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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

#IWSG: Favorite Aspect of Being a Writer


It's that time again. The 1st Wednesday of the month is Insecure Writers Support Group, the brainchild Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh 

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. And thanks to this month's awesome hosts:  Joylene Nowell Butler, Jen Chandler, Mary Aalgaard, Lisa Buie Collard, Tamara Narayan, Tyrean Martinson, and Christine Rains!

Don't forget to check out the guidelines for this year's IWSG Anthology Contest!

My favorite aspect of writing is the spark of a new story. A first sentence, a character’s words, a setting. It can come at any time, especially in that twilight between sleep and awake. Or it could be something heard or read—the news, a TV program, a conversation in a restaurant. The worst time the spark can come is when I’m in the middle of another story. Sometimes, it will be the idea for a spinoff or a secondary character who demands her/his story. Leaving the current WIP to write a new story is not a good idea. So, I’ll open a new file and jot down the idea (so I don’t forget) then promptly return to the WIP.

I’ve known some writers who jump from story to story, not finishing anything. It takes discipline to ignore that siren’s call. And it’s hard.

Along with the spark, I love beginning a new story. I’ve never stared at a blank screen. That idea or spark has already prepared me for the first chapter.

Good News

My PI mystery, The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé, is a 2016 IDA (International Digital Award) Winner.


Blurb:
She’s at it again. Alex O’Hara just can’t say no to a new investigation. What do a 45-year-old boyfriend, a deadbeat dad, and a teenage runaway have in common? All new cases. With no receptionist, phone and internet problems, and her own boyfriend in the wind, Alex has no idea how she’ll manage. But the question for the past three months is why did Nick disappear. Is this the end of O’Hara & Palzetti?

Excerpt:
I read somewhere that men think about sex ninety-four percent of the time, maybe more. Women were more evolved and thought about other things. Around Nick Palzetti, my evolution took a nose dive. I remembered how good things had been between us. Not my doing, of course. When it came to lovemaking, he was the pro. I still had amateur status. And if I didn’t watch my step, I’d make a fool of myself again.
“Why are you back, Nick? Did you really think I would fall into your arms?” As if I hadn’t done just that.
He perched on the corner of my desk, again, then swung his foot in a lazy manner. “I’d hoped so.”
“Why? I’m not some bimbo you can jump into bed with and then say ‘I’ll be right back’. Right back does not mean no word for over two frelling months.”
I’d just done a “Farscape” marathon, for the third time, so frelling was my word of choice when I really wanted to say the other F-word.
His foot stopped swinging. Every muscle in his body tightened. The effect was fascinating and a little scary. His lips, which had been soft and caressing moments ago, thinned. His face became all sharp edges.
“What do you mean no word?” he asked in a voice that was too soft. Like I said, a little scary.


Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today.


93 comments:

  1. FANTASTIC NEWS DIANE!!! Many congratulations! So pleased for you. Now that's what comes of finishing off a project before embarking on a new one. I aspire to be a finisher :)One day soon - once I get these edits finished :) Have a lovely November.

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    1. Thanks, Nicola. Finishing projects--I'm more disciplined in my writing than projects around the house. :-/

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  2. Congrats for your IDA win - that's wonderful news! I'm one of those people who could use a little more discipline to finish projects and corral all of those sparks that pop into my mind :-)

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    1. Thanks, Ellen. Writing down the sparks helps.

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  3. Diane, congratulations on the IDA win. That certainly should go on your list of favorite news to receive. May those sparks keep coming.

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    1. Thanks, Maris. Winning was a great thrill.

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  4. That spark! I've totally felt that, but I'm one of those writers that will follow it and start that new story. I don't have your self control I suppose. But your way of dealing with it is spot on!

    Congrats on the win! I hope the rest of your November is just as spectacular.

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    1. Thanks, Anna. It's taken 20+ years to develop that discipline. Wish I had it in my personal life. LOL

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  5. Thanks WONDERFUL news, Diane - Congratulations!!!

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  6. Congratulations! That is wonderful news. I love that new spark too. I've seen so many writers just never finish. It does take discipline, but it's marvelous when you have a final polished book. :)

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    1. The finished book is another fav aspect. Thanks for co-hosting this month, Christine.

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  7. A new story and its brilliant spark get my heart going too. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  8. I have the spark now with my new Nano project! I'm testing out a contemporary romance for adults when I typically write YA (usually with romance, so same sphere). You're so right that the mid-point can be tough to carry through and not abandon for shiny new ideas.

    Here's my IWSG post for November: YA Author Stephanie Scott

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    1. "Squirrel!" LOL Love the movie UP.

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    2. Meant to add: good luck with your NaNo project.

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  9. Woot! Yay on the award. That's epic and a half! Must celebrate with cheese...

