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Posts Tagged ‘Writer’s Block’

. . . try sideways. Thinking about WILD MAGE (formerly ROGUE MAGE), the second book in the series, just might get me started writing again. Not yet, but–hopefully–soon. It has shown me that MAGE STORM has to end in a different place than I’d originally thought. So that’s something.

Mage Storm

In other news, Sadie has vanquished the monster in the walls.

Sadie goes after the monster in the walls

Now I just have to finish patching the wall. I’ve got some left-over bead board paneling put up there so this won’t happen again. There’s almost certainly some left over molding out in the garage to finish the top as well. All I need to do is cut down the bead board to fit and tack it up.

Unfortunately, it seems I don’t have the tools I need anymore. A coping saw just isn’t cutting it (pun intended). Well, I’ll just have to improvise. Or go get a better tool. One or the other.

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Okay, I’m willing to admit that I’m in some kind of writing slump. Maybe it’s writer’s block. I haven’t really accomplished any writing . . . well, not much really so far this year. All I have accomplished is some critiques for other writers, which is good, but it doesn’t get my stories down.

I don’t know what it is about MAGE STORM that’s just not moving me to write.

Mage Storm

Maybe it’s because I’ve already written this story and rewritten or heavily revised it at least once. The enthusiasm I had a couple of months ago for MEADOWSWEET . . . well, if I don’t act on that kind of enthusiasm fairly quickly, it tends to evaporate. And that’s pretty much what happened to that.

But I know my own creative process well enough to know that I’ll only get ideas–and enthusiasm for writing–when I’m writing. Conundrum, that. So, I need to figure out a way to break myself out of this. Maybe it’s going through my files and finding another story that sings to me.

Maybe it’s playing around with the first sequel to MAGE STORM. There’ll be at least four books in that series, if I can ever get off the start line with it. And I’ve never written a word of ROGUE MAGE. Maybe that would give me enough drive to actually rewrite the first book, MAGE STORM, so I could get to ROGUE MAGE. Only trying will tell.

Meanwhile, I still have a full roster of chores to work through, too. First and most urgent is getting the yard mowed. Now, you have to understand, I don’t really have a lawn as such–or only in a very small area. The rest I’m in the process of redoing in a more sustainable–and less labor intensive form. (I hate to mow almost as much as I hate to vacuum.) The problem with being in the middle of that project . . . well, a picture is worth a thousand words, they say.

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It got so out of hand because of all the rain we’ve had so far this year. It kept on being too wet to mow, but all that water just made the weeds grow like crazy. That tall stuff back there, that’s mostly common mallow. It’s tough and fibrous and a problem to mow, even with that little mower in the picture which is actually a mega string trimmer with a 6 horsepower engine.

I have to do a little at a time–and then stop to unwind the fibers from the underside of the trimmer. And all made more interesting by having to find and then work around the plants I’ve already got out there as part of the re-landscaping. (You can just see some of the red berries on a pyracantha bush there to the left of the mower.) I’ve just determined that this is not likely a single weekend task.

And then there’s Monster-in-the Walls Part 2. I’m not kidding. Several years ago now, I kept hearing a scratching in the walls. It’d stop when I tried to locate it, but I finally narrowed it down to a short section of wall in the hallway. We actually cut a hole in the wall to figure out what was going on–and then hastily patched it back up when two little masked faces looked out at us. Raccoons. Specifically raccoon kits. Not long after, mama raccoon moved them out, fortunately. Now, it’s happening again. Except, I’m pretty sure this time it’s skunks. I don’t think I need to explain why I think that. Ooh, boy.

The reason this is even possible has to do with the history of the house. The chimney was already in place in what is now a corner when the addition–including the hallway–was built. There is no exterior wall in that short section that backs up to the chimney,  just a short bit of vertical siding between the chimney and the exterior of the addition. So the wall is, in effect, about twice as thick as normal. More than enough room for small creatures to explore up into the wall.

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And the scratching is driving Sadie crazy.

This time, I think I’m going to have to figure out a more permanent solution.

 

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When one creative outlet isn’t working for me, sometimes it’s helpful to play in a different sandbox for a while. It keeps the creative juices flowing–or gets them flowing again.

That’s why BECOME: BROTHERS now has a new cover, which will match the other covers in the series much better than the old one.

Male hand breaking with fist concrete wall. Mixed media

And why I’m currently working on bundling the series into a boxed set, complete with cover.

BecomeSeries2

I’m still working on the 3D boxed set version of this cover.

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Taking a break–meaning stepping away and not even staring at the words or the page–for a  couple of days was the right decision. That little bit of distance allowed me to see just what (tiny) element was really holding me up. A very minor change in the least important of the characters involved in this scene let me move forward–and actually is making the scene much better.

I find that very often, that kind of lack of progress is an indicator that something–often something minor–just isn’t working. A little change, or, sometimes, a big change, will fix and unstick things.

I wouldn’t say I’m roaring along just yet, but I am getting words down, which is a vast improvement. MAGE STORM is back up on four wheels and starting to roll.

Mage Storm

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I’m having trouble getting traction with MAGE STORM. Not really sure why. I know the story. I have an entire previous version to use as an outline, after all. I know what should happen in this chapter. I’ve done the character backstory. But . . . it’s just not flowing at the moment.

Probably time to drop back and do something else for a bit until whatever’s stuck comes loose. Maybe the cover art. And, of course, studying up on keywords.

Meanwhile, here’s the backstory of the character in question, Katria:

Sixteen. From Sawyers Oaks. Three brothers, two older (Darin and Ferd), one a year younger (Natan). One younger sister, Rosella.

Her family does not have deep roots in Sawyers Oaks. Her father had been a young child there, but his family had moved to Marketown after the Great Mage War. Before that, they had owned the sawmill in Sawyers Oaks. After the recent death of his mother, Katria’s father has brought his family—and his elderly father—back to Sawyers Oaks. His older brother is now managing the carpentry shop his father started in Marketown.

Katria’s first magic is fear-based, trying to save family members from the mage storm. After this, Katria’s family is attacked by villagers afraid of the return of magic. The father of the young man (Jeld) Katria had begun to have feelings for leads the attack and Jeld joins him. Her father and Ferd are injured. Angry, Katria uses magic to drive off the attackers—which only makes matters worse. Knowing that she could only cause more trouble for her family and guilty about what she’d done, Katria slips out in the middle of the night and starts west, drawn by Mastan’s Calling. She and Rell meet on the way.

She is best at fighting, reasonably good at healing (when in the right mood), only okay at Calling.

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Forgot to blog yesterday. Having Monday and Tuesday off was very disorienting. I spent half the day thinking it was Monday instead of Wednesday. Then today was very busy–which means I didn’t get much writing done, but I’ve got this bit of description stuck in my head, so I’ll likely at least get that out.

becomeblue

Building momentum in writing is a little like building physical momentum. There’s inertia to overcome before things start moving more freely. Well, we’re almost to another weekend–only an ordinary one, this time–so, hopefully, I’ll start making better progress.

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It’s slow still, and perhaps a little painful, but I am breaking through that block of uncertainty and forging ahead on the first draft of BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

becomeblue

I have no idea if any of this will remain in the final version. But that’s not the question right now. The point is to keep writing and moving the story forward. And that’s what I’m doing, slowly but surely.

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