiday stories’ and ‘Dream Gardener’.


23 thoughts on “Wake up and smell the coffee #AtoZchallenge

  1. When I first started writing, I jumped in head first without looking. But I knew that I would need to do lots of editing so I was content to learn as I go. We all learn how to write different and that’s what makes it so awesome.

  2. I too jumped in without looking when I first started writing. In fact, I didn’t read much on how to write until I had a couple of drafts (some completed, many uncompleted!) under my belt! In fact, I’ve learnt more in editing than I did in writing. But I think that so long as you’re prepared to keep learning, then every draft will be better than the last.

    Rinelle Grey

  3. Jumping in is the best way – it’s how most of us fell in love with Writing in the first place. As you say, Rinelle – as long as we are always looking to learn, we can only improve. Great to hear about your journey, Lynne.

  4. I think jumping in is the best way, too. How else can you begin. Writing is re-writing as someone famously said. Jumping in doesn’t mean not being thoughtful, or trying to learn by reading books on writing, reading other books, writing and critiqueing with others or examining one’s own writing. I don’t write fiction, but what you are talking about learning really applies to almost any good writing. We are all telling stories. We are all creating characters. And we are all writing, finding our voice. And rewriting some more.

  5. Hi Lynne, I could have written your post today, I thought you were talking about me! I think novel writing is a journey like no other, which is why I believe anyone who actually gets one finished never mind published, has done well…

    Together, we can work this out! DM me you email, via Twitter, and we can hook up, and formulate a plan. 😉

    Have a good weekend.

    • Hilarious! Will do! Another one who dare’s to use a j word on my blog. tee hee! Looking forward to the plan! Or should I say looking forward to completion of the plan and finished novels!

    • Often when we take on a new challenge we complete it but learn something we don’t expect to and we might also achieve something quite different to what we expected.
      Ooh looks like I’m already writing my reflections post…

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