Monday, March 8, 2021

The Birthday Check-In

 Hey, it's my birthday!

(Note: Okay, my birthday was actually the other day but it was my birthday when I first sat down to write this post. Then the phone rang and I saw something shiny and now it's a couple days later.  Whatever. It's my birthday.)

What better time than to check in with you all on my progress. And yes, I have been making progress:

Hacking away at Book #2

I know I've written vaguely about the mysterious "Book #2" for a while, but I'm at long last hitting the home stretch... of my first draft. Then I'll need to circle back to plug up the holes and give it a proper going-over before it's ready for anyone to read and/or tear apart. But it's getting there, and that's a good feeling.

What the hell is this Book #2, anyway? 

Fair enough. I've been vague and mysterious about it long enough. Also, I've been taking the occasional seminar to help me sell these things to agents (cuz I clearly need the help) and have put together a proper Elevator Pitch for my new story.

"A suicide reunites the surviving members of the Bleecker Street Six, and the childhood friends process the tragic news in different ways -- including one who doesn't think it was a suicide at all."

Wow, that sounds amazing! How are you not burning through your draft like a house on fire?

First, thank you! Second, I ask myself that same thing all the time and have come up with various reasons why, but a seminar I (remotely) attended the other week drive it home for me. 

In her seminar "Getting Your Story on the Page, from Idea to Execution," author Danielle Joseph talked a bit about knowing your book's mood -- the emotion that powers your story. And that's when it clicked, because you know what emotion powers my current story? Grief. Which explains why there have been so many days (weeks, months) when I can't bring myself to dig in and do the work.

Ah. So, are all writing seminars this insightful?

I wish. I did attend a couple of fantastic seminars by Rachelle Gardner over the summer. Then I attended three seminars from other authors after the new year and while Danielle Joseph's was quite good, the others were... not. 

I get that running seminars remotely is an adjustment but we're a year into the pandemic so it's not like the change in format was a surprise. Instead the other seminars were directionless and meandering, which makes for a really hard sit. The speakers often over-analyzed certain things to the point of meaninglessness while glazing over things that would have been interesting to unpack. The worst one was a completely formless session consisting of the speaker asking rhetorical questions, stream of consciousness-style. I bailed after an hour.

Sounds awful. Any good news?

Yes! My writers group has started back up after going dormant for much of the pandemic. The group has been all business, even going so far as to pledge specific goals for the month to hold each other accountable. It's been great.

Hope all is good with you, too. More to come.

First Post: The Story So Far

Hallo. I’m Scot Nolan, though you might know me from reviewing and discussing bad movies over the past ten years as “Nolahn.” But this ...