Sunday, June 18, 2017

Refresh: Sunday Musings - How and where to start

Hello, Sunday.


Everyone keeping well?

Last week we talked titles or story first and this week's question from my teen, I think, follows the next course:

How do you know where to start...how to start?


I generally dismiss my first idea for the start of a story on the grounds that if it came to me so easily, it's probably boring! Having done that, I try to think of something a bit more offbeat and memorable. Sometimes, I like to plunge the reader into the middle of the story first, then backtrack and find the real start of the story. Wherever I start, I always try to make it so interesting the reader can't wait to find out what happens next.



Knowing where to start a story is hard, and it's not something that I always get right on the first try. I have to write the story – the whole story – from beginning to end. Only after that can I go back and see if the first chapter – or chapters – are really backstory that needs to be cut and worked into the text bit by bit. Nothing, IMO, loses a reader faster that starting with a couple of chapters of background material.



I think about my seed idea until a potential book forms in my mind and then normally start at the beginning.  There have been a couple of cases where I began writing in the middle, continued to the end, and returned to do the beginning.  This happened with PARIAH.  I couldn't get myself to postpone the specific scene and so obeyed the book and went with it.  Everything worked out smoothly.  I've learned over the years not to fight with what my books or characters really want to do.



Usually I get a sentence in my head and I put it down. This will bring me to the next one and suddenly I have an idea. Or, as in the case of writing my sequel to If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, “Who Is Jennifer Taylor?” I thought about what if we could see Jennifer’s side of the story and it brought me to the idea of writing about her the year after the first story.



I’m a plotter and before I start writing a new book, I create an outline. When it comes to writing the actual beginning scene, I do that much later.

I wait until I know my characters really well, and what secrets they might be hiding, and then it becomes clear where the story is supposed to begin.  I find it’s easier to have my characters fully fleshed out before I write that first page. When I know their quirks and habits, and I know what is coming ahead plot-wise, I can sprinkle in some in mystery and foreshadowing and humour and all the good stuff.

So, the beginning is really one of the last things I write.


Dear reader, thank you again for joining us and we’d love to hear from you. Keep smiling and have a fun week. Never stop believing. See you next Sunday…nothing better than being cozy in bed with some Musings.




Sunday, June 11, 2017

Refresh: Sunday Musings - What comes first...title or story



Now that we’re back, we’re going to have one of our best months for topics...no not just my questions. My daughter has asked a few. But, let's get to one I'm asking and one I know LEA SCHIZAS, Publisher and Mainstream author:  needs a title first.


What comes first...title or story?


Usually I write the story first and then think of a title when I've finished, although sometimes an appropriate title pops into my mind while I'm in the middle of writing the story. I rarely think up a title first although at my writers' group we sometimes have writing prompts which may include a title and I quite like the challenge of writing a story to match it.



The story comes first.  Sometimes I know the title that fits it right away, sometimes coming up with the correct one requires a bit of thought and a few false starts.




That depends on the story. Usually the title comes first. With If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor I thought of the title and then began the story. The same is true with After, but the original title was When My Life Changed. With Who Is Jennifer Taylor? this was the question I had in my head when I started writing. She is discussed in the first story and we learn a little about her, but we don’t really know her life and why she is doing what she does. The main character in the first one is Carolyn.



For me, the story always comes first.

Wait.

Scratch that.

Now that I think about it some more, I knew the title of my next book long before I began to write it.

Oh....but I already knew the gist of the plot, so I’m back to my first answer.

Yep. Story always comes first.

That’s my final answer.

I think.   *grins*

Dear reader, thank you again for joining us and we’d love to hear from you. Keep smiling and have a fun week. Never stop believing. See you next Sunday…nothing better than being cozy in bed with some Musings.


If you have a question or comment you’d like us to muse upon, do not hesitate to contact me Christine Steeves-Speakman  at MuseChrisChat@gmail.com



Sunday, June 4, 2017

Refresh: Sunday Musings - What is Sunday Musings


Morning,

Hope you’ve been having a great weekend.

Today I thought I would take you for a ride as to what Sunday Musings is and how it came to be. Reading over our musings, I couldn’t find a post where I ever really talked about Sunday Musings. Let’s see how well I keep the ramble out of it all…

Way back when I first came online…no not in the time of dinosaurs, though it feels that way some days…I found a yahoogroup chat “room” where I was lucky enough to make some supportive friendships. One thing lead to another and I ended up taking on a survey for a small magazine.

Move ahead a couple of decades…no, I’m still not as old as dinosaurs…and Lea and I were tossing ideas around about how to bring our authors to you. I mean, everyone’s tired of the same old “buy my book” “like my page” “follow me” shouts we see via social media. Right?

Besides, we had gotten to know our authors and wanted you to know them, too. Get a little peek inside their minds…who they are, how they think, some writing advice. Hey, I was curious so someone else must be too. Right?

But, we had the interview postings. The bios. The book blurbs, tags, banners. We wanted something else, something to browse and maybe share a giggle. Something quick to read on an easy morning…ahhh, the old comfy reading the Sunday papers in bed type of thing.

Sunday Musings was born.

We had the day.

We were thinking, sharing…musing on the topic.

We had the name, not too much of a stretch from brand…MuseItUp to Musers Musings.

And, if I do say so myself…which I am…it’s been a pretty strong success. We’ve had interesting sharings, great feedback in the comments and personally, and if you’re into visit numbers, well, yeah, you’ve been showing up.

Plus, I find it fun and never tire of hearing from our Musers. Even when I send them a crazy challenge or a wild question, they always pull through for me.

That folks is just about that…except for…Thank You!

And, the closing you know so well…(seriously, email me some questions)



Dear reader, thank you again for joining us and we’d love to hear from you. Keep smiling and have a fun week. Never stop believing. See you next Sunday…nothing better than being cozy in bed with some Musings.


If you have a question or comment you’d like us to muse upon, do not hesitate to contact me Christine Steeves-Speakman  at MuseChrisChat@gmail.com