Why My Novel Remains a Draft, and Other Insights

Dear readers of “Through the Door”,

I’m not trying to tease you. Believe me when I say that I am wanting to get back to Mollie* and Travis even worse than you do. Life (good and bad) keeps getting in my way, but I am organizing my Draft-5 editing plan (i.e. to-do-list), so when I do have time to dedicate to the novel, I will be ready to go.

* Oh, yea – I changed Chloe’s name to Mollie, due to privacy issues. Same girl, different name.

I’m thinking seriously about changing the title as well.  Titles are one of the more difficult challenges I have with my writing. I over-think it. I try too hard to think of the perfect title and it does not enter my head. “Through the Door” was originally a great title, but it has lost something over time.

When “Accidental Tourist” popped into my head, I knew it had been a movie in the past, so I dropped it.  Only 2 days later, because it was so perfect, for Mollie’s story, I did some research to find out just how many things were titled the same.

I was encouraged to find that 16 out of the 19 titles for film and TV I found were episodes titled “Accidental Tourist”, but they were part of various TV series.  There were 3 films. 2 short films, in 2010 & 2015, and one feature film, 1988, with Kathleen Turner and William Hurt.

So, not being over used in the film industry, I hoped against hope that there were just as few Books in circulation.

Anne Tyler wrote a Novel titled “The Accidental Tourist” published in 2007. It has been published in several Anne Tyler Collections of stories, as well as being an Intro title (i.e., The Accidental Tourist: more title words go on…) I read a review, by The Washington Post. It was long and wordy, but this phrase struck me “A fresh and timeless tale of unexpected bliss”  What a relief! Totally does not describe Mollie’s travel at all.

“Accidental Tourist” is now the (nearly final) Title. It’s not that I can’t commit, it just leaves room for an Editor to make title suggestions, right?

Well, what a relief about the title issue. Now I can concentrate on being an Editor on this story. The most difficult part of writing (aside from perfect titles) that one can encounter.  A prayer, if you are so inclined, would be appreciated!

♥  TTFN  ♥



STOP, Rewind, Restart, Repeat

NeedsMoreWorkIt means you need to suck it up and re-write them!

In the case of my novel, Through the Door, this means a lot of hard work has been added to its ‘to-do’ list. More research, more brainstorming, more organization. I will do the work to tell a better story – because it deserves it.

I love the characters, the plot and the premise. So I’m stubbornly plugging along on the to-do list and outline. This year work halted a couple of times when family stuff needed my attention. Coming back after a month or two is hard! It is amazing how confused and lost you feel at first. Getting oriented again takes some reading your notes and referring to the outline.

I’m learning so much while writing this novel.  The most important lesson is to make sure you outline more details and organize things tightly, so you do not lose your way in the midst of the chaos. I believe that if I had more details planned out that I would be finished with the writing and working on the editing by now.

It has been said, many times, “write what you know”. I know a little about a lot of things. What I do NOT know MUST be researched. This can be a chore at times, but I would be so disappointed it if I were reading a novel and the flow is interrupted by wrong things about a subject I am familiar with.  It has happened and I was.

I’m growing to like doing research. Often, I am surprised/delighted about what I find out, and now and then I learn something that slides right into my story and makes it better. Win-Win, as it were. [Hubby hates the win-win saying, but sometimes it really applies.]

When I needed to learn about head lice, what I read grossed me out enough –  they didn’t need to show me photos!  Google it if you dare. short articles and huge hideous (zoomed in) photos of creatures from another planet.  My scalp itched for hours after. Telling hubby about it later (he saw no photos or text), his head started itching.  Sorry if yours is now.  My Bad.

Books, archived newspapers and the internet are my best sources, however the most fun is chatting with someone who has experienced for themselves the trials or situation that I’m writing about. They made it feel more real to you, and you pass that along to your characters. Having a 98-year-old early resident of a small mountain township will have stories to tell that are not recorded in history, but happened just the same.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a date with my manuscript…

♥  TTFN  ♥

Going to Camp

I am sending myself to camp this April. CNW_Participant_Square

I will not be traveling there because it is a virtual writers camp (Camp NaNoWriMo).  No meds to pack, no boarding for Ziva. Yeah!!
Just me & my cabin mates with our laptops, caffeine, snax, and notebooks containing research notes, ideas, ad nauseam. Some of us are starting new novels and a few of us, myself included, are editing our November novels. Either way, our cabin is full of  Young Adult Fiction writers, so it has to be fun. Right?  🙂

BTW, I am looking for a sponsor – someone to donate $$ to those who work hard to keep the camp running. Interested? Click  HERE for more info!

Wish me luck!!

♥  TTFN  ♥