Insecure Writer's Support Group, New Brenda Novak, and a Snip

Can't believe it's September already! Where does the time go?

It's Insecure Writer's Support Group day today!

We make all these schedules at the start of the year and then...well, real life does happen. But that's one reason the Round of Words in Eighty Days goal setting is so flexible. As founder Kait Nolan says, it's the writing challenge that knows you have a life!

Another aspect of real life is that sometimes your muse can fade. At that point the goals you've set can either hold you to task or make you feel doibly guilty that you can't achieve them without any inspiration.

One thing I might try, since real life is keeping me from editing (and a few of my other goals), is to not feel so guilty if I start drafting another story!

I've got two or three ideas I'd like to explore but I've been putting it off, thinking I shouldn't be drafting new stories while so many others need editing. But that's very self-limiting, isn't it? If I've got time and space to write (especially since I draft with paper and pen, and what could be more portable?), then why not go ahead?

No need to feel insecure!

In fact, I've already written a very brief scene of a dystopian idea, as part of the August exercise on the Forum:
"I've lost control."
What'd you say?" Sam glanced up from across the table, then shut his book and slid it to one side, obviously more than ready to give up the pretense that they were studying.
Summer hadn't realised she'd spoken aloud. She lowered her eyes to her own book and muttered, "I've lost an earring."
She'd been fingering her earlobe, running a hand on her collar, but forced herself to stop and wait a second. No sense drawing undue attention from the nearby tables. Someone might pick up the earring-microphone and hear a crackle of static.
The cameras saw everything and there'd be no missing the reaction on the face of someone who thought they were trying to help a fellow student and discovered a spy instead.
She didn't dare meet Sam's gaze, but copied a line from the text into her notebook, turned a page in the text, and made a tiny annotation in the left hand column, as though marking her place for the next study session.
This single bit of carelessness could cost her entire mission. If she couldn't recover her link to control, she'd have to rig up another method of contact. Otherwise she'd be trapped in the Domed City.
There weren't enough teams available for control to spare a search and rescue mission for idiots who couldn't even keep their communication devices screwed in.

Twisting in her seat, to face the nearest camera full on, Summer finally looked at Sam. She was pleased to see he'd kept up an act too. He was slumped over his closed text, doodling in his notebook, the very image of the lazy boyfriend who'd rather be out partying than studying and who certainly hadn't heard a word she'd said.
"I've lost my earring," she repeated, enunciating for the benefit of the watchers behind the cameras. "Help me look."
She dove under the table. If the device wasn't here, or caught on her clothes, or up in her dorm -- any place she'd been in the last hour -- that meant only one thing.
It had fallen when they'd snuck out to explore The Staring House.
Not fallen; she wouldn't lie to herself. She had lost her only contact with control. They wouldn't send a search party, but they'd deploy a replacement team as soon as possible in order not to jeopardise the mission, and then her failure would be discovered.
She refused to allow that to happen. And she would not let herself be captured, at least not without leaving behind more information than the team before her had been able to gather.
Communication with control or no, there was no other choice.
The Staring House must be infiltrated.

I'm also in the middle of another exciting Brenda Novak book, this one a standalone historical romance: A Matter of Grave Concern:

"When Maximillian Wilder joins the notorious body snatchers known as the London Supply Company, the last thing on his mind is love. He’s worried about Madeline, his vanished half sister, who was last seen in the company of Jack Hurtsill, the gang’s conscienceless leader. Raiding graveyards, stealing corpses, and selling them to medical colleges as dissection material is dirty work, but he has to gain Jack’s trust. He’s determined to find out what happened to Madeline—and to bring Jack to justice if she was murdered for the coin her body could bring.

Beautiful, spirited Abigail Hale, daughter of the surgeon at Aldersgate School of Medicine, detests the challenging, hard-bargaining Max. But she must procure the necessary specimens if she is to save the college and her father’s career. She believes she is going to be successful—until Jack double-crosses her. Then she’s swept into a plot of danger and intrigue, one where Max must intervene and protect her, no matter the risk to his plan . . . or his heart."

Hope everyone's having a less insecure day! I'll try to visit many of you but might not have enough time to comment everywhere...


stu said…
It sounds like you have a lot of things on at once.
Miranda Hardy said…
Go with the new idea and keep the creativity flowing.
Anonymous said…
Oh, I love the snippet! You definitely already have me wanting to know more about this world, well done! I'm a big proponent of sticking through things even when they're rough, but I'm also all about flexibility. Muses are so fickle that we're foolish if we ignore them, so long as our other stuff doesn't completely fall to the wayside. But seize the muse when you can! See where it leads you and go from there.
If fresh ideas keep you writing and working, go for it.
Anonymous said…
Ah yes, those other stories! I am in the middle of edits I need to finish, but I'm letting myself write snippets here and there of another story that will not let go of my brain. But it's true that editing and writing are different tasks in terms of time, so go with what you can do!

Best wishes for the whole round!
Editors At Work said…
This snippet sounds interesting!

All the best with all you have going on!
S.P. Bowers said…
Aw, I'm imagining you sitting and feeding your baby all the while dreaming up plot points for your new story. So much fun!
Tara Tyler R said…
great new piece and don't ever feel guilty for writing! tho i do the same... but i know it's okay!
Lara Lacombe said…
Sounds like an interesting premise--I say go with it! :)
Michael Di Gesu said…
I wish I had your energy.... God bless.... a new baby, writing, new ideas.... You are truly gifted Denize...

Life is exciting and wondrous and you have to put it all on paper. You GO FOR IT!
Hi Denise - you do have an excuse or two .. and the little one is letting you read still!?

Good luck and enjoy all the times - reading, writing, and cuddling that new little soul in your lives .. gorgeous thought .. cheers Hilary
John Holton said…
Just like you can read more than one book at a time, you can draft more than one story at a time. It's a good idea to scribble down some notes at least to keep from losing whatever ideas you had, and if they come while writing something else, that's a good thing. Something to dive into when you're at a natural stopping point with the current main project. Glad it's going well.
You have a lot on your plate right now. If you're drafting because that's what your mind can do, then don't feel guilty. Return to revision when you're ready.
Kelly Steel said…
Loved the snippet. All the best!
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks for the support everyone! New ideas are definitely fun to play with. Glad you liked the snippet!

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