Insecure Writer's Support Group Blog Post Badge

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s the posting day for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!  

This month’s optional question is: It’s the best of times; it’s the worst of times. What are your writer highs (the good times)? And what are your writer lows (the crappy times)?

Writing is absolutely an emotional roller coaster for me. But then, I love roller coasters.

Even though I have not finished my first novel, I am still a very active writer as part of my daily job. While writing documents on strategy, or trying to convince people of a direction, there is still a certain amount of craft involved in my writing.

Getting into that writing zone is the best.

While I can certainly get into the zone when I’m writing non-fiction, being in the zone when writing fiction is a whole new level.  That is when the story is telling itself, the characters are driving it, and I’m just documenting it.  And often it spins off in a direction that I had no preconceived idea that it could go.  

My novel started with a simple concept of a health club having security cameras in places it would not typically, and a staff member posting footage on the internet.  Once I started writing, it turned into a murder mystery with blackmail, illegal drugs, government operatives, and political shenanigans.  My protagonist is just getting over a case where his partner was killed and he gets a new partner that challenges him on many levels.  Where the heck did all of that stuff come from?  I got to spend a couple of weeks in that zone and frankly, I miss it.

If you write, you know that zone I’m talking about!

In the zone!

The words just fly onto the page, your fingers floating across the keyboard, the story unfolding, characters growing and becoming more and more real.  Not only is the story interesting, but you are also becoming attached to your characters, you are feeling for them, worried for them, and wondering what the heck they are going to do now or next?  Nothing around you matters, it is just you and the keyboard and the words.  Your fresh hot coffee will be ice cold before you even remember it is there and there is no time to deal with that rumbling growl from your middle.  All that matters is getting those words out!

As for the worst of times, right now, it is the heart-wrenching reevaluation of my material so far.  You can read more about my dilemma here. The long and short of it is that until I have those issues resolved in my head, I just cannot seem to get back into storytelling mode.  And what is really worst, is I really want to know how the story turns out!

I’m really looking forward to reading other writers’ contributions to this month’s blog hop and I would be lying if I didn’t have some anticipatory hesitations for the comments to this post.

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John Winkelman
1 year ago

Ahhh The Zone. So difficult to get into, so nice to be in. Good luck moving your book to a new city. Verisimilitude is such a sticking point when placing stories in familiar settings.

Nancy Gideon
1 year ago

Don’t let those little obstacles get in the way. You have to give them permission to interfer, you know. Your idea sounds awesome!! Get back to those keys, Doug! You can’t edit an empty page. Push through, don’t go back.

Nick Wilford
1 year ago

It’s great being in that zone but a big part of it is showing up even when you’re not feeling it. Sometimes you have to bash out that first draft and then go back and make sense of it all.

Helen Mathey-Horn
1 year ago

Boy can I relate to everything you’ve said. The only thing I would add is that I have a hard time ‘killing off’ any character I really like. Too much energy (or myself?) invested in them, lol?

Lori L. MacLaughlin
1 year ago

Oh, yes, I know that zone well. The characters do what they do and you’re just along for the ride, writing down what’s happening as quick as you can. And when they go off in some crazy direction, you’re left standing there saying where on earth did that come from??
I’m sorry I don’t know how to help with the location problem. I write fantasy adventure and make up my own worlds. I would find it hard to write about a real city I’d never been in. I’ve read books that take place in fictional towns, sort of an Everytown, USA. Would it be that bad to create a fictional city that has similarities to what you’ve already written? You have a great story idea going. If you can get the “what happens” details down, maybe the “where it happens” will come to.

Elizabeth Seckman
1 year ago

Yep. I love the zone. And on a side note, they make coffee warmers like little hotplates you can set your coffee on to keep it from getting cold. With this, you can let it evaporate while you’re in the zone.

Jacqui Murray
1 year ago

Like you, I write fic and non-fic. Such different animals! And they satisfy different needs within me. Welcome to IWSG!

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