Tuesday, July 10, 2012

So you think you want to write a book, or Am I Nuts?

If I weren't so close to finishing up the first draft of my work in progress, Spinster's Folly, I think I would fold my hand and pull out of the game. (Oooo, poker talk!)

You see, I believe I am getting waaaaay too distracted over whether or not it's raining on whichever day. Not because it's important to my current story. If it is important, I put it in. However, I'm also trying my hardest to correlate the weather in this book to a previously published one.

This is holding me back from writing freely.

Who cares what the weather is? I mean, who among my potential readers will care a fig if it snowed on Monday and cleared up on Tuesday in Ride to Raton? They'll be reading Spinster's Folly, for crying out loud!


In the meantime, here are some of the tools I use to keep me on track with a lot of other things as I write this novel:

Maps, calendars, spreadsheets, resource books, my "Marie's Book" notebook, scene summaries, printouts. Whew!

Voluminous notes to myself.

A to-write list, reminders, and a handwritten scene.

Notations, bits of dialogue, motivations.
Should I finish the novel, or give it the ol' heave ho?


  1. Ah, let's ditch our WIP, Marsha, and take a trip to Tahiti. White sand beach, cool frosty drinks with pineapple. But . . . all we'll be thinking about is that next scene we should write, or the basic plot of a new story. Oh, well.

    Love your notebook.

    1. Oh, all right. I'll keep working on the book.

      I love the notebook, too, Debra. It has yellow, green, and red smiley faces all over the covers.

  2. Replies
    1. I should do that, right? Will anyone care if I have it raining or snowing on the wrong day? Am I just too O/C? I know I've spent a lot of time today worrying about the dang weather. I'm just sure someone's going to write a review pointing out that Marie can't enjoy a sun-shiny day if James is covered in snow.

    2. Don't they live in a place where the weather can vary wildly? I mean, where I live, you can be driving through a torrential downpour one minute, and then turn a corner and the streets are dry as a bone. Especially if the altitudes vary, it seems like the snow/no snow scenario is viable.

      Then, there's the other question: are you going to provide footnotes with hyperlinks to make the cross-checking easier?

  3. Hey. I think your attempts at authenticity and attention to detail are terrific! I research the weather of the locales I write about, especially if it's influencing the plot of my story. I understand that Dean Hughes, the author of the Children of the Promise series, actually reviewed archived newspapers from the WWII era so that if he said it was snowing along the Wasatch Front, it really was snowing that day. I actually blogged about attending the little things here: http://bit.ly/LPZzkQ. If it affects the plot and you're writing about it, it should be believable. If it doesn't affect the plot, toss it.

  4. How many do you have to finish before you stop worrying about whether to finish this one? Got about 6000 words to go on Road to Kio. Just started Diablo. Now got an outfit that wants me to come up with a series (Matt Stryker??). So unless I finish, I can't start (not good at writing more that two novels and misc short stories and articles in a single time frame). And this comment is probably apropos of nothing. Good to see you in ALB, dear.

  5. What do you mean, should I finish??? There is no way you couldn't and your fans would be bereft!

  6. Of course you must finish. When it comes down to it, it's all about what you can live with. Are you okay with just writing this new WIP and ignoring any inconsistencies in the weather? It's all up to you in the end because it's your story.

    That being said, you might have some upset fans if they realize one character is being snowed on and the other in sun. Are you okay with upsetting your fans? Do you think they'll notice (chances are that the majority of them won't, but there's always a chance that you'll have one or two who obsess about such things and will take notice).

    If you decide it's necessary to be consistent (and my personal opinion is that consistency is a must), take a day or so to go through your first book and make a time-line and include the weather so you'll have it all in one place and in an easy to access/consult format. I did that for one of my books (not with weather, but other aspects). Sure it took a while, but I felt better about it in the end--and once I'd done it, I was free to write the story because it only took a moment to consult my timeline and make sure things were straight.

    You can do this--and remember, anything worth doing is worth doing right. =)

  7. Thanks! I really needed this. I'm sure my editor will be happier with me now. You're a gem.

  8. Are you kidding me?! You've been teasing us with awesome tidbits! Now's not the time to fold. (more poker talk) :)

  9. It's nice to know that Marsha, our fearless leader, has these types of stumbling blocks too. My novel starts out with a record freeze in Portland Oregon... so I had to look that up and make sure it was feezable - or freezable (LOL) I mean feasible - then as I've gone along I've had to keep checking to make sure my characters children are the right age for how I've portrayed them... yikes who ever said being a writer/author was easy smeazy?!?!?! Good grief!

  10. Keep on working-looks like you have enough notes for several books. It has been so hot here (Wyoming) this summer that I need to read a book with the snow falling just to cool off.


I welcome your comments.

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