Wednesday, January 20, 2016

How to Trade Stress Writing for Total, Absolute, Epic Excitement Writing

My children enjoy playing video games. They are willing to restart levels even entire games after hitting a roadblock. The competition is liken to a perpetual Super Bowl.

Starting at level one is so exciting for them. Their character bumps unto things, falls over cliffs, sinks in water, and any other variation on the obstacle gamers invent. My kids replay levels over and over until they pass to some mysterious, unseen next level. Poof. A new scene with new obstacles and pitfalls appears. And although they may sink or fall and will have to start the entire game all over, they do--with the energy of the Huns ready to overcome.

This is the life of a writer.

We start at level one and face obstacles like: 

* organizing/outlining an entire book
* disciplining ourselves to write everyday
* realizing that the first draft is not publishable quality
* finding out we have more to learn about grammar
* how to write a good beginning, middle, and end
* taking the time to read, read, read. BTW, The best way to learn the craft.
* holding the storyline to one main problem for one main character crafting strong villains
* accepting and growing from other writer's critiques

Once we hear that longed-for-music that indicates we have passed level one we move on to level two.

In level two we face obstacles like:

* humbling ourselves to reading our story outlaid to detect errors
* learning how to self edit
* learning how to add layers to the story and not let those layers steal the show start networking by:
     setting up author pages, blogs, twitter, etc accounts
     connecting with groups that can relate to your book
     participate in these groups without promoting a book. Become one of the gang. Be faithful to these and grow your tribe.
* learn how to develop your characters into 3-D characters who are so memorable their name along forms a picture in a 
     hearer's mind.
* enter contests. This will let others know your name, your genre, and possibly give you a contact to get your book published, 
    not to mention a critique.

Again the music plays indicating we have passed level two and have moved on to level three:

In level three we face obstacles like:

* Polish your manuscripts so they are the best example of a well written story.
* Start writing another story
* Send out proposals to agents/editors. 
* Research indie publishing. There are many resources out there to help you. Don't settle to 
      get your book published. Look for the gold. The one that will make your debut novel stand 
      out online and in stores.
* Up the networking. Branch out to more groups. Build your tribe. The more people who will  
      recognize your name, the more will be interested in looking at your book.
* Set up a newsletter and get off the ground.
* Research avenues to promote your book. Can you set up a radio interview, speak to a club, 
* Write an article in a magazine that has similar interests. 
* Enter contests. This will let others know your name, your genre, and possibly give you a 
      contact to get your book published, not to mention a critique.

At any time we can be sent back to the beginning of the game. Starting over with level one can be discouraging. But, we can learn from the kids who play video games. Shrug it off and allow yourself to be excited to play again. Always with the goal of publication in mind.

Oh, publication, BTW is not the end of the highest level. Publication is the door to yet another level. AND since I am still trying to get to that level, I have not seen the obstacles. I don't really know how many levels there are...or if anyone has reached the "top level."

Perhaps you have romped around on the Publication level of the Writing Game. What obstacles have you faced?

Perhaps you, like me are still romping around on levels one, two, and three. What other obstacles have you encountered?

I can't wait to read your comment(s)!

Photo Courtesy of header photo.


Rock climbing, white-water rafting, and hiking top Mary's list of a great ways to enjoy a day. These can be found in her stories as well.

Mary writes young adult mystery/suspense, is honing marketing and writing skills, and loves to pen missionary and tell Bible event stories on her ministry blog, God Loves Kids. She has finaled in several writing contests.

Visit Mary at her websiteblog, and her ministry blog to families: God Loves Kids. Or chat on Facebook or Twitter

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