Tag Archives: brainstorming

Say “Yes, and…”

Moonday Madness

a blog for writers

Every September the Colorado Romance Writers host their fabulous retreat for those members who are lucky enough to attend. Last year we had several amazing workshops, one with Liz Pelletier from Entangled (read about it HERE), and one with Margie Lawson (read about it HERE). This year our retreat workshops were hosted by members who maybe are not so famous. One of those was….me!

Kickstart Your Writing with Improv, was the one-hour workshop that I created for the retreat, we played silly improv games, learned about Harolds (a type of character that helps improve roll along smoothly), and we learned to say “Yes, and…”. Of all the skills we practiced I believe the most important is the ability to say “Yes, and…”. In improv, when you are interacting with your fellow cast mates, you need to say “yes” to whatever crazy scenario they throw at you. When you say “yes” you enable your partner to keep rolling with their imagination, and when they say “yes” to your crazy lines, they enable you to roll on with your imagination. Saying “no” stops all that. It puts a halt to you’re ability to create.

When you are brainstorming for your story saying “Yes, and…” is essential to letting your imagination run wild. And when you let your imagination run free you let your writing go to places you never would in real life. Would you create a character with blue ears if you didn’t say “Yes, and…” ? And if we are going to say “yes” to the blue ears, what about saying something else like her name is Bathusda and she is  being exalted by the media for her blue ears?

Why not?

There is no risk when you say “Yes, and…” in brainstorming. No one sees it, no one tells you no, no one will say that you are ridiculous for even thinking about it. And you might just come up with a stellar idea. Like say, sparkly vampires? Or a twelve year old boy who is going to save the world. Or a Red Riding Hood who is also a were-wolf. You just don’t know unless you say, “YES!”

When have you let your imagination run wild? Did you come up with something you would never write?

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Knights, Werewolves and Witches, What to Write First?

Sensational Saturdays

a blog for whatever I want

Writers have a terrible problem, they have too many ideas and not enough time. I would love to write three books this year and three novellas. I have the plots swirling around in my  brain. Diverse characters waiting to get their stories told. It’s a little bit like being the Little the little old woman who lived in the shoeOld Woman in the Shoe, but with attention deficit disorder. “Pick me! Pick me!”

And they are all great stories. From the knight who finds out he’s still needed, to the insecure witch who discovers her skills are just as important as her sister’s. All of these stories have their own magic. But which one gets put down on paper now? And will some of them never get written?

I hear a lot about writers block. All the NYT bestselling authors say, no such thing, you just need to be disciplined. But for me the problem isn’t writer’s block, it’s too much to write. Sure I have those days where I’m struggling with a scene, but I have so many things to work on I just jump to a different scene, or even a different project. There is no reason not to be writing. If I can squeeze it into my life.

Ah, there’s the rub Horatio.

I have my current stories with Passion in Print. Little Red Riding Wolf does have a sequel and maybe a third book in the trilogy. I have the sequel, Snow and the Seventh Wolf almost done, but it needs just a little bit more. And my life is crazy! And I have the third one partially outlined, so just a little bit more effort and a full outline later and it will be in the queue fighting for a place on my screen.

I’m deep into deep editing Blood Were. It still needs a new title, but it’s coming together. I’m hoping all of these edits will be finished by the end of July. And then I can get down to the prequel for that one. It’s just in the outlining process. Meanwhile I have an entirely new series pushing to get out about kights and honor. When I’m out walking or half asleep almost dreaming these new characters are in my head. They want their story told, but there is no more room on the schedule!

When do I fit them in? In between the prequel and the NANORIMO YA series I want to write? That one has been waiting a year. Oh and I have another YA that wants to be written too. Let’s count them up. That’s two novellas written for this year. One novel edited, actually I have another that I want to revisit so let’s make that two novels edited. The knight book, the YA series and the YA stand alone.

There is no way all of this will get done.

So a writer has to choose. We have to pick and choose what is the biggest priority, or what fits our schedule. Right now Snow and the Seventh Wolf is very high on my list. As is Blood Were. And, if they are my priorities, then I should also make their next books priories. So we’ll move Blood Were‘s prequel up in the line-up. It came next anyway. But what about after that? Will I have more stories pushing for a spot?

As soon as I have one outlined another is vying to take it’s place. And sending them off without supper does not work, I’ve tried!

I used to wonder if a writer would run out of stories, but now I realize the opposite problem is true. Too many stories, all vying for attention. Are you a writer with too many children vying for your attention? Or do you obsess about one book leaving no room for the next until the first is complete? As a reader, I’m sure you all hope your favorite authors are prolific, but does having ideas mean they’ll end up on paper?

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Filed under Sensational Saturday's, Writer's Journey, writing organization