Saturday, November 2, 2013

Unfinished Manscripts . . . yikes!

JT asked a great question the other day, so I thought I would post it here and comment on it so others could enjoy it too:  I've been wondering how you keep from procrastinating on your books? I love writing stories, and am working on a book, but I either procrastinate, or start another book! I once ended up with five unfinished books! How do you do it? ~ JT

If you only knew how many unfinished stories I have on my computer, you would soon discover that I am not so different from you, JT, as far as procrastinating. Or, more honestly, deciding which mood I'm in to work on a particular story.

Space, the final frontier . . .
Before I was published, I must have had at least a dozen . . . maybe more . . . unfinished stories. Most of them were Andi stories, with some Star Trek stories thrown in when I felt like going into outer space. (Many are now finished, but there are still unfinished adventures floating around, for which I have no time to write on!)

NOW I am published, and I do not have the luxury to be a teen writer any longer, writing when the mood hits and letting stories lie around and simmer. Alas, no. I am now under the burden of something called a contract, and it is not an easy way to live. But God knew this. For many years, He let me have my fun and develop my gifts with no pressure. But He had other plans for my character later on. Mostly, the "depend on Him and not on my own strength" trait. Oh, yeah. The more books I write for "real," the more I have to ask daily for just enough "manna" for that day: translation: "X" number of words to complete a chapter, etc. So far, God has never held back on the manna.

My part is putting myself in a chair and not getting up for "X" number of hours (whatever I have dedicated myself to). That, JT, is the answer to your procrastination question. God can't give me the manna if I am not in the chair with the keyboard. It is really hard the first ten minutes to stare at the screen, but then an idea comes and I start writing it down. Then more come and what do you know? I have used the manna for that day and I feel so good about it!

So you might set a timer for "X" number of minutes and write on one of your stories. Discipline yourself to stay there, even if you only get 200 words written. You know what? The more you write, the easier it becomes. I wrote all those Ranch Stories the past few months and I could not believe how FAST they came to me when I knew everybody was counting on the next part. It really helped me get excited about the new series. Hooray!

Keep on writing. In the comments below, list things that make it hard for YOU to write.

 photo MrsM_zpsa9f216b8.png

43 comments:

  1. I am dreadful at procrastinating, but only with things I don't really want to do. The part I find the hardest is forcing myself to sit down and start what ever it is I have to do. But once I've started doing my home work, or practicing the piano, or whatever it may be that I need to do, then it's fine and I just settle down and get things done. I don't usually struggle to start writing, as soon as I have my basic idea I start and let the rest come to me as I write, and it usually works out in the end.

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  2. I loved it! What makes it hard for me to wright is I hardly have any time! Because of school, clean and take care of a puppy! I am trying to wright 2 stories for the contest
    and wright a book! Thank u for the great posts and God bless!
    Siberian huskies!

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  3. I thought maybe we could put the person Andi should marry with our comment!
    Again I loved the post!
    I think Riley (or maybe even Johnny! Hehe!!)
    Siberian huskies!

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  4. Thanks for posting this! I never thought about using a timer! My biggest problem is that I am constantly getting new ideas for book and have to write them down!
    That, or I have a great idea, but it will only fit into the middle, or end of the book, while I'm only in the beginning. I have gotten pretty far on a lot of my books though.
    ~ JT

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  5. Thanks for this good post! What makes it hard for me is I know how I want the story to go but I never know how to "fill it in" and lead up to the certain part. Then I get lazy and switch stories.

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  6. Mrs. M
    just wondering, have you ever thought about making Circle C shirts like a t-shirt?
    Because, that would be cool! I know you haven't made any, (pretty sure!) but have y
    Rishona

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  7. whoops!

    it's supposed to say

    but have you thought about it before.

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    1. I made one once. It is now an old nightshirt for a grandkid. LOL I think I did it on Zazzle or something, just for fun. I also made buttons, and they are pretty cute, and mugs, but I haven't done anything for a long, long time.

