Wednesday, June 8, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance?

I started writing a new book this week.  Not sure yet if there's a love connection but I see definite potential. 

For me, starting a book is a little like dance lessons.  First there's the awkward stage.  Like you're not sure yet if you even want to hold your partner's hands.  Sure, you showed up for the lessons because you want to dance--you love the idea of dancing--but you're still feeling like you have two left feet.  You desperately want to get to that stage when you can dance your way across the floor with little effort but you are far from that stage, my little chickadee.

I can usually can whip out a first chapter pretty quickly because I'm excited about my shiny idea, the hook, but then after that's cranked out I stare at my laptop screen and go, "Oh, sh*t! Now what?"  It would help if I liked to outline but I have a total medically diagnosed outline phobia.  Seriously.  I blame a certain English college professor for that. 

So I've got this cool idea, an idea of what my book could look like, and I'm raring to grab it and let it whisk me away.  Unfortunately I'm stepping all over my own toes at this point.

Baby steps, right?


Carol Kilgore said...

Yes, baby steps. I've been a pantser, but I plan not to outline my next project but make a timeline. I think that will help. I hope that will help. Figuring it all out is my summer project because I plan to begin writing in September. Maybe we need a sexy dance instructor to keep us ON our toes :)

Tina said...

As a recovering English teacher, I had to give up outlines. I still crave them occasionally -- like during the creation of my second book. I even bought a handy-dandy book titled something like Even YOU Can Outline A Mystery.

Alas, my creative engine threw a rod. Turns out outlining just isn't a part of my process. So I went cold turkey (but I found that a timeline made of business cards spread out on the dining room table worked wonders).

Congrats on your new dance partner! May your partnership be sweet and fulfilling, with a minimum of squashed toes.

DEZMOND said...

congrats on starting a new book, Liz, that's always a super exciting start of something creative and wonderful.

Precy Larkins said...

Love the dance metaphor! ;)

I'm no good at outlines. I always have idea starters and I get so excited, only when I'm a quarter in I fall into a funk. What next? What's the best possible route for this story? So I totally understand what you're feeling. I might learn how to outline just to see if it helps me. Goodluck with yours!

Amy Jarecki said...

Stick a rose in your teeth and tango, I'll bet you'll find magic!

Carol Riggs said...

Keep doing those baby steps, yeah! What's chagrining is to THINK you've made some classy steps, only to look back later and see they were pretty Klutzy. LOL

Talli Roland said...

Great analogy! I hear you - I always begin quickly but then feel really awkward about the whole thing. Does it like me? Do I like it enough to commit? Same old story!

Elena Solodow said...

Yay, I love the early stages. I have an idea like that milling around in my brain too. To stare at that blank page and not really know what you're getting into is always a fun thrill.

-E- said...

one chapter at a time.

Karen Walker said...

Yes, baby steps. I don't use outlines either. Hate 'em, so I'm in the same boat as you. I'm just allowing the story to emerge as it wants to come through. Good luck, Liz.

CA Heaven said...

Interesting to see how you do it >:)

Cold As Heaven

Áine Tierney said...

Thanks so much for you kind message Liz. Was off the radar there for a while - I had a lot happening between a family member being sick and starting a new job myself. Hope to be back posting regular now though.
Congrtulations on starting a new book!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Wow, Liz.

After you fantastic news last week you certainly not wasting any time. I am so impressed.

I'm still avoiding editing as much as possible, but now I really have to get it going. There might be some interest, I'll let you know more later.

I'm so distracted from minor illness and sunny weather. I need a good kick in the

Nas said...

Hi Liz,

Congratulations on starting a new book!

All the best!

Talei said...

Baby steps, indeed! Sounds fab already.

I wanted to stop by and tell you - I have just finished reading Captive Spirit and I didn't want it to end! I savoured the last few chapters. Honovi and Aiyana *le sigh* Thoroughly enjoyed it!!! I will review too.

Now, I shall dive into Perfect Craving! ;-)

Talei said...

Of course, I mean Craving Perfect!

Just edited 1 1/2 chapters, le brain tres fried! And now I'll just take myself off...

Liz Fichera said...

So I see that I'm not the only one with two left feet or an aversion to outlines! ;-) Comforting!!

@Carol: If you find a sexy dance instructor, please share pics!

@Tina: Just read your post on your blog and you totally rocked the index card collage!

Thanks, Dezmond!

@Cherie: Glad you liked! I was in a dance kind of mood. ;-)

@Amy: I would so love to tango!

@Carol: Oh, yeah. I think I get the klutz award. Seriously.

@Talli: I made more progress today. I think I'm going to let this WIP take me out at least on a first date. ;-) He better behave.

@Elena: I think I entered the fun thrill stage today. Fingers crossed.

@E - so true!!

@Karen: It's always best when it's organic. When you try to force, it always falls flat--at least it does for me.

@CAH: Glad to share!

@Aine: So glad you're back!

@Michael: My sister tells me it's been really hot back there. Hope you're feeling better.

@Nas: Thank you so much!

@Talei: *Hugs* So glad you enjoyed Captive Spirit. And no prob abt the title. :-) Hope you enjoy that one too! Time for a glass of wine! Or two.

Sarah said...

I plot stuff, but I always get to a place about 10k words in where I have this uh-oh moment. At that point, I just feel tired, like I made a great start, but there's still so much story ahead of me! So far, I've gotten past it, but it always gives me pause. It reminds me of what you're describing above! I hope you keep your momentum on this new project!

Angelina Rain said...

I can so relate. I whip out that first and last chapter, but the rest of the book is very hard to write.

I don't outline either, I've done it a few times but then I almost always stray away from what I outlined, so really what's the point.

Sherri said...

Oh shiny...a new story :)

I can't outline either, it's too logical for my create side. Have fun with the dance I have faith in you!

Cathy said...

Hi! Looking forward to reading your book. I've left you an award here:

Liz Fichera said...

@Sarah, I find a box of sugar cookie chippers from Paradise Bakery to be an excellent motivator. ;-)

@Angelina: So true! That's how I feel.

@Catherine: Thank you so much! I'll be by your blog in a bit.

Danette said...

Mo always says a new idea is like finding a new lover. It's very exciting and can sweep you off your feet. But the beginning can be very intimidating. I have a new idea too and haven't gotten it off the ground yet but I really love the idea and so it simmers as a flirtation in the back of my brain. ;)