Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Writing Into the Mist with Guest Speedbo Blogger Mary Curry



 Into the mist.

Sounds romantic doesn’t it?

Like something out of a Scottish Highlands romance.

What if I told you it was really a method of writing?


But let me back up a step – to the moment when Tina asked me to blog on Seekerville during Speedbo.


 I was honored, but terrified. Who me?

Why me?

As we all know, the lovely Tina can be very persuasive. She didn’t quite tell me to get over myself, but….

So I got to thinking. What can I share with the people of Seekerville?

Writing into the Mist

After some thought, I decided to blog about writing into the mist. The title may sound familiar to many of you. Jo Beverley gave an amazing speech about it over ten years ago at an RWA conference and her speech was updated in the April 2010 issue of the Romance Writers Report.

If you’re familiar with the concept of writing into the mist, I hope you’ll share your experiences with us. If this is new to you, hang on. I’m going to introduce you to this technique and encourage you to see if it can work for you. And to be relevant, let’s discuss if it can work in a month of Speedboing.

You can’t hang around a group of writers for too long without hearing the conversation turn to a debate of plotting versus pantsing. I’m definitely a pantser, but I’ve always hated that term. It makes me think of German tanks. (I know, they’re really panzers, but the words are too close for comfort.) The other meaning for pantsing isn’t particularly appealing either. Really? My writing style has to be equated with a bully pulling someone’s pants down?

There has to be a better word.

Turns out there is. Thanks to Jo Beverley, I can call myself a mister.
Phew
Mister might sound like a kitchen utensil, but better that than a German tank!

The great divide?

Lets get down to the nuts and bolts of what this plotter/mister divide is all about.

Some people are excellent plotters or pre-planners. They outline their novels carefully and know exactly how the book will turn out before they begin. They have their three (or five) act structure or their beat sheet or snowflake model or whatever other method of planning they use.

I admire these writers.

I aspired to be like them.

But my brain doesn’t work that way.

I’m not being lazy when I don’t pre-plot.

I’m not being reckless when I jump into the story with nothing more than an idea for an opening scene.

I’m not being petulant about not wanting the story spoiled in advance.

I’m just being me.

And fortunately for me, I can have a role model in Jo Beverley. She was brave enough to expose her writing style to the world (or at least RWA National) and by doing so, she took a whole host of scared writers under her wing.  You might say she gave me the wings to fly on my own.

If Jo Beverley can write without plotting first, then it’s okay that I do it too.

Okay, enough about me. What is writing into the mist all about?

I seriously encourage you to read both the text of Jo’s speech which is posted on her website and, if you’re a member of RWA, the text of her April 2010 article which is available in the RWR archives online.   Writing into the Mist http://www.jobev.com/fim.html

I’m just going to give you a taste of what it means. In her speech, Jo actually takes you step-by-step through her novel writing process.

What does it mean to be a mister?

I think Jo said it best when she described flying into the mist this way –

“It’s not flying into the dark, or even flying into the fog. It’s mist. We can see, but not far ahead.” (April 2010 RWR)

Jo explains that her greatest strength as a writer comes from writing in the now. She basically experiences the scene in her head with the characters. All of her senses are alive to what’s happening in the scene. She says she found that when she pre-plotted a story, she lost that immediacy and her writing felt flat.

For Jo, writing into the mist means beginning with a scene or some characters. After that, writing the book is a combination of exploring and pausing within each scene to ask why. Over and over until the novel is done.

That’s it!

Well, not exactly.

Jo points out that it is critical to keep the basics of good storytelling in mind. These seven points are paraphrased from her speech:

1. Make sure your characters have flaws.
2. Have those flaws oppose strengths.
3. Give your characters secrets.
4. When writing, stop frequently and ask why.
5. Push characters out of their comfort zones and let plot enhancers come to you.
6. Not knowing is good. It helps you avoid info dumps.
7. Characters should fear something.

Much of this may sound familiar. Plotters do this. The difference is a plotter thinks about all of this in advance and a mister stays in the scene, considering each of these as the scene arises.

I can hear the plotters out there having nervous breakdowns.  I know the feeling. That’s what happens to me when I try to plot.

I’m a teacher. I know all about how students have different learning styles. What works for ten may never work for the eleventh or vice-versa. I should have recognized this, but I needed Jo to reassure me. Writing is the same. Popular methods that work miraculously well for many writers are not going to work for all. If you’re a plotter, you may have apoplexy trying to fly into the mist.

But if plotting causes you to break into cold sweats or hives, misting may be your hope.

Speeding into the mist?

I promised we’d talk about whether or not misting can work for Speedbo.


What do you think?

I’d say maybe yes, maybe no. If you pledge to write steadily through your book, you’ll get your word count.


Maybe you won’t use all those words. Maybe you will have to trash scenes.

So misting isn’t very efficient, you may be thinking.
That’s true, but I’d argue this. Flying into the mist may not be the most efficient way of writing, but for someone who literally cannot plot ahead, it’s more efficient than walking away!

Jo said she gave her speech to validate writers who can’t plot. I’m sharing her method with you today in case anyone out there needs to hear her message. I tried being a plotter and ended up walking away from writing for many years because I just couldn’t do it. Jo offered me the hope to continue. I hope it helps you too!

So, as I begin my day of writing, I’m boldly flying off into the mist. Would anyone care to join me?





Note: Jo says she first gave the speech at RWA 1999, but I heard it when she spoke in New Orleans in 2001.



Photo credits:
Misty landscape by Dan
Scream Munch 3D by Danilo Rizzuti




Bio:   Mary Curry is a teacher, mother, wife and writer. She’s been flying into the mist for many years and along the way she’s garnered a few writing credits including being a three time Golden Heart finalist and the 2011 Genesis winner for Contemporary Romance.







In honor of Mary's debut post in Seekerville, we're giving away a two pack of surprise Seeker books. Oh and here's a picture of Mary and Tina at RWA National Conference 2011, NYC.







Today is another day of our March Speedbo. Find out more about Speedbo and our exciting weekly prizes here. Comment today for a chance to win! Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.

 

138 comments :

  1. Hmm, this is a bit like what I have always thought of as my flashlight method. I can only see (plot) as far as the beam will shine. I have to write that scene, and then push the beam out further.

    Encountered a snag of Writer's Block last week, but I met with a friend and brainstormed about the story element that had me stuck. This week Speedbo is going great!

    The coffee pot's ready.

    Helen

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  2. Flashlight in the mist. I like it!!!

    Don't you love that great photo of Tina and Mary too!??

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  3. Great post Mary! Yay for you! Love this concept and also getting away from the pantser thing...BTW, in my dyslexia, I always write it 'panters' then I have to correct it. Mist I can write without correction! That saves some time, haha.