    The spark... I have way to many sparks. I used to bounce from idea to idea, until getting serious about publishing. There's this story idea folder on my computer that's exploding with concepts, but the most they get is about an hour, then I'm back to my current project. It's true, we have to be disciplined if we hope to accomplish anything.

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    1. Wow, Crystal, you give a new idea longer than I do. You'll probably know what your notes mean more than I do, too. LOL

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  10. The spark of a new story is exhilarating, but for me, I get them so often that I get a little annoyed, because I want to work on the new story when I should be working on something else. :P

    Congrats on your award win!

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    1. Thanks, Chrys. New ideas are so much more fun.

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  11. I know about that spark. There's been many a story written that started with a single sentence that came to me unbidden. I can only work on one thing at a time, though I know some who can work on several stories at once.

    Congratulations on your new book!!!

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    1. Thanks, Bish. I hope your new book is doing well.

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  12. Fantastic!!! Very well done. Thank you for posting. Makes me want to read more.

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  13. I love those little sparks of inspiration, even if they do come at 3 in the morning when I'm trying to sleep.

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  14. The beginning is always the most exciting! But the end seems to be very rewarding, especially for your PI mystery. Congratulations on your award.

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    1. I agree about the beginning and the end. It's that pesky middle that makes me want to feel the spark of a new story. Thanks.

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  15. That's fantastic news Diane. I loved the excerpt, your book sounds amazing. Will add it to my TBR list!

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  16. Love your excerpt, Diane! Congrats! Also agree that one of the best parts of a new project is that first spark of an idea...especially when it bursts into flame & you're off and writing. :)

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    1. That bursting into flames is so great. Thanks, Sandra.

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  17. Are you saying that you seldom experience writer's block because the spark prepares you? If so, you're a smart writer. And a disciplined one, by the sound of things...
    Happy IWSG Day!

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    1. Well...I wouldn't say I never get blocked. Just not at the beginning. Thanks, Michelle.

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  18. Congrats on your award! How very exciting.

    I am one of those writers that could easily (and have) gotten distracted by the spark of a new idea. Once the newness wears off, the idea is left to become lonely and untouched because something else has taken it's place. I have a few of these in a file to save for later. I'm trying now to focus on the task at hand and not let shiny and new distract me.

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    1. Thanks, Meka. It's so easy to chase sparks. Sticking with one story isn't as much fun but necessary. Good luck.

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  19. Like you, I cannot (maybe will not is a better way to say it) move from one WIP to another, so that spark arriving at the wrong time can be as infuriating as it is wonderful.

    And congrats on the book news!

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    1. Thanks, Ryan. That spark usually does come at the wrong time.

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  20. Congrats on the award win! I just read another blog post that said nearly the same thing you did. I love that part too. New idea equals new energy.

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    1. Thanks, Susan. I think there were winners in several categories. Love that energy a new idea brings.

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  21. I hate getting a new idea when I don't have the time to stop and work on it, or even to jot it down before I forget it. That's why I finally got a voice recorder for my car. Writing while driving is not a smart thing to do.

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    1. LOL, Ken. Yeah, don't drive & write. That voice recorder is a great idea.

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  22. Congratulations on your award! That's so awesome! :)

    It is hard not to switch over to another story mid project. And I agree, some great ideas happen just as I start to fall asleep. I need to do a better job of writing them down.

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    1. Thanks, Elsie. I need to get a lighted pen to write down the idea without waking the Hubs.

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  23. I once sat down to write and email and ended up writing 3 chapters of a story I didn't even know I was going to do. Sometimes that first line just sucks you right in.Congrats on your award.
    Tweeted.
    Victoria Adams IWSG November

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    1. Thanks, Victoria. Wasn't that an amazing feeling when you wrote those 3 chapters?

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  24. Congratulations, Diane! So happy for you, Lady. And I like your answer. Starting a new work is like falling in love all over again.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat

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    1. Thanks so much, Pat. Like your analogy about falling in love. Oh, yeah!

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  25. There have been times when I've jumped from story to story never finishing anything because I couldn't ignore the spark of inspiration. Now I take notes about the new story idea and continue working on my original project. That's helped me accomplish a lot more than I used to.

    Congratulations on the award!

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    1. Thanks, L.G. I do get more accomplished when I take notes but go back to the original WIP.

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  26. Congratulations! I keep notebooks and a spark file for new ideas so I can keep working on the one I'm currently on. I have more leeway to jump around amidst my short stories, though. It's the novels I stick rigidly to.

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    1. Thanks, Shannon. I like the name "spark" file. It's hard to stick with a 75-100k story.

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  27. Congratulations on the award!! That's fantastic news!! I love that first spark of an idea - mine usually occur just as I'm falling off to sleep, so I have to wake myself up and jot it down quickly before I forget. I'm trying very hard not to flit from project to project any more, but it's hard!

