Writing Notes: February 26, 2022

Current Project Progress
Beet Down: Plotting
MM (Editing): Page 225 of 328

It’s been a weird writing week. Mostly because I’ve spent the majority of my writing time plotting instead of writing. When I decided to plot out Beet Down (the latest Death by Veggies story by alter-ego Alex Westhaven), I thought it would be fairly simple and straightforward. It’s a 12,000 word short story draft, with a reasonably simple premise. Or it was…until I started pulling the story apart and pinning the scenes out on a plot grid to study like so many dead insects.

The good news is, it’s going to be a much better, more complex and fleshed-out (so to speak) story due to the plot “treatment”. And thankfully, I finished with the plot grid yesterday, so I can start revising/rewriting next week.

The bad news is, it took me all week to get that done, during my writing time, which means a full-length novel is going to take *forever* to do that with. But, I’m still going to at least try it with the romantic suspense draft I have done. And going forward, I’m going to try to plot as I write…so, write a little, then add to the plot grid. Write a bit more, plot a bit more. I’m hoping that I can use the plotting as a way to keep track of plot lines as I discover them, and make sure I have notes on how/where they need to be developed and finished so I don’t leave them dangling.

I often think I should just leave all these finished drafts sitting and start fresh with the new skills I’ve developed and the new workflow I’m trying to develop, but I keep telling myself that fixing these older drafts by pulling them apart and revising them into something I’d write today is just good practice, and practice that will still result in publishable books, even if it does take a little longer. So I’m going to keep working on that premise, at least for this year, and then I’ll revisit that strategy next year, if I’m not caught up by then.

Now, for this week’s writing resource, I’m recommending my favorite podcast: Writing Excuses. When I discovered this a while back, I listened to one episode, and decided to go back and listen to them all, in order. So I started with Season 1, Episode 1, and I listen to several of them while I’m making dog food on Sunday nights. I tell you what – this whole podcast is a master class of writing knowledge, and I have learned *so much* just by listening and absorbing all of the incredible discussions they have amongst themselves and their guests.

And the tagline is “15 minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart.” But they are actually “that smart”, so you get even more bang for your buck, so to speak.

Try it – I’m not a good listener, and I love them so much I can listen to four-six episodes in a row.

Until next week, happy reading/writing!

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