    Love the photo of you and Tina. I'm sorry that I didn't meet you two then. I wonder if we were in the same room together, like at the FHL meeting? Cause that would rock, to know that we were there, but didn't know each other yet! At least we worshiped together!

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  4. I came in late to the FHL meeting. I snuck in with Ruthy I do believe.

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  5. Definitely like the term "mister" better!

    Great job on the post Mary!

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  6. Hello all! Great post, Mary!! Thanks for pointing out the difference between plotters and misters, I relate more to the misters :) Each of our minds work differently when creating a story and I praise God for that, it would be boring if we all worked the same way.

    Love Jo's 7 points that you included, VERY HELPFUL!
    Great pictures also, I learned a lot from this and enjoyed it.

    Best wishes to everyone participating in Speedbo :)
    I would love to be entered for the surprise Seeker books, blessings!

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  7. Hi Mary:

    As a plotter and a pilot, I really enjoyed your post. As a plotter, I can use everything you pointed out. As a pilot things were a little more scary.

    For a new pilot flying into a mist can easily lead to disorientation. Did you know that when you are speeding to the earth at full throttle, your body will tell you that you are climbing to safety?

    My flight instructor said that this was because we’re not birds. When you read in the paper that a pilot flew into the ground at full speed, as a congressman did not too long ago, it is usually because he was not instrument rated, he got lost in a cloud, and he thought he was climbing to safety.

    I guess to a plotter and a pilot the idea of taking off into a cloud without knowing where you are going or where you will end up is rather daunting. But, not to worry. In my experience almost everyone is a pantser. I think this is because writers like to soar and be as free as a bird.

    I love to pantser. My plot outline will say something like: in this scene the hero finds out he has a hidden child. I am then free to pantser that scene. This is a lot of freedom. At least for me it is.

    Just as one should be a responsible drinker, I think one should also be a responsible pantser. Know your limit. (And trust your instruments. : ))

    Heavens, it was pilots who coined the phrase, ‘Seat of the Pants’. Pantsering is the most fun there is. Until…

    BTW: Whenever I was called ‘mister’ as a kid in school, I was in trouble with the teacher. As an ad guy, I’d like to see ‘mister’ changed to ‘myster’. ‘Myster’ makes me think of mystic and mysterious. The ‘myst’ is a paranormal way for referring to the ‘mist’.

    A ‘mister’ is a salesman who blows smoke but a ‘myster’ is a writer who casts a magic spell.

    Perhaps I could be known as Mister Myster. I think I feel a story coming on.

    Great post.

    Vince

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  8. I like that concept, Mary. Misting is definitely a more appealing term than pantsing. I came to the conclusion I'm somewhere between a pantser and a plotter. I've called myself a planner, because I start with a character and a scene, and only after I've written that one scene do I stop to do some very basic planning about my destination.

    I'm off with a mug of Helen's coffee in one hand and a flashlight in the other to find my way through tonight's mist. :)

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  9. I'm definitely a plotter, starting a story with just an opening scene and intending to write a 80k novel gives me the heebeejeebees! That's why I didn't start writing for years, I finally looked up all kinds of plotting strategies when I decided I should finally sit down and write because the idea of doing an English class outline thing was just as daunting. Thankfully I found the Snowflake method, which clicked, and I could only do so much of it before I got too excited to keep from writing, then I Mysted the rest of it (I like Vince's tinkering with the word). But I hate getting stuck, so with each book I've leaned further and further into pre-plotting mode.

    But I can definitely relate to needing to hear all the different ways writers describe their process and finally finding someone's description that resonates with you. And since I've never heard of misting, hopefully someone who needs to hear this will stumble upon it.

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  10. YES!!!! I love this post! Not because I'm a pantser (Myster, and Vnce, you made me laugh at your oncoming story), but because it's all about what lights your fire. If it makes you walk away, then it's not working.

    Or like Melissa said, if it gives you the heebeejeebies... try another way. (I love how the snowflake method works great... until you get too excited and have to start writing!).

    I think this can applies to genres, too. I love historicals, but the research feels like plotting. I get bogged down and lose my steam (oooh, sounds yucky).

    I just loved this post, I feel so encouraged!

    And the pics are adorable. :) Man, someday I'm just going to have to crawl out of my cave and go to a conference...But then I might be too shy to talk to anybody... Better stick with Seekerville!

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  11. Mary C, thanks for this. I'm a pantser and fully embrace the term and the concept. It works for me. Plotting makes me feel like I'm God and not the observer and scribe of the story. I know that's weird, but like you said, we're all different.
    When I'm near the end though and the headlights (or flashlight) show me the checkered flag then I write the outline down of what's left because I know it won't change much.

    Vince, I love that you're a pilot and knew right away you were describing spatial disorientation. I wrote a devotional utilizing the same concept and am so glad you mentioned that the phrase "flying by the seat of your pants" actually comes from experiencing that condition. It's part of why I don't mind the term pantser, but I don't mind the term secretary either but people kept looking at me weird when I'd tell them that's what I am at the day job. The younger ones would stare blankly until I'd add "executive assistant." Another thing I learned when researching spatial disorientation, 90% of our information for point of reference comes from our eyes. Pretty staggering if you think about it. Part of why it's been so fun to write a blind heroine this WIP.

    Which I am happy to report for Speedbo I had a 2,272 word day today, bringing me to 61% of my goal. Thanks for all the cheers of encouragement. I'm throwing them right back at you all, along with tubs and tubs of Bluebell Homemade Vanilla ice cream. =)

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  12. Helen,
    Thank you SO much for the coffee. I really need it this morning. There's been a cat out back screeching and howling for the past hour. Much louder than any alarm clock.

    Don't you love brainstorming with friends? When my daughters were little, my plotter friend would bring her son over and he would play Disney reenactments with my girls while Judy and I sat at the table with tea and scones and brainstormed to our heart's content. She was under contract to Pocket at the time and we plotted many of her books bouncing ideas off each other. (See, plotting worked for her!)


    I really miss those days.

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  13. Tina!

    Well I like seeing YOU in that picture. I was on the verge of the worst case of bronchitis I've ever had. Took weeks of antibiotics and me coughing up my lungs.

    But it was fun to see you and to chase around the room picking up the Seeker cards.

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  14. Lyndee,

    I was there! Sorry I missed you. I was sitting at the head of the table. We could have been sitting right near each other and not even known each other.
    I love panters - well better than tanks anyway.

    Speaking of dyslexia, that reminds me of two things. One was another long ago RWA meeting when Mary Jo Putney said something about how her books would never have been written had the computer(word processor back then)not been invented - because of her dyslexia.

