Saturday, August 27, 2011

Come on, Irene!

No, that's not bad karaoke -- it's the hurricane (or tropical storm) set to batter my region this weekend.

We're ready. We have water, non-perishable food, flashlights, candles, gas in the cars, cash, charged phones, etc. In case the power goes out and stays out, we're covered.

A weekend like this is a good time to catch up on writing or editing projects. Going out is unwise. The TV might not stay on. I have a composition book and a few pens if the power goes out and I have to write by candlelight. If you're on the east cost, be prepared for Irene, and be prepared to do some work on your writing, too. It's not like you'll have much else to do if the roads flood. While the winds are swirling outside, keep your creative winds swirling inside. Sometimes, a story idea can hit you like a 100-mph wind and rock you like a... well, a hurricane. OK, that's the last of my weather (and Scorpions) references.

Stay safe, stay dry, and happy writing!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Crack That WIP

Back in July, I shelved one work in progress to start another. I had a character and idea I really wanted to get out of my head and onto the electronic page. I wrote seven chapters with this new character and discovered more about him than I knew at the beginning.

Then I decided to shelve that WIP, too.

Am I just a WIP gypsy, the literary (and male) equivalent of Stevie Nicks? Despite my writing transience the last couple months, I'm generally not. This time, I'm back to C.T. Ferguson, my detective protagonist, and it's good to be swimming in familiar waters again. All of the characters are as fresh as they were the last time I visited them (even though they're aging a few months between books). While it was a good experience to get someone new onto the page, I have to say I like going back to C.T. It's like taking a walk around the neighborhood where you grew up.

I plan to go back to the other WIP (well, both of them) at some point. Ultimately, we have to enjoy what we write, and I enjoy writing about the adventures and misadventures of C.T. more than the other two characters.

If you have a work in progress that's dragging a little, that isn't as much fun as you thought, or that's hit a serious creative snag, what do you do? Plowing ahead is always an option, and for some writers, it may be the best option. For me, at least, I'd rather put it aside and go back to something (and someone) I know better, and something I know I'll enjoy from beginning to end.

Happy writing.