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    1. Thanks, Rachel. I agree, it is hard not to flit.

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  28. That initial spark is so magical, isn't it? I try to write it down when it happens, if I think the project will go further, so that I can look back at it when the going gets rough.

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  29. Ahhhh! That strike of the creative match. Nothing like it. Congrats on the win, Di, 'cuz recognition ain't bad either!

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    1. Thanks, Nance. Love it when someone says my baby is beautiful.

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  30. Congrats on your win, Diane. It is wonderful!
    My stories often start with conversations - characters talking among themselves in my head, and I don't even know who they are yet.

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    1. Thanks, Olga. I love when my characters are talking and I don't know who they are, etc. Fun!

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  31. Wow! Congratulations!
    I love the spark, too! :)

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  32. I love that spark. Great discipline to stop, write down the next idea, but stick to the project you're working on. Great post! Happy IWSG.
    Co-host Mary at Play off the Page

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    1. Thanks for co-hosting, Mary. I think my problem this year was too many stories demanded that I write them. I kept jumping from one to the other. When I finally settled down and chose one, I became productive.

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  33. Congratulations on your exciting win, Diane! It's inspiring to hear about your discipline. I stockpile sarky ideas for future use too, but aside from my blog and my IWSG entry, I'm sticking to that memoir of mine. I did feel it was important to support the IWSG contest by writing an entry. I think so much of our group. happy writing this month, my friend!

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    1. Thanks so much. This group is so supportive and I've met wonderful writers, like you. Best wishes for your contest entry. Sticking with the memoir will produce good results. Wishing you well.

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  34. Congrats on the award Diane; way cool.

    I like those initial story ideas too. Yep, I've even written them down while working on another story. I don't always go back to that idea though. I'm good at coming up with initial concepts, but not always good at developing them into a story.

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    1. Thanks, Dolorah. Those ideas/sparks don't always pan out, as you've discovered, but I still have them in that file.

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  35. Congratulations on your award!! So thrilled for you. The spark of a story for me sometimes erupts into a bonfire or sometimes a fizzle. But you are correct. The excitement of beginning a new story is a special time. I wish I would not have my brilliant idea in the middle of the night though because I wonder all the next day what that spark was. LOL..
    JQ Rose

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    1. Thanks, JQ. Love the bonfire/fizzle analogy. I know what you mean about the brilliant idea that you can't remember in the morning. :)

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  36. Congratulations, Diane. That's totally awesome. Love that spark of creativity as well. Then the hard job of figuring out whether to follow through or not. I usually finish once I start, though.

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    1. Good for you, Karen, on following through. Thanks for the congrats.

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  37. I admire your talent, Diane. I can't write romance. It's not my forte and often sounds stiff and awkward. You either have it or you don't, I think. Great job.

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    1. Thanks, Joylene. We can only write what works for us. BTW, congrats on your new release.

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  38. Hello, Diane! This is my first time here. I've joined your blog.

    Your new book sounds intriguing. Many congratulations on your book award, too. I'm meeting and connecting to so many wonderful new writers on IWSG. I agree to make a note on your new idea for story and then return to complete your WIP. All the best to you.

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    1. Welcome, Victoria, and thanks. I love this group for the connections I've made and the new ones, like you. Hope to see you next month...or sooner.

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  39. Congratulations on the win!
    Setting aside those sparks for later means when you finish one project, you have another waiting. That's smart.

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    1. Thanks, Alex. I don't think I'll ever run out of projects.

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  40. Beginnings are lovely. It's like falling in love for the first time, over and over again.

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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  41. Congrats on your award! Getting a good spark for a story is exhilarating.

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  42. Interesting that you enjoy starting a new story, I don't. I think sometimes I thinker and thinker with a story as a form of procrastination to not start the next one. Not sure what that's about; afraid to let go, afraid of the unknown. Who knows I'm a weirdo for sure.

    Your new release sounds great. Good luck.

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    1. Procrastination is my bugaboo. I'll get started then run out of steam. You aren't weird. Being afraid of the unknown is very real. Thanks.

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  43. I do the same thing. Start a new word file.

    Congratulations.
    Nancy

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  44. How great!! Congrats Diane~ I have the ideas, but to put them down in another story.... pardon the pun. LOL

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  45. Congrats on the award! That's awesome. Thank you for your encouraging words last week. They were much appreciated.

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    1. Thanks, J.H. I'm glad my words helped. Good luck on your journey.

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  46. Congratulations on the award! That's wonderful news :)
    You're right. It takes TONS of discipline not to bounce from story to story to story. I confess that I don't always adhere to said discipline. There are just so many stories bouncing around in my head :) Thanks for stopping by on IWSG Day!

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  47. I hear you about so many stories bouncing around. Very hard to ignore. Thanks for stopping by.

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