    Also, this weekend I had the opportunity to hear Henry Winkler speak to a conference of thousands of educators about how dyslexia affected his life. He said he never read a complete book until he was 31! He didn't know he had dyslexia until his son was diagnosed. Suddenly he understood why school had been so hard. I guess that explains the Fonz a bit.

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  15. Hi Kara,

    Thank so much for your lovely comments.

    I was reflecting on this after iI hit send to the lovely Tina. I think over the years with all the books I've read on structure, it was hammered in to me to be a plotter.

    I resisted but some of it wore off on me so that I do plot a little in advance - usually a scene.

    If Audra's around, we talked about this on one of her posts last month. I love to think things through while I walk, but I was always forgetting the great words I'd come up with.

    Lo and behold, I discovered my new iPod has a voice recorder built in. O Happy Day! I've been able to capture those ephemeral thoughts before they disappear.

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  16. Hi Abbi,

    Thanks for stopping by. What do you think of Vince's Myst? I think I may be switching to a myster. Escpecially when I write romantic suspense.

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  17. Oops, that was supposed to be especially.

    I'm having a bad run of luck with keyboards lately. I had to run out last night and buy a new one - the second one in 3 week that I wrecked with liquid in the keyboard.

    VINCE! I love the pilot's perspective. See, this is exactly what I mean when I think of how my teaching experience impacts my thoughts on writing. We all bring such different backgrounds and instincts to the table when we sit down to write.
    I had heard that before about pilots. I believe that was the theory about JFK Jr's plane crash. So sad.

    Mysting (grin) is scary though I prefer exhilarating ;) but frankly my mind is even scarier when I'm trying to plot the whole thing in advance. It's like this brick wall I can't see around.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I love the idea of mysting. There used to be (maybe still is) a really cool computer game called Myst. I was never very good at it but it intrigued me no end.

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  18. Hi Carol,
    Yes, that works some for me too. I believe Ruthy has said something about writing her books that way. Starting out the first chapters and then going and working on the synopsis.

    Jo did mention that she never sells on proposal because of the way she writes. I guess at this point that's not a problem for her.

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  19. Hi Melissa,

    It's fun to hear from someone with the opposite perspective! Aren't our minds cool places that they can make us all react differently like this. I guess that helps our stories be unique too.

    I'm glad the snowflake method works for you. I think I'd like to do a workshop on that sometime and find out if I could do it at all. I've read about it and played a little but never done it too deeply.

    I LOVE how your enthusiasm for the story gets you excited to write though. That's a cool moment when it takes us off. The Calgon moment.

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  20. Hi Virginia,

    This intrigues me -
    "I love historicals, but the research feels like plotting. I get bogged down and lose my steam"

    I always have the opposite reaction. Researching has the same effect on me that Melissa described from the snowflake method.I'll read something and my brain will get all excited and start playing What If? and suddenly I'll have a whole new story idea.

    Just an example of how little it takes. Last weekend when I was at that teaching conference, there was a huge vendor section. I made a beeline for the Colonial Williamsburg people. They had an education packet and inside was a CD that said nothing more than War of 1812. Suddenly my brain was off and running playing with ideas about a character in (no longer Colonial) Williamsburg in 1812. I came home and immediately started researching.

    I ave another great research story but I have to run to school now. I'll be back on a break to share and catch up.

    Thanks so much to all who dropped by.

    I'm leaving off pastries from this fabulous French patisserie in Manhattan called Financier. They have all sorts of amazing goodies to enjoy and delicious coffee drinks as well.

    Enjoy!

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  21. Hi Mister Mary! :)

    Loved the post and your fun way of looking at writing into the mist. I think I'm a plister, because I'm a little of both. Maybe I should think of a better word because that makes me think of something that needs to be popped. Bleh.

    Thanks for being brave and posting at Seekerville! You did awesome!

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  22. Awesome post, Mary! This is totally the way I write. It can be wonderful and exciting or pull-your-hair-out frustrating, depending on the day. But I've tried to plot ahead, and it just doesn't work for me.

    I used to wonder how I'd manage when it came time to write a proposal for an editor. Would I be able to do it? The answer is YES!! I've discovered that those first few chapters help me define the general idea of what's going to happen, which allows me to write a synopsis. Not ahead of time, though--sigh. Then again, that would take the fun out of writing the book :)

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  23. What a relief to hear this.
    I try to plot. I write out a plot line, but I can never follow it.
    My characters want to do something
    different. Then I struggle with what to do next.
    Follow original plot or new idea?
    I think if I can see the scene vividly "in the mist" of writing, I'll go "into the mist" with you.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Jackie

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  24. Terrific post. I've written both ways and I think my mind works more toward the plotter because as I begin with an idea, more ideas flood in and I find I'm writing them down connecting the dots thus doing some plotting. But at the same time I find my plotting isn't set in stone and I usually end up changing things. So what does that make me? A Plister? ;o)

    BTW Loving Speedbo. finished my wip heading into edits today.

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  25. Mary,

    Great post! I love how Jo explained experiencing the scene with the characters. That's exactly what happens to me. When I try to plot ahead, even a scene, everything changes the second I start typing.

    Thanks for the encouragement that I'm not alone in the mist.

    Typed "The End" last night on my Speedbo. Only it's not, because let the revisions begin.

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  26. I love you Mary Curry!!!! This is exactly the way I write and I've been trying to stop and do it the 'right' way. Love the analogy of the mist too. And whoohooo, I have a group to belong to -- not a panster, not a plotter -- I'm a mister!!!!! Happy dancing in Canada.

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  27. Mary, I love your voice. :) Being a Mister is an interesting thought. I don't know that I'm brave enough to try it. I am definitely more comfortable plotting out a story. :) I'm going to keep this technique in mind if I need to change things up a bit.

    Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom today!

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  28. Hi Mary and welcome to Seekerville. How fun to hear from our Seeker friends.

    I love the idea of writing into the mist. I'm a plotter, but I don't always stick to it. I love how the characters can take me out into the mist.

    And Vince, I like the myst idea. Intriguing.

    Thanks for the pastries, Mary and ice cream, Nancy.

    Great going on all the speedbo reports. wooo hoooo

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  29. Okay, I commented before I read Vince's idea for "myster." :) Love that concept. :)

    Happy "mysting" to those who write that way, and happy plotting to those plotters doing Speedbo today. :)

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  30. Great post, Mary! I do like the term mister it gives a 'clearer' picture of the process. When I try to plot I get the same result as pausing a movie...nothing but the frozen frame.

    Love the picture of you and Tina! Thanks for sharing.

