Today I was reminded there are checklists for pilots, computer techs, nurses, gardeners, etc., and writers.
Jessa Slade posted “Learning is a lifelong challenge,…” and it reminded me how I state the same truth to more than writers. Jessa and I were attendees at an awesome workshop on Saturday by Amy Danicic; Plotting: Pantsers to Perfectionists. In the journey of fiction writing, many begin as pantsers and avoid plotting. Others plot to the death and forget to write. Those that learn to balance the two, have a chance for publication. Other requirements are understanding story, good grammar , an exceptional love of the flavor of words, and the determination to not quit.
On Jane Porter’s Blog, guest writer Julie Brannagh listed a few success stories of those who had plenty of motivation to quit, but didn’t. If the desire is nourished and the effort is made, eventually the keys to the kingdom of dreams can be found. For Barb, one key may be correct formatting. For me, Amy’s workshop on Saturday was a checklist to plotting conflict. This checklist, assigned to my novel-in-process, has made me shift the point-of-view character to the one with the most to lose. Truly, this is a DUH! Everyone knows that! Except it’s a story I wrote a few years ago, from the perspective of the heroine, not realizing until today, the hero has a stronger drama.
The joy of writing begins now, the work ahead is long and arduous, but the characters are talking to me, the scenes are flowing in my head, and I really like the sparks that fly! This is what a reader wants, a story that sparkles. I know there are checklists and grammar rules, and the lifelong journey for a writer is to make those invisible, and focus on the connection between story and reader.