Girls Write Out
Wednesday, October 11, 2006

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?

Well, who cares? What I want to know is how many false starts does it take to get the center of a plot? I want to know because I'm on, like, my 200th false start and I'd like to know how many more I have to go.

I'm not a novice after all. I've plotted every novel I've written (13 now), and I've always settled on a story idea pretty easily. Yeah, it takes work to flesh it out, add those layers, and put a pretty shine on the idea. My critique partners make the work easy.

But this time, for some reason, I can't seem to settle on an idea. Just when I think I've got the Right One I go to bed and wake up and have second thoughts. I've never been so wishy-washy. My partners have put in so much time on this story (which I have yet to start writing) that their names are going to have to be on the cover. And just when they think I've settled on a plot, out goes an email. "Uh, girls, we're back to scratch."

I've never pushed them to the limits like this, but they're not blocking my emails and calls yet, so I figure we're good. And I THINK I've settled on a plot idea. It was idea 192 out of the 200. Still needs fleshing out and all those layers, but I think it's going to work. Although idea 178 was pretty good too . . . .

Denise Hunter  
posted at 9:56 AM  
  Comments (12)
Delicious Delicious
At 11:10 PM, Blogger eileen said...

You're back! I stressed over Girls Write Out disappearing! No fair.

And plot 149 wasn't bad, either!! I'm just glad God gives you ideas that rock.

At 11:54 PM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

Well, when you figure it out, let me know. I think I've started this book ten times, and gone back and rewritten that first chapter again and again. In some ways, this was easier when I didn't know what I was doing. LOL

Eileen Blogger was down, we can't figure out why it was just ours though. I wonder if it was that new picture of me. I broke Blogger. LOL

At 7:22 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Hey, we learn something with all this plotting too! Besides, brainstorming is just plain fun