    Spring break is here and I'm speedbo'ing away :)

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  31. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for sharing the ditties about dyslexia. I've always been a slow reader. I call it 'study reading' because I have to concentrate and study the words, or else I see things that aren't there and it confuses the meaning. Made college lit classes a challenge, merely because of the sheer volume of words, but I loved that challenge. I also play flute, but I can't sight-read, so I learned to memorize the music!

    It's amazing how God helped me compensate. It wasn't until my son was diagnosed that I realized my issue. I've read that Dyslexia is passed on to the next generation by the mother. He has a lot of problems, but, like me, my daughter has fashioned ways around hers.

    If you were facing the speaker at the FHL meeting, I was on the right side of the room and I came in late too. Couldn't find the room!

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  32. Hey, Mister Mary! I had to laugh because when you said mister, I thought of Mr. ;-) Now we can all be misters. :D

    Actually, I LOVE the term "writing into the mist"!!! It sounds SO romantic!!! And that's pretty much what I do. I usually call myself a percolator, though. I don't plot and I don't normally do pantsing or misting.

    I know we're all told to write every day and we do need to write every day. But I can't write every day on the same project. Not always. Sometimes, I have to pull back and percolate. I have to mull the story over and ask all those why, what, when, where, who questions. Sometimes, all I need is an afternoon. Sometimes I need days or even weeks if I'm really stuck. But I do try to work on other projects during the down time. (These other projects usually release the inner artist and help break the writer's block.)

    I used to feel guilty for writing this way until an editor friend of mine said she's a percolator. In fact, I got the term from her - Jeanette Gardner Littleton. So, I figure I'm in good company. Plus, percolator is such a fun term. :D

    SPEEDBO-ERS!
    I'm psyched because I accomplished just over 4K yesterday. I haven't done that in forever! I'm off to tend to have to errands and then I'll be back to join in the game again. Though these things are an interruption to my writing day, they sometimes give me opportunity to percolate and when I come back my fingers fly! :D

    Happy Writing!

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  33. Yes, Tina, I love the photo!!

    Mary, great post!! I attended Jo's workshop and loved it, even though I'm a planner. You did a great job talking about flying into the mist! Thanks so much for being on here. See, no reason to be nervous! We're nice around here. ;)

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  34. I love reading all these comments and I promise I'll be back in a bit to respond to everyone. I'm at school so I only have a lunch break and a few intermittent moments to comment during the day, (Today just so happened to be report card conference day ACK!) but I'm so enjoying reading what you've shared.
    Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone!

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  35. Mary, thanks for your post. Posters, thanks for your comments today. I am learning so much from everyone. Today's comments have really hit me where I live.

    I went to bed with the images my nephew took on his spring break trip to the battlefields of France. So many of his pictures were taken in the mist. The tombstones, memorials and trees took on a quality that was almost magical, otherworldly. I woke up thinking about those pictures and then come here to Seekerville to what? A blog post about "misters".

    I think Someone is trying to tell me something.

    Peace to all, Julie

    PS Vince, so happy about your test results. Write on.

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  36. Vince, I went to a science museum (I think it was Fernbank, maybe) and got in this simple flight simulator. I flew the plane into the ground over and over! I could not learn to look at that monitor that showed the horizon and figure out how to steer the thing. It must be so difficult to learn!

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  37. Yes, Julie! I'd say Someone might be telling you something. :)

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  38. MARY!!! You mean I can come out of plotter rehab????? OH, PRAISE GOD!!!

    Misting, here I come!! As a die-hard pantster who has been forced to veer toward plotting, I am now a mix of the two as a plotster, but I must admit, your blog today has set the inner me free to return to my roots of letting my fingers do the writing instead of my brain. Thank you for setting me free to a large degree, and I hope to try this method VERY soon!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  39. /waves from Panera and offers up cinnamon crunch bagels for all/

    Today's goal - 40K total, but prefer 10K words in the next 6.5 hours - I know that's gonna be hard, but I'm gonna do my best [I only need 6420 to get to 40K].

    I would like to point out the Biblical justification for 'misting' or 'pantsing' or 'mysting' or whatever we want to call it ;).

    Yep. You heard me.

    It's BIBLICAL!

    ;)

    Psalm 119:105
    Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

    Yep.

    There you have it.

    According to my pastor [who I know has researched this stuff cuz I haven't], there were little lamps that you could attach to your feet at night. They would illuminate the next place to put your foot as you took a step. The lamp you held in your hand and it would show you the next little bit. You couldn't see enough to see the whole journey but you could see enough to take the next step and have an idea what the next 20 feet or so looked like.

    So see? David was a total pantser.

    I'm just sayin...

    And now off to #1K1HR to Biblically mist my way to a few thou words :D.

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  40. Mist always inspires me, so I like the concept! I'm basically a plantser - I'm a pantser on the initial draft. Once the characters have finished telling me their stories, I rewrite with more emphasis on the plot - like once things emerge from the mist.
    I really like Jo's 7 points. Great reminders!

    Great post, Mary!

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  41. Mary! I've never heard this before and I am a HUGE Jo Beverley fan.

    all I can say is

    ROTHGAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  42. Mary, welcome to this side of Seekerville! Loved your post!!! Thank you, Jo Beverley, for giving writers the permission to be themselves.

    I'm a mix of both styles, which is a nice way of saying that I plot but not as much as I should. I'm terrified without a plan, yet don't have the patience to work it all out ahead of time. But your point that we are what we are and must write that way is comforting.

    Vince, I chuckled that mister elicits unpleasant school memories. I'm guessing you were a handful in the classroon. :-)

    Janet

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  43. There, I got ROTHGAR!!!!!!!!
    out of my system and can go on. The best part of this excellent post is that we all have our own way. there is no right or wrong way and anytime someone tells you THIS IS HOW IT MUCH BE DONE (including me, I apologize) they are wrong. The longer I write and get to know writers, the more I realize the whole process is so creative and so personal that you just can't say one way is right and another wrong.

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  44. Yay! Wonderful post, Mary. I love the analogy of the mist. Someone uber-famous that I can't recall to mind at the moment once likened his writing to driving by the headlights. He only knew a scene or two ahead what was going to happen, but when he got there, the lights shined a little farther down the road.

    I'm a plotter. Outline, scene summaries, etc. It works for me. I'm glad you found something that works so well for you...and guilt free! :D

    That pic of you and Tina is great!

    ReplyDelete
  45. MARY C -- Great post and great tips for writers of ANY variety--mist-ers, plotters and plansters because at any time, regardless of the type of writer you are, there are often times your story takes an unexpected twist, a character morphs, a new dimension is added, a discovery is made and suddenly there you are--in the mist!

    While I used to be a total Mist-er, I'm now a planster by necessity. I get a contract based on a synopsis and 3 chapters, so I HAVE to plan ahead at a high level. But that still leaves PLENTY of in-the-trenches room for story development and character discovery to keep me happy. :)

    ReplyDelete
  46. I took the last chocolate scone. La Dee Da!!!

