Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pet Peeves...and my writing process

Things that make me want to scream (for all the wrong reasons)...

Focus, or rather the lack of it. 

It's frustrating when I'm working on something whether it's a blog post (like this one!) or my WIP and my thoughts are disjointed and chaotic.  

I've set the computer down gently and walk away for a few minutesI'll stretch because by now I have a raging headache or I'll drink some juice thinking if vitamin C can fight a cold, surely it can translate my jumbled thoughts into coherent sentences. 

Poor memory. 

It annoys the heck out of me when I have to reread previous chapters or run through my outline to keep track of character development and plot. 

I've write everything down. I outline my stories but I also write chapter highlights on index cards. This way I can quickly flip through the cards and visualize my story unfolding. Also, the cards make it easier to jump back in the mind of my characters. 

I think the most important thing I've learned is to stop fighting myself and take the extra steps necessary even if they seem silly and time consuming. In the end, fighting my process is what stops my work flow and slows completing a novel. 

Thank you for checking out my pet peeves. If you'd like to share ways you've improved your work process, focus or memory I'd be happy to read them.

My novel, The Burning Seal, a paranormal romantic suspense is available in the Muse bookstore. 

Back Cover:

Detective Danni Keegan is plunged into a dark, demonic world where survival depends on deciphering the connection between ritual killings, and a demon terrorizing her for a “gift” she wasn’t even aware she possessed. She must unravel her dreams of another woman who lived during ancient times and battled a bloodthirsty demon—the same demon who now hunts Danni. The loss of her body and soul looms imminent as her only chance to destroy the demon depends on changing her new partner’s convictions. He is a sinfully sexy man, who exudes power and self-assurance with the ease of breathing and has an iron-willed determination not to believe in the paranormal.


Mike said...

My pet peeve is that I am a much better writer in the morning hours, but my day job pays the bills, so I pretty much only have weekends to work on new material. That being said, my first novel was written largely on the back of construction plans during break and lunch time in my work van. So I guess my day job is my pet peeve. lol

Pat McDermott said...

Keeping track of characters is a pet peeve for me. I made a master character outline, and I fill it in for each character as they introduce themselves. Saves me from having to dig to verify what color someone's eyes are, or which side of the face a scar is on. Also helpful when writing a sequel.

Jenna Storm said...


Lol. I agree that not having enough time to write is a pet peeve.


That's a good idea to create a master list of characteristics. I have character worksheets but not a master. Thanks for the idea...I'm going to set one up.

Rochelle Weber Author said...

I, too keep a master character worksheet in Excell. I have an Excell file for each book where I keep a list of chapters as I go to make the synopsis easier because I'm a pantser; a list of characters and their names and descriptions; as well as a time sheet where I sort of punch in and out so I can see how much time I've spent. I also keep a word count and a timeline if the story requires it. That was especially important in Rock Crazy when I was trying to match the progression of my heroine's pregnancy with the progression of her bi-polar disorder.

Each of these things was a worksheet within the Rock Crazy file. Well, actually the synopsis and word count can go together on the same page since I do both on a chapter-by-chapter basis.

Wendy said...

speaking of focus and memory. when I have a word in mind and know there is a better one for the purpose, I scan the dictionaries and the internet but still can't better my my first choice, that wasted time and effort really peeves me. I know that once upon a time the better word I want would not have escaped me. Thank goodness for astute editors.

Jenna Storm said...

Thank Rochelle and Wendy for commenting.

It's nice to read the other ways authors keep track of their characters and plot.


That happens to me also...when I know there's a better word and I can't recall it. I use a thesaurus but I also have action verb lists that I refer to. The verb lists are a doc file on my kindle so whenever I feel like it I read over the lists and refresh my memory.

Happy Writing everyone!
I'm thankful for great editors too!