Day 179 – Character conflict keeps the reader engaged

Day one hundred seventy-nine of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words: 500

Tonight, I brought back a character who hasn’t had a direct presence in the book since one of the early chapters. It was fun to write him again, although recalling his voice for dialogue was more challenging than I anticipated. I did the best I could and remembered that I can tighten it up later. That helps me so I don’t have to obsess about getting everything right the first time.

Conflict between characters is one of my favorite elements of fiction to write, and to read. These two characters in particular emote conflict that is both good and bad. They are fond of each other while at the same time, they can’t stand each other. There is palpable tension between them. It’s interesting to write and hopefully, interesting to read. And now that I’m at the stage of closing loops to reach an ending, it is satisfying to see them together again.

Day 178 – It’s never too late to outline

Day one hundred seventy-eight of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words: 1,200

After I finished writing last night, I jotted down some notes to organize changes in plot. At the time, I didn’t fully realize the value of doing that exercise. Tonight, I did.

I had been having trouble sorting out the many plot changes that developed over the last several months. Even more troubling was the difficulty I was having reconciling those changes with an eye toward an ending. While I wrote last night, the changing plot lined up in my mind and I could foresee the ending. It was an aha! moment. While it was fresh in my mind, I wrote down an outline to map out how it will work. Coming back to that outline tonight was immensely helpful because I had already forgotten some key points. My memory was instantly refreshed and I started writing with a plan and purpose in mind.

That’s exactly how I started writing this book. I created an outline that I followed for a while. Then things changed. The plot took twists and turns I had not anticipated. I loved it when that happened; it was thrilling to see the story develop organically. So I scrapped the outline and just wrote. Creating a new outline as things changed seemed like a waste of time since I figured the plot would just change some more. And it did. Now I know that it is never too late to do an outline. Even if the ending is in sight.

Since I am writing my first book, I am enjoying the learning curve. It is humbling for the most part, since I recognize how clueless I was when I started. Frankly, I’m still rather clueless. But I am learning every day and improving my writing and story-telling skills. It is definitely a journey.