    Carol Moncado you are so clever.

    I love the Biblical reference.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Mary Curry, look at all the people you have made happy.

    You brought joy to all the Whos in Whoville today.

    Way to go!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Okay, this is exactly what I needed to hear today! I'm not Speedboing because I just don't have my story, not even a specific GMC--just something general. And I'm letting it intimidate me.

    I've always known that I don't plot, but somehow I feel that makes me inferior. Thanks for the reassurance and the boot in the pants to just have fun exploring in my writing today, enjoying the discovery.

    Thanks! And thanks for the giveaway! I'd love some Seekerville books...
    -Emily

    emily_reynolds(at)hotmail(dot)come

    ReplyDelete
  49. A mister?

    I must be a plotter because I get the heebedee-jeebedees just thinking about it.

    Biblical references notwithstanding.

    But when I plot, I only plan out the skeleton of the story in advance. What happens in each scene is definitely walking into the mist -

    which sometimes makes me go back and change my outline.

    So for me the two must go hand in hand - I draw out the map, but some of the turn offs and valleys are shrouded in mist.

    And yes, I agree, exploring that mist is where the real fun of writing happens!

    Thanks for sharing, Mary!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hi Linnette:

    What a coincidence!

    I was editing a cabin scene last night and I had to layer in some sounds so I changed the Mr. Coffee to an old fashion percolator. I did this so it could produce the happy perky sounds. However, the heroine, who spent ten years in a convent, never saw a percolator before. She says, “How am I suppose to make coffee with this thing?”

    The last time I hear the word 'percolate' was years ago at a sales seminar when the instructor said, “To percolate you have to circulate.”

    I wonder how many young people would even know what that means today. : )

    There may be something to this ‘into the mist’ business! At this point I think I have a pretty good foggy notion of the concept.

    Vince

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  51. Hi Mary,

    I think I heard Jo Beverly talking about this at a little writers conference up here in Canada.

    I'm a combination - I need to do some plotting, but once I have the basic outline of the scene jotted down, I fly into that mist. (Btw - it was VERY misty here today. Planes were grounded!)

    Vince - I love the image of percolating coffee! Haven't thought of that in a long time! 'Percolate' is such a good word!

    Had a really good day yesterday SPEEDBOing. Loved my scene. Now I have to outline the next few before I can go into the mist again!

    Cheers,
    Sue
    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

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  52. Hi Tina:

    It just occurred to me that everyone who has a picture taken with you looks really happy. I’m sure this can be worked into a story. Keep doing it.

    Vince

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  53. I'll tell you what I love about Seekerville. We leave the back door open and it matters NONE that no one is home, you all make yourself at home.

    I love you for that.

    In your honor I brought more chocolate croissants. Yes. I can share. Do not listen to Connealy.

    ReplyDelete
  54. LOL, crack me up Vince. They are happy because I am pinching them.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hi Nancy:

    One of the best romances I’ve read and reviewed is “The Millionaire Tycoon’s English Rose” by Lucy Gordon. The heroine is blind. What is so good about the story is how many good reasons the hero has to love her. It is almost as if being blind was not even a consideration. I think you might like seeing how Lucy went about doing this.

    I want to read your book when it becomes available. For sure.

    Vince

    ReplyDelete
  56. Nora Roberts doesn't plot and gee a Nora book is sold like every 3 seconds.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Well I mean I am pinching them and promise to stop if they smile.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Hi Mary:

    You asked about ‘Speeding into the mist?’ Creative writing students in college do this all the time. It’s called Binge Pantsering. You get the highest high…but…on my…you also get the ‘mother of all hangovers’. Editing the manuscript is like cleaning up after a fraternity party. : )

    Vince

    P.S.Of course, this is what I’m told. I wouldn’t know first hand.

    ReplyDelete
  59. And how did I not know Mary is a three time GH finalist?

    RITA AND GH CALLS GO OUT ON MONDAY!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  60. I've never really thought about the term pantster, but now I don't like it.

    I've between a mister and plotter. I know generally where the story is going, but I don't have the scenes planned out.

    (Now that I spelled out mister, it doesn't sound right either. Sounds like...I'm a Mr.)

    Great reminders of how to stay on task when writing into the mist.

    Connie

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  61. TINA! I'm trying to FORGET that so I'm not a nervous wreck Monday.

    Not that I'm really EXPECTING a call [okay, I'm not at all], but still...

    How can I forget when everyone keeps reminding me? :p

    ReplyDelete
  62. Les croissants chocolats?? ooh, just the thought... I have a recipe for those in my new cookbook, but there was something about rolling and then chilling for 5 hours then rolling and chilling for 5 hours then...

    Please. By that point I would have completely forgotten what I was doing and would be off writing. 6 weeks later I'd find it in the back of the fridge...

    A giant crane is dropping (very gently, I'm sure) beams onto the roof of my house. I think as soon as the new roof line is finished, it will stop raining in my kitchen. At least, that's my dream.

    P.S. It wasn't raining before they started 'fixing' it.

    ReplyDelete
  63. CAROL!@!!

    You gotta have faith!

    Carol Moncado IS a GH finalist.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Thanks for being here today, Mary, and thanks to you and Jo for putting a more accurate name to my process and defining it so well! I'm not a "pantser" because I generally have an idea of the direction I want things to go, but I'm not a "plotter" because it makes the characters more realistic when I give them free rein to surprise me. "Mister" makes me think of the little spritzer things people use on their orchids; so it's like I'm misting my exotic imagination to encourage the story to grow. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  65. Carol, don't you just love the waiting and wondering??? I would just fall over and DIE. I never had the nerve to enter the GH. *shiver of nerves*

    I would NOT be surprised if you got the call! Waiting to hear!!

    ReplyDelete
  66. Mary, thank you! I am so stuck on my story. I felt it was because I didn't plot well enough. But maybe I need to fly into the mist. I loved the seven points that I would have only associated with plotting.
    I bet you are an awesome teacher because you certainly made this lesson graspable!

    ReplyDelete
  67. ROTHGAR is Jo Beverley's signature DUKE. He fixes EVERTHING. There is nothing impossible for him.
    No matter what the problem is in his long extended (multi-book) family if they will just take their troubles to Rothgar, he will make it all right.

    Sorry, this has nothing to do with Mary's post. Ignore it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  68. ROTHGAR!!!

    I like it!!

    Sort of like "By Grabthar's hammer" in Galaxy Quest.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Tina, refilling the croissant tray was the right thing to do.
    Bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Thank you Vince, I'm going to trot over to B&N.com and order that book right now. And I will make sure you get a copy, and if somehow I don't manage a large print copy, I'll MAKE YOU ONE myself =)

    ReplyDelete
  71. What?? Carol's a GH finalist?? Man!!Why aren't we using her honorary title??