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    2. So, you didn't do it for people to buy, right?
      You should so do it for people to buy, i'm sure so people would buy them!
      (like maybe me!)
      Rishona

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  8. I think my hardest part as a writer is deciding which story I'm going to write. :) I know that when my readers are asking for a certain story, I find it easier to work on that one, but sometimes I'll go write sometime else anyway. :)

    JT - I know exactly what you are talking about when you mention getting ideas for the middle or end of a book when you are only at the beginning. I do that too. And some times I'll just put the idea aside in my mind until I get there. But other times I'll grab a file card, jot a few of the main ideas for that "scene" and then save it until I'm ready for it and a few times I've actually gone ahead and written that part right away. Just be careful if you do that, that you don't just decide not to write the rest of the book. :)

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    1. Great idea! Thanks!
      ~JT

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  9. I love all your comments and sharing about your writing frustrations!

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  10. Mrs. M when is the next fan story going to be?:)
    Siberian huskies!:)

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  11. I have a lot of random little problems with writing, mostly because I decide "nah, I'd rather be riding the horse right now instead of writing about it!" so it's really my own fault. :) A friend encouraged me that even if it wasn't in the same story to write something every day, so I journal, blog, email, write in my stories, etc. So there is always something to write! You just gotta do it! :) It takes discipline, that's for sure...
    Just curious, has anyone else ever compiled a Clips file? I have an entire Microsoft Document titled Clips, where if I think up something (a story, a scene, a conversation, an idea, a thought, a character) I will write it down in the Clip file. Believe it or not my Clip folder has saved me lots of work on creating scenes and characters, I'll browse through ideas I've had and discover a plot or a character I had for one story idea works great for the story I'm working on right at that time! I encourage everyone to have a Clip file, so when you don't want to write in your stories or you have a new idea, write it down and get it out of your head so you can focus on your stories. It works really well. :)

    -Calamity Rene

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    1. I have notebooks that are filled/being filled with ideas! I really like to get unusual names or story titles and work from there (sometimes). Other times I get an idea for the story and have to get a character. I am writing a book, and I have a pile of people proofreading it. They encourage me, and I keep writing!
      But with writing a Christmas play, I had to take a break for a bit.
      Does any one else like to write plays? I got the idea from a camp I went to that did competitions, entered, and got a red ribbon (1st place, except they grade you against criteria, not others)! I have been writing plays since! It is a great way for me to serve in our church.
      God bless! It is nice to know I'm not the only one with troubles with writing stories!
      Ira-Grace

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  12. That sounds great! Thank you for sharing Calamity Rene!
    Siberian huskies!

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  13. The antidote for all procrastination.....pin your self to the seat and don't get up until you're either done or have a satisfactory amount of work finished. I'm glad to know that other people struggle with having many half finished stories on their computer :-).

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  14. believe me i have a lot too
    Rebekah R

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  15. Mrs. M can I use my book that I wrote and shorten it and put one of the circle c characters in it for the contest? Even if they only say a few words?
    Hope tat made sense! Thank you!:)
    Siberian huskies!
    God bless all of you!

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    1. Let me put it to you this way: sure, you can "stick" in a CCA name and have them say a few words, but if it is not the same setting (1880s) or if the CCA characters don't have much to do with the story, the judges may prefer to choose a more CCA-centered story. Your decision; their judging. :-)

      They have read the rules too (they should, anyway), and the stories do need to be based around the CCA characters in general, even if you make up new characters for the MAIN characters. You sure can give it a try. Who knows? It might fly. :-)

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    2. Thank you!:) yes it is in the 1880's!:)
      Siberian huskies!

