Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December IWSG: Groundhog Day, Ultimatums and Disappointments

Come join Alex J. Cavanaugh and the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We post the first Wednesday of every month! http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/p/the-insecure-writers-support-group.html





My blog is stuck in an Adam Brody Groundhog Day movie mode--he just keeps reappearing over and over in my posts. Humor me. He encompasses everything MG writers strive to portray in their characters: nerdy, cute, geeky, funny, vulnerable, still trying to figure out their role in this world.

I gave my work-in-progress an ultimatum.

23 Very Seth Cohen One-Liners From The OCRemember I started a YA thriller set in Chicago this past summer? I placed it on the back burner while promoting and working on my MG mystery for the Pitch Wars contest. In the back of my mind, my WIP failed to deliver. So I gave it an ultimatum. Get it together or you'll end up in the shredder. I went back to the beginning and started over. Notice I didn't give up or quit. I did discover some things about myself in the process.

1. I write MG, not YA.Who am I kidding? My silliness won't end even after they've shoved me in a nursing home.
2. I must incorporate humor into my writing or die of serious boredom. I can't keep a straight face for more than a few seconds.
3. I have two sources of endless inspiration right in front of me. My teenage boys keep me loaded with writing ammunition. I must always take advantage of their mishaps and misfortunes.


After the ultimatum was settled upon, I took the middle of my WIP and made it the "hook." Lowered the age of the protagonist. Dropped the YA and made it into my favorite age group--MG. Added way more humor. Kept it in Chicago. Changed it from a thriller to a mystery. I haven't been this excited about something since I got out of jury duty last month. 

A quick word about disappointment: 

It happens to all of us. Even small victories can be overshadowed in the light of a huge disappointment.The rejections will roll in, sometimes right on top of each other like a tsunami. You will have to pick yourself up off the bathroom floor or the ocean floor and sit your butt back in your writing chair and write. Write better, harder, smarter. You can do it. You have to do it. Because no one else is going to do it for you. IF you are going to make it in this writing world, you better learn how to overcome disappointments. OVERCOME quickly and get back to work.

"The biggest laughs are based on the biggest disappointments and the biggest fears." Kurt Vonnegut 

How have you dealt with disappointment? Have you ever re-worked a WIP? Were you happy with the changes? What are some things about yourself that you have discovered from your writing?