Tag Archives: planning

How is it Wednesday already?

Over on my newest hangout, Mari’s Muses on Facebook, it’s Work in Progress Wednesday. But I’m really dragging out the planning stage of my writing. I must create both those same people who will live in that small community which is so important to the cozy mystery, plus that small community itself.

I have waffled with settling my cozies here in Springfield but truly I think we are looking at a smaller community just outside of town.  At the very least, I know that my sleuth is an inn keeper. Yes, I know. Surely it’s been done. To death, even.

And yet, still I will try to make it my own, to make it unique.

As the setting and the plot foment in my mind, I am putting myself to good use and doing a bit of reading. OK, a lot of reading. Hopefully, that soon translates to more reviews.

Now, I’m coming down with a cold, and I feel right nasty. You have a good night.

What’s your first line?

I love #FirstLineFridays. I love being introduced to your stories, being sucked in with just that one sentence. And yes, we all know there are some that are more memorable than others. I previously shared my favorite first line, and that sentiment hasn’t changed.

I love Jane Eyre. And that first line is forever a standard I cannot live up to. *sigh*

Here is what I have so far:

From an early age, I considered myself an above-average observer.

Exactly. It’s… lackluster. Boring.

I am currently reading the Stormy Day box set. First of all, I highly recommend this. It’s currently on sale, too. Second, here’s the first line of book one:

The hand-painted snowman on the vase kept his coal-black eyes trained on me.

OK. Perhaps that is only marginally better than mine. And by marginally, I likely mean leaps and bounds.

What about A Baron for Becky, by Jude Knight? (As an aside, I will be hosting a book club for Jude, featuring this specific book. August 6. The book is only $.99 right now, and I would love, love, love for you to join me. Just let me know you’re interested!)

In the nursery, the two little girls waited, sombre in their mourning blacks.

Oooh… much better. Not exactly delightful because we have children in mourning, but still… it’s lovely. And I think it really does what the opening sentence is supposed to do – it draws you in, hooks you. It begs the question: why are these girls mourning? Whom are they mourning?

Mine does not do that. It needs work. Lots and lots of work. But I’m still in the planning stages – and finding planner heaven with my bullet journal! (There’s a group on FB, you know…)

Share with me – what are some opening lines from what you are currently reading?

Oh, and I’d love to share this with you. I doubt they are all first lines, but they are beautiful all the same.

31 Most Beautiful Sentences – a link. click it. I dare you.

I especially love this one –

I was as unburdened as a piece of dandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world.

 

Book Two, Isobel’s story

Lately, I have started working on plotting and planning for the next book in the series which features Isobel, the younger of the 2nd set of twins. Odd that I’m doing the first book on the younger of the older twins and the 2nd on the younger of the younger twins…Heh. Of course, this is only the order in which I am writing them 🙂

Anyway, as I wrap up a scene from Book 1 I am doing a bit of work on Book 2. Tonight, I whipped up this little scenario which serves as both the hook and the meet. I have to be honest – I think this is really good. I hope you do as well.

Stepping into the crowded Fitz-Patrick ballroom, Lady Isobel Sellinger immediately noticed the conversation coming to a halt. She stood there, suspended in the eternal moment of humiliation, fighting the tears threatening to break free.

Unfortunately for Isobel, eternity only lasted about 20 seconds. And the room was once more awash in conversation, this time accompanied by pointed looks in her direction. Steeling her spine, she moved from the doorway to the side of her friend, Freddy, ignoring the whispers and the glares. She could not allow doubts to sway her from this mission – no doubts, no fears.

“You dare come here, Lady Isobel? And without a chaperone, I see,” hissed Freddy, grabbing her arm cruelly to drag her to the floor as a waltz started up.

“I had to come, Freddy. You know I had no other choice!” whispered Isobel, matching the anger of his accusation.

“That’s Lord Fredric to you, Lady Isobel. Let there be no informalities betwixt us.” Freddy was snarling, no longer the friend of yesterday. No, this stranger was no one she knew.

“Freddy – you can’t mean that,” she begged, once more fighting the tears.

And then, her world came to a crashing halt.

Lord Fredric gave her a pitying look before dropping her hands and stepping away from her. Eyes burning with the threat of tears, she stepped toward him.

“Please do not make more of a spectacle of yourself, Lady Isobel. It is unseemly,” he said, every inch the aristocrat.

“But Fre – I mean, Lord Fredric,” she cried.

“No, my lady. No more lies, no more denials,” was his response, slightly louder than polite.

“What? What are you talking about, Freddy?”

“No my lady. No, I will not stand idly by and allow you to pawn another man’s child off as mine. How dare you ask such a thing of me?” He asked, this time loud enough that his voice carried across the crowded ballroom, ensuring everyone was watching as he turned away from Lady Isobel and walked across the floor.

The weight of their stares became too much, and she crumpled inward. Barely able to breath, Lady Isobel made her way through the crowd, hunched over, face down to avoid the glee of their faces. Once outside, the dam broke and her tears finally fell. Finding the Sellinger coach, she did the only thing she knew to do.

“Take me to the station. I wish to go home.”

 

So this is where we are…

It just keeps happening. Fellow writers, tell me you’ve been there before: you have an idea, you have a vague outline, and you start writing only to find that your writing keeps changing, evolving…

I refuse to believe I am the only one this has happened to.

Why do I feel that it happened? Quite simply because I had a great concept that I ran with rather than taking months to plan it out. And I’m totally cool with the way things are going. It means I haven’t been stuck in the planning process, but have also been working on my writing. My talent isn’t growing stagnant while I prep. So yeah, I’m OK with that.

So here’s how it went. I was lying in bed last night and some questions about the male lead in my current work popped into my head. I used my handy new phone (got myself an iPhone 5s), pulled up a Google Docs…and noted them all down. And then I answered them. And, as usually happens, the more questions I answered, the more were raised.

Let’s be honest, asking and answering these questions is one of the first steps of writing. It’s all part of that ‘planning’ I mentioned. And I suck at it. When I sit down to set out those questions, I have none.

It’s not that I’m a ‘pantser’ over a ‘planner’, but rather that I, personally, need to combine them to be successful. Does this mean that I will occasionally be starting over or chucking large bits of my writing? Absolutely. Again, I am OK with this.

What I’ve written so far is really, really good. But I didn’t like the way the story was headed so I am refocusing on it. As my husband pointed out, I’m writing because I have to rather than because I’m selling it… I have time.

So where does that leave us? Not exactly back at point A. I have a foundation; the bones. What I’m looking at is how I can change the outline I already have to accommodate the new ideas. Not Point A, but Point A.5?

I’ll let you know how it goes… and yes, I will continue to share discarded materials.