Friday, March 5, 2010

When Life Imitates Art

I know I've been silent for awhile. That's because Real Life got in the way in February. I've still been reading blogs but I needed some time out, like an injured animal needs to lick its wounds. With lots of other things happening, I still managed to do most of the homework in Laurie Schnebly Campbell's fantastic Plotting Via Motivation online course. I'm signed up to do her Masterclass: From Plot to Finish mid-March and I can't wait.

First, just some info on what I got out of the course. From someone who has been primarily a pantser, planning prior to starting the WIP was a foreign world to me. Sure, I've done some of that in my Category Writing Course but I had already started the WIP. Laurie's online course was challenging but rewarding. Now I've learnt that some preparation goes a long way. Figuring out the character's motivation from the start allows you to form a plot that rings true to their motivation from start to finish. I like the idea of having a road map to guide me during the writing of my WIP. Laurie's also a fantastic teacher, and I'm planning to do some more of her online courses this year.

Now to the reason for the title of this blog post. Earlier in the month I had a family life and death emergency which was sudden, shocking and unexpected. To maintain the privacy of the person involved, I won't detail specifics of the emergency here. It turned my world upside down, and has made me feel like I'm walking on a tightrope since. The eerie thing is, this incident mimicked exactly what my heroine in my current WIP is going through. Coincidence or did my subconcious know something was wrong all along? Who knows? Regardless, at the time I felt I couldn't continue with my WIP because it was too painful, too close to home. But now I feel that I need to write this story more than ever. To bring this subject with all its stigma out into the glaring light of day. And now I personally know what my heroine is feeling because I've lived through those feelings. As painful as it is, writing about the emotions involved will be true and authentic. And I know, without a doubt, that her motivation is realistic.

And my hero? I've blogged before about the issues with his motivation and the hook. But now I think I've got him pegged. A number of things contributed to this - Donna Alward's fabulous advice, applying Laurie's exercises and asking 'Why?' until I got to the core of his motivation, and referring to The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes and Heroines to assign an archetype to my hero. Well, one major archetype with added flavours of a couple of other archetypes.

Finally, I feel I can move on with this project. After being stymied for so long, the frustration and self doubt were starting to eat away at me. And deep down, I knew not completing this WIP would compound and magnify the self doubt even more.

Afterall, I can't exactly submit something that's not written now, can I?


Jackie Ashenden said...

Hey Angie, it was a great course eh? I'm doing the masterclass at the end of March - can't wait!
Hugs on your emergency! I had a family emergency happen to me a few years back which was very hard. Writing can be a great carthartic outlet - certainly was good for me at any rate.

Good luck with mastering that wip. Not to mention the hero! :-)

Rachael Johns said...

Ooh Angie - I absolutely love that Hero and Heroine book, was reading it last night trying to work out my current hero!
Hugs on the issues but yay that you are ready to throw yourself back into writing. Looking forward to following your progress.

Lacey Devlin said...

*Hugs* I'm so glad you're getting back to your writing :)

Francine said...


As Jackie said, catharsis through the medium of writing can pay dividends when faced with underlying issues at stake.

Subconscious, sixth-sense, whatever, yes I think women on the whole are more prone to picking up on vibe/s, but acting on such is usually tempered with conscious restraint!

Good luck with the project, though, and happen you'll be pleased you plugged onward.



Angie Peters said...

Hi Jackie,

From reading your recent post, you obviously got as much out of Laurie's course as I did. So glad you're doing the Masterclass - should be good!

Thanks for the support:) Yeah, I will use it as a charthartic outlet. Friends advised me to talk to a therapist, but I'd rather write about it.

Good luck with your WIP too!

Angie Peters said...

Hi Rach,

That book is great, isn't it? I haven't used it before, but I think it's also helpful in figuring out the hero's and heroine's goals and motivations.

Thanks for the support, Rach :)And good luck with your own WIP.

Angie Peters said...

Hi Lacey,

Thanks for the hugs - you're such a sweetie :)

Angie Peters said...

Hey Francine,

I'm all for carthasis now - am ready to finally let all my feelings out on the page. Hopefully, I can finally get past the block and continue with the WIP (here's keeping fingers and toes crossed!)

Thanks for popping in and lending me your support :)

Suzanne Jones said...

Hugs Angie. And all the best with the WIP.

Angie Peters said...

Thanks, Suzanne! I need all the luck I can get :)

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