    Or does it show up in her initials?

    Carol Moncado, G.H.F.

    There is a lot of humility floating around Seekerville. I would never let anybody forget it!

    ReplyDelete
  72. Hi, Mary! I read that article Jo Beverley wrote a few months ago. Great stuff! I'm kind of like that. I like my plot to be a little bit misty, and I don't like to write anything down before I start writing, except maybe a few of the characters' names, although I usually change most of those at least once!

    Mist on, Mary! It seems to be working for you! A three-time GH finalist! That's impressive.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Writing into the Mist - I love it, Mary---THANKS!

    I've been 100% SOTP writer since day 1 - never knew of the rules of writing - especially plotting until I'd penned several novels in 5 subject notebooks.

    Tried even the basics of snowflake method - confuses me more than not.

    I'll fly off into the mist with you LOL!

    PamT

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  74. Okay, ladies and gentlemen. Today is someone's birthday. I cannot tell you who thereby breaking confidentiality.

    But I can tell you the that she kills secondary characters and likes to kill of husbands in her romantic comedy with cowboys.

    Happy Birthday You Know WHO!!!

    ReplyDelete
  75. I am NOT a GH finalist.

    Not yet.

    Maybe someday.

    Tina's last comment reminded me of something I realized.

    A certain birthdayish someone who shall continue to remain nameless shoots people when she gets stuck.

    Julie tosses in a kiss or 17.

    Either one works.

    One's just less bloody.

    I hope.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Happy Birthday Secret Seeker (although we know who you are we'll respect your privacy) :-)

    Here's a tune just for you....

    Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you - be grateful I'm writing & not singing this tune ... LOL!

    Have a BLESSED one!
    PamT

    ReplyDelete
  77. And believe me, if I were to get the call, Seekerville would be the first ones to know.

    Julie would hear the squealing from her house.

    ReplyDelete
  78. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!

    I AM VALIDATED!!!!

    Seriously, this is SO how I write! Living in the moment as I create each scene. Thinking about what the characters are doing and why, what they want and why, where they're going and why. And each answer spurs me into the next scene and the next series of questions.

    This is exactly why I believe "pantsers" or "misters," whatever we call ourselves, are much LESS prone to what editors call "episodic writing."

    And it was so great to pop into Seekerville this afternoon and find this post EXACTLY when I'm gearing up mentally to write the first scene of my next book. I know who my characters are, and I know where they're going to end up in about 85K words. But how we get there is...

    Well, it's hidden in the mist.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Really? Less episodic writing? Are you sure?

    ReplyDelete
  80. Happy Birthday - you know who you are!

    ReplyDelete
  81. Happy Birthday dear Nameless, Faceless, Bodyless, Identity-less Seeker.

    ReplyDelete
  82. You doubt me, Tina?

    ;>D

    Well...I think it works for me, anyway. Because when I'm always asking WHY, each scene leads logically to the next. No event or action is casually thrown in without a specific purpose.

    ReplyDelete
  83. WOW! I may never catch up!

    I'm so glad this idea is validating to some of you.

    I apologize for scaring the rest of you. That's how I feel when I hear that I'm supposed to plot.

    I think I have a lull between parents so I'm going to try to catch up.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Virginia,

    I missed your comment before about avoiding conferences. I know. It's a huge step out of the writer's cave, but if you can do it, conferences are so great. Says she who always makes sure to have a single room so she has somewhere to go hibernate after too much togetherness. *g*

    ReplyDelete
  85. Mary said: "Says she who always makes sure to have a single room so she has somewhere to go hibernate after too much togetherness. *g*"

    Exactly why I either room alone or ONLY with my hubby!

    ReplyDelete
  86. Greetings from North Louisiana, Mary and Seekerville friends. It's a very misty day here today -- perfect for your post. I'd never heard that term before and loved your thoughts on it. Thanks so much for sharing -- I just wish I had gotten here in time for the croissants! Judy Christie

    ReplyDelete
  87. Mary, love the mist and your picture with Tina! You gals look great!!!

    But I'm a plotter and mist--or fog--makes me stumble and fall into a sagging middle where I get hopelessly stuck.

    Still, I loved your blog and the photos and the new term for pantser! :)

    ReplyDelete
  88. Enjoyed your post, Mary!! Great photo of you/Tina. Please count me in for the surprise package of books. Thanks!!!

    ReplyDelete
  89. Judy, Judy, Judy!!!

    SO GOOD TO SEEE YOU AGAIN!

    I love the idea of misting as you sit in front of a fireplace with the mist outside thick and dark.

    Tina Radcliffe

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  90. No, Myra, I don't doubt you at all. I just want to hear more on this theory. I saw your comment and I leapt with excitement. No more episodic writing. Can it be true??

    Tina Radcliffe

    ReplyDelete
  91. The mystery Seeker's initial's are
    M.C.

    Anonymous

    ReplyDelete
  92. Tina:
    LOL! Thanks! :D

    Vince:
    Don't you love coincidental happenings? :D I doubt most young people know what a percolator is. I barely remember them. But my brother who was a missionary in the Dominican Republic for a while used a percolator down there and loves the flavor so much better than coffee pot machines.


    MARY CURRY:
    When I responded to comments, I kept two window open and went back and forth. One for reading comments and one for responding. :)

    ReplyDelete
  93. Wow, Mary! Thank you sooo much for this post--a keeper for me. I never knew I was a "Mister" but think that must explain how I write best. I've been trying to plot....but it's just not "me"--and I haven't really been happy with the results. So now I can write into the mist, and have a peace about it *smile*. Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

    ReplyDelete
  94. Welcome to Seekerville, Mary! You and Beverly have come up with great points. Sometimes I forget to ask myself a few of these questions and it's not good.

    I do plot, but I leave a lot of room for inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Ack I feel like such a negligent guest. No wonder Tina asked me if I had a Spring Break when I could post.


    Back to trying to catch up.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Mary, no worries! We're holding down the party!

    It's like coming to an old friend's house, we can justget up and refill our own coffee cup, right? :D

    ReplyDelete
  97. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARY CONNEALY!!!!!



    ( Did I get it right? I don't know anybody else who kills of characters...)

    ReplyDelete
  98. I think I'll work backwards. :)

    Cara, I think inspiration is what it's all about. What's different is just how we find and work with our inspiration. Obviously ROTHGAR works for some of us.

    I wonder if he comes with a birthday bow.

    ReplyDelete
  99. *** P A N I S T E R S ***

    Why don’t we all become ‘Panisters’?