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  16. random question: Has anyone here read any Serendipity books? (by Stephen Cosgrove)

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  17. i haven't what is it about?
    Rebekah R

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    1. it is a collection of *little kid* books. they are about different kinds of animals. Like little flying horses, (which are adorable!) and a whole bunch of different critters. they are really cute, and each story has a good moral.
      And the artist is wonderful! :) I think they were written in the 70's. you should look them up. :D

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  18. Oh wow, I've had trouble with this too...all the ideas in my head just won't let themselves be written down on paper! If only people knew...(see last post from your blog... :) However, I find that if I let myself really think over the story line, and have the basic plot outlined before I even begin...aka fan stories...I can write them down in a record breaking time! (for instance, the last fan story I wrote took only three days to complete! :O) Just some advice...I have been writing stories randomly ever since I was six, but I'm now fifteen, so I have only a few years of experience behind me. It's been so helpful to me to read a "professional's" opinion on many matters I've had nagging me in the back of my mind! Thank you so much Mrs. Marlow, for creating this blog and letting us new author-to-be glean off of you and your friends knowledge! :)

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  19. Mrs. M when are you going to post the next fan story?
    Siberian huskies!

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    1. Yeah, I can hardly wait. :) Say... have you finished fixing up the pictures I send you, Mrs. Malow? :D

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    2. No, because I am not sure how. I think I will post them AS IS and ask if anybody has some other ideas. We can build this ranch together! :-)

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  20. Mrs. M,
    How old is Andi's Mother and what was her maiden name?
    One of the books that I am writing got a little too close to the setting in your books. Sure I have way different plots and all, even an earlier timeline! But it is still too close to your series. I was thinking ( if Andi's Mother is the right age ) I could use her as a kid for one of my main character's friends. I am definitely not going to publish the book or anything, it is only for me and my family/close friends to read. It will help me conquer the guilt of " same book settings" :-)
    ~ JT

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    1. Why is it not okay to be a little too close to the setting in my books? Especially if it is for yourself, go ahead and make it as close as you like! Hey, I write Star Trek stories and that's pretty CLOSE to the same galaxy as the original.

      I don't care. But Andi's mother is 50 when Andi is 12. her maiden name is Johnson. You can click on the "My Family" link to read and then click on the "read more" and get a lot of background. Here it is for Andi's mom:

      http://circlecadventures.blogspot.com/2010/05/my-mother-elizabeth.html

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    2. Thank you so much! I really appreciate how open you are to our ideas.
      This blog is one of my favorite places to go on the internet!
      ~ JT

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    3. Glad you like it! Tell your friends. This blog is fun because of all of YOU!

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    4. I looked at the birth dates of Andi's family, and found out that Katherine is only a year older then my character, Wyonna, so I will use her instead. For some odd reason I thought that your books were set in the early 1900s!
      I must of got them mixed up with the Mandie series. :-P
      ~ JT

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  21. Have any of you read the Viking quest series? I forgot the author's name!
    Siberian huskies!
    Ps. Mrs. M are you going to post a fan story tomorrow?

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    1. I have! It's one of my FAVORITE series!!
      The author is Lois Walfrid Johnson :)

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  22. I was wondering if you were going to make any CCA or CCB movies because that would be sssssssssooooooooooo cool.
    Rebekah R

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    1. Hey, if a producer for Christian videos comes to me (like the ones for the Mandi series), I would sure say YES!

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    2. That'd be cool, I'll admit...

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  23. My biggest problem is time! What with my apprenticeship in horse care, college homework, piano practice for my big exam next month, prep for the riding exam next month etc. life seems very busy! I love my writing, but finding time to sit at my desk and write is nigh on impossible at the moment. I can't wait until my exams are all over, and then I can get into a routine of getting home from work and writing my stories.
    I do also find my mind buzzes with loads of ideas. As soon as I start one story, then another story pops into my head. But I try not to keep too many stories on the go. I also don't start a story until I have fully planned it - and I don't allow myself to fully plan another story until I am closer to finishing the first one! :-)

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    1. I feel your pain. I have WAY to many story ideas planned, and not enough time to write them! I try to write at night.
      ~ JT

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Let Andi know what you think!