Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Writer's Wednesday: The Writing Grail

Pink Heart Society columnist and Harlequin Historical author Nicole Locke asks - Is there a Writing Grail?

I’m in trouble. It’s been going on for a while now, and although I’ve made valiant efforts to deny or overcome it, I’m finally in the acceptance stage.

I’m not writing anything. I have a story I actually like. In my head, my characters are carrying on epic movie quality dialogue and scenes.

So I sit down to write, and the richness of the scenes aren't spilling forth. I’m about 30k words in. No, that’s not true. I’m 20k words in. But I’m not going to tell you how long I’ve been writing it.

Alright, I’ve been writing it for a month. I can write 1k words in 1 hour, and 2k if I'm motoring. Those 20k words are blood drawn, and with little exception, they’re all bad.

So am I procrastinating? Is this perfectionism, fear of failure or a feeling of inadequacy? Am I purposefully self-defeating myself because I deserve not to tell this story?

I know first drafts are awful. I know that around the 18th draft, I’m elated with the story, and that feeling is indescribably amazing. I want that feeling again, or at least that feeling I get when I write a good sentence.

So I’m looking for the Writing Grail to fix my trouble. I read inspiration books such as Bird by Bird and On Writing. I read the ‘how to’ ideas in the Snowflake Method and Plot from the Middle. The inspiration books were inspiring; the 'how to' books helpful. But they weren't the Writing Grail.

So I spent four hours searching for the best headset for speech recognition. The hope is sound. I’m fidgety. My sit down ability is one hour tops and on a bad day 10 minutes. This isn’t just with writing. It often takes me a week to watch a film. So the headset for speech recognition might work.

Now I have my headset, and the speech recognition apps I have aren't working for me. After another eight hours of training bad apps and researching new apps, I settled on Dragon Naturally Speaking 13. Even though I know it's bound to have a release soon; even though I tried DNS before.

Did I tell you I tried this before? Yep, and I quit because training the program didn't work. But when looking for the Writing Grail, I have to be optimistic. I have to hope the technology has improved since the last time I tried.

Because what if it has? What if this is all me and my fidgety self and I only need to find my writing pace? Except....

Except, I fear what lurks beneath my hopes. I fear there’s a bad writing seed planted in my head and heart that’s going to stop me again. So I thought it should be acceptance time, and tell my troubles.

Because I have one certainty left, if there is a Writing Grail, it’s the camaraderie of writers and readers. 

--  Nicole :-)

Nicole's third book in the Lovers and Legends series, The Highland Laird's Bride, releases in June. She's celebrating with a Goodreads Giveaway beginning May 10th!

He wants to amend the past. She wants to kill him.

Lioslath of Clan Fergusson has defended her clan and her orphaned siblings against countless enemies. So when Laird Colquhoun, the man responsible for the death of her father, arrives at the gates of her crumbling keep, she'll fight him all the way!

It's soon clear Bram's famed tactics of seduction and negotiation won't work on this guarded, beautiful woman. But when sparks between them turn to passion, and they're forced to wed, Bram must do whatever it takes to win over his new bride...
To find out more about Nicole Locke, visit her website, and follow her on Twitter.

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