    Panisters are writers who use all approaches to writing, selecting the best one to meet their individual needs and the needs of their story at the time and place such methods are required. The right tool for the right job.

    Pan: prefix meaning "all, whole, all-inclusive," from Gk. pan-,.

    ReplyDelete
  100. I like that, Vince. It sounds like a PBS miniseries.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Judy, there are always croissants available at Chez Marie. 24/7

    Perfect timing on the misty morning. Ironically, even though it's gorgeous and sunny here now, when I walked out the door this morning, I could barely see a block ahead of me. I actually snapped a picture of the park by my school as a memento of my Seekerville day.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Debby,
    I love this comment -

    "But I'm a plotter and mist--or fog--makes me stumble and fall into a sagging middle where I get hopelessly stuck."

    That's exactly how I stumble when I try to plot. I think it proves that we need to work in the way our brains are wired.

    I think one of the greatest gifts I can give my students is an understanding and belief in how they (individually) learn best.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Happy Birthday, o MYSTerious one!

    ReplyDelete
  104. Linnette,

    Thanks for the tip. I was trying that but I keep getting interrupted today. It's been a hectic one!

    ReplyDelete
  105. "It's like coming to an old friend's house, we can just get up and refill our own coffee cup, right?"

    Sure is, Virginia.

    Don't all your friends have their own tropical islands you can visit?

    Where's Jack?

    ReplyDelete
  106. "So now I can write into the mist, and have a peace about it *smile*"


    Make that a *double smile*

    So glad it helped validate you, Patti Jo!

    Blessings right back on you.

    Myst on!

    Haha, maybe we should have a secret mysters handshake

    ReplyDelete
  107. Thanks, Jackie. You're in!

    And I agree, it's a GREAT picture of Tina. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  108. MYRA! I'm so excited that this validates you. That's exactly how I felt when I heard Jo speak. It was like the world finally made sense.

    I love your explanation to Tina about why this cures episodic writing. I hadn't thought of it that way, but it makes a lot of sense.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Carol, you ARE, you're NOT (yet), You will be -

    but what you definitely are is a terrific writer who doesn't need to be validated by a GH call. You've got it, girlfriend. So celebrate come Monday, no matter what.

    I'm so glad not to have anything in this time so I don't have to worry about Monday. When the Genesis call came I was standing in front of my class teaching. All of a sudden my pocket started to vibrate and it showed a number I didn't know. My class must have wondered why I suddenly seemed so giddy.

    Good luck on Monday to all the GH entrants.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Donna, thank you. That was such a sweet comment.

    I really hope misting works for you. You may find you need to combine different ways.

    I almost started out this post saying,
    My name is Mary and I'm a messy writer.


    I like misty writer better.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Hi Pam T,

    Thanks for joining me. I wonder how many of us who are natural born misters had fun writing before we were told there was a way we were supposed to do it.

    I know it's not terribly efficient, but I need to find my way through the mist (okay, sometimes a fog) before I fully grasp the depth of my story. My initial ideas are way too shallow. I honor those who write quickly and with depth. That's so NOT me.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Okay - off to see a few more parents. Then I'll be back to catch up again.

    Thanks to everyone who stopped in to visit during the day.

    I love Seekerville!

    ReplyDelete
  113. Mary, congratulations on your debut! Well done -- and what a pleasure to read. From this day forward I am a 'mister.' Although, that does make us sound like men. Oh, well. Whatever :-)

    I started out a mister. Somewhere along the way, I allowed myself to be convinced plotting was the way 'real' writers worked. As a mister, I always completed a WIP in less than a year. As a plotter, I over-thought and concentrated too much on the process. Now I'm back to misting and so much happier with what I'm writing. I didn't know why until I read this in your post:

    “Jo explains that her greatest strength as a writer comes from writing in the now. She basically experiences the scene in her head with the characters. All of her senses are alive to what’s happening in the scene. She says she found that when she pre-plotted a story, she lost that immediacy and her writing felt flat.”

    OH. MY. GOSH. There is my answer. I feel validated, for lack of a better word.

    Thank you for the insight,
    Nancy C

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  114. Thank you, thank you, thank you Mary! I have tried to work from an outline but unfortunately I've always failed and found myself and my characters wandering aimlessly in the shadows of what could have been. I have just started 'writing into the mist' and feel so much more comfortable with it. Did I say thank you!?!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  115. 6530 at Panera today.

    Including a break up and a smooch I couldn't have told you were coming 10 hours ago. Cuz I misted them into existence ;).

    Plus my MIL has read about 1/2 the manuscript I gave her last week and she's enjoying it :D. For her, that's pretty fast :).

    ReplyDelete
  116. Speedbo Report

    “Stranded” Edit Project
    Project Goal:
    Edit 55,500 words

    March 20, 2012
    Words edited or written today: 2429
    Total words to date: 11,592
    Words to go: 43908
    Percent Left: 79.11%
    Time Left: 68.75%
    Running: Behind Schedule

    Not much to brag about. You sure can't edit into the mist. : (

    I’m encouraged that others are doing so well. Go Team. Report in!

    ReplyDelete
  117. Love the idea of "misting", Mary! I've been "misting" through my WIP the last few scenes. Didn't know what to call it 'til now. Only a couple scenes are clear at a time. There's a "possible ending" idea, but the mist may reveal something else. Who knows? VERY exciting way to write.

    Still not figured out if I'm a plotter or a pantster. Probably a little in between. Of course I keep a catastrophe or two up my sleeve for whenever the middle looks saggy (I think I may have learned this from Mrs. Connealy's "Plan B: shoot someone" technique).

    Thank you for sharing with us, Mary!

    ReplyDelete
  118. SOOOO what i needed to hear! THANKS
    for taking time and thought to share from your heart...

    ReplyDelete
  119. wow Mary!
    right on target today for where I'm at... and for who i am! blessings ")

    ReplyDelete
  120. Oh Dear.

    I just got home from school and was going to check in and see if I missed anyone. I thought I'd done so well catching up - and then I realized I missed a huge chunk of posts in the middle.

    So sorry!

    ReplyDelete
  121. NancyC -
    Your words make my day. I'm so glad this helped you recognize why it works for you. I think Jo made a lot of people happy when she spoke out on this.

    samedayessay -
    Thanks for stopping by.

    Cindy W - I'm so glad this feels comfortable for you. Writing is hard enough without doing it in a way that makes us miserable. Best of luck to you in your misting!

    Natalie - I loved this
    the mist may reveal something

    It is all a process of revelation, isn't it. Writing is an adventure for me when I'm misting.

    Sharon - Isn't it wonderful when we hear just the right thing? That's how I felt when I heard Jo. It just connected with me.

