Index Cards

Okay. So, it’s no secret now I’m in sort of self-induced slump. I can blame it on a lot of things but what it really boils down to is…I’m not cutting it.

For me, I tend to let myself get into routines, whether they’re good or bad ones. I tend to allow myself to make excuses and say, “Well, I’ll do it tomorrow.” Because that’s what’s easiest. I can also blame it on a lot of other things that’s going on in my life (of which I can’t blog about here), but again – that’s just another excuse.

I’ve analyzed it a lot. Yes, the writing should always come first. But the reality is, it can’t. There’s no way I can shirk my duties as a mother in the evenings to sit at the computer. As much as I’d like to. The reality is, I have a child to take care of and raise (single-handedly) and that is really what comes first. Before the writing. I can let my house be dirty one more day and the laundry pile up another week, but I can’t ignore my kid. It’s a harsh reality. I don’t want it to be that way, but alas, it is the way is should be. I don’t want my son growing up saying how Mom sat at the comptuer all the time and ignored him. I don’t want to miss out on anything he does.

I know I know. The key is balance. I haven’t found that yet, mostly because the future is still so uncertain. I have to find a way to make it work for me and I haven’t found that way yet. It’s been in upheaval for about six months now and I still haven’t figured it out. It may take another six months; I don’t know.

Here’s what I do know. I talked to some great folks over on one of my chapter loops and they offered up some sage words of advice, too (and thanks to everyone who commented yesterday!). I guess you could say I got lucky last night when the kiddo decided to fall asleep at 7 pm. I had the entire evening to myself. I took out some 3×5 index cards and labeled the top of one “SCENE” and the top of another “CHARACTER”. Then i proceeded to fill them out. I wrote a scene for everything in the fantasy book I had been thinking about or already written. I wrote character cards for every major and minor character in the first book and the second.

As I started writing the scenes down (in pencil so I could erase hehe), the world began to come alive again. I could feel the characters moving around again and talking. It was great fun. By the time I finished what I could, I had blue index cards all over my kitchen table. I put the characters in order of importance. I started to label the scenes in order of the book. I haven’t put them in chapters yet, but that will come later. In the meantime, I’m going to continue with this exercise. I think it will keep me engaged with the story until I can actually sit down a the computer and start writing.

Because, I’ve decided, I need something I can put my hands on and see in front of me. I want to be able to flip to that certain scene and see what I was thinking at the time I made the note.

Of course, this may not work for me next week…but I thought I’d try it. It’s about the only plotting thing I haven’t tried!

We’ll see how I do tonight… 😉

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.