    Faith Hope Cherrytea - 1st I love your name!
    Yay for hitting the target. No use fighting who we are. It just never works, does it?

    ReplyDelete
  122. Hi Melanie,
    I also often end up changing characters names - until they feel right. Once they do, I know it and then they stick. Thanks for your sweet comments.

    Connie Queen - Staying on task. I like that. I'm always helping students work on ways to stay on task. Nice to think of this as our version.

    Sue, I find I'm more productive if I have thinking time just before I write - I guess that's my thinking into the mist time. *g* I've been known to jot down ideas on just about anything - including my hand.



    EC Spurlock - LOVE this -
    "Mister" makes me think of the little spritzer things people use on their orchids; so it's like I'm misting my exotic imagination to encourage the story to grow. :-)

    Much better than a German tank, right? You wrote that so beautifully. It's planting such a lovely image in my mind.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Sherrinda, I really thought I answered you before but I guess that was when someone knocked at my door and I lost it. You had me LOL at the plister. OUCH!

    Jan, I'll accept you into the misters even if it's scene by scene. I love the way you described this - "I draw out the map, but some of the turn offs and valleys are shrouded in mist."
    Another lovely image to go with my mist.

    Emily - YES! I was terrified to Speedbo because of not being sure how misting would work. I may not be wracking up huge word counts but 1K a day works for me. I think so long as we have a deep understanding of GMC and the points I listed, our subconscious will keep us moving in the right direction.

    Missy, awwww I knew y'all weren't scary. You're way too sweet for that. Thanks for welcoming me.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Mary Connealy - ROTHGAR is never off-topic!

    Hi Janet,
    I get the terrified. It's intimidating to think of flying basically blindly into a book. But I guess it's adventurous too. That's when I try to keep Anne Lamott's Bird-by-Bird advice in mind.

    Mia - I'm so glad to know you write this way. I've found that I can do the synopsis that way too. Not promising I stick with it, but...

    Jackie - off into the mist we go. I didn't get any writing done today what with report card conferences and being here, but I'll be happy to join you on the misty morrow.

    Nancy Kimball, your description of writing the end interested me. Recently I had to set aside a book I'd almost finished because nothing I wrote for the end felt right. I knew it would come and when it finally did, I was glad I'd waited.
    Now you have me wanting ice cream though.

    Kav - welcome to the club - Misters Anonymous Isn't it a fun feeling to find a kindred spirit. :)


    Sandra, Thanks for the welcome. Yes, I think we can be partial misters and partial plotters. It all goes along with finding what works for you and not wasting time trying to do what won't.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Rebecca, yes, I also go back and make sure the plot is strong enough once I've emerged from the mist.
    I can't get over how misty the air has been here today. It's as if the fates were with us.

    Hi Erica! Is this the quote you mean. I've always loved it.
    “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” ― E.L. Doctorow .

    Glynna, what a lovely reason to be a planster - selling on synopsis and 3 chapters. I guess when I've had to write out a synopsis for a contest entry that doesn't have a complete mss, I've done the same thing. I just don't have to stick by it.


    Emily - no intimidation allowed! I spent too much time feeling inferior (okay, as recently as yesterday) but we can get over that!

    ReplyDelete
  126. Julie Lessman - come on out of plotter rehab and come on down!
    I'm envisioning your happy fingers dancing across the keyboard.

    Kirsten - I missed this before. CONGRATULATIONS on typing The End! You made it. Woo Hooo!

    DebbieLynne -

    You said - I think my mind works more toward the plotter because as I begin with an idea, more ideas flood in and I find I'm writing them down connecting the dots thus doing some plotting.

    That flood of ideas - the I can't keep up with it excitement - is such a great feeling. It's such a natural high.

    I think we're banning plister though. And congrats to you too on finishing your WIP. WOOO HOOOO again.


    Jeanne T. You said
    "Mary, I love your voice. :)"

    Thank YOU! Can a writer ever get a nicer compliment? I don't think so. You made me smile.

    JamieAdams -

    You said -
    When I try to plot I get the same result as pausing a movie...nothing but the frozen frame.

    That's interesting because in school, one of the ways we help children discover their learning styles is by discussing whether they see pictures or movies (or nothing) in their head when they're reading or doing math.

    Julie Hilton-Steele - I thought I answered you earlier too. Oh well, I must have lost that post. What a powerful image you described of the tombstones in France. Yes, I'd ay someone is making it very clear to you! Go for it.

    ReplyDelete
  127. And finally - Tina - I LOVE bringing JOY to Whos in Whoville (or Seekerville.


    Thanks so much for inviting me to be here today today!

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  128. "I'm just being me."
    Mary, I loved this! I am very often lost in the mist while ironing my endless closet of pants - I too am just being me but until now, I thought I was doing something "wrong". I might pre-plot, but it's in the form of those beginning scenes you spoke of and yes, they're all up there rattling around in the attic that sits on my shoulders. All I need is a nice, tall cup of coffee and my laptop - that's enough plotting for me. : )
    Thanks for being so supportive and active when we're writing in the #1K1HR Facebook group - you've become a sweet friend!

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  129. I like the idea of writing in the NOW>
    The storytelling tips are good to remember.
    Thanks for the great post!

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  130. I'm sorry I missed this yesterday!!! Love this post. I think I heard the mist term before and it's definitely me. LOL
    Thanks Mary, and thanks for sharing the tips of what to keep in mind while writing this way.

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  131. Mary, thanks for sharing. I am SO late to the party, but this post is very appropriate for today, as it has been misty and drizzly all day here! I love the IDEA of writing into the mist, but I am a plotter. Not having every scene in stone, but definitely knowing where my ending is going. But perhaps I'll try to romance of it!

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  132. Hi Janet:

    On a more cheerful note:

    I just preordered “Brides of the West: Josie's Wedding Dress\Last Minute Bride\Her Ideal Husband (Love Inspired Historical)” for my Kindle. I’ll have to wait until April 1st to download it but that will be a reward for finishing Speedbo with flying colors. (I hope)

    Vince

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  133. Speedbo Report

    “Stranded” Edit Project
    Project Goal:
    Edit 55,500 words

    March 21, 2012
    Words edited or written today: 3007
    Total words to date: 14,599
    Words to go: 40,901
    Percent Left to edit: 73.69%
    Time Left to edit: 62.50%
    Running: Behind Schedule

    I emailed the file home. Perhaps can do more tonight. If this were a marathon, I think we would be getting near the 'wall' at the twenty mile mark.

    Going for a second wind.

    Keep the faith.

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  134. If I wrote I can see I would get my self totally lost in the mist.

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  135. Love it! Great post Mary. Have been having fun with Speedbo!
    Jamie Salisbury
    TudorRose1952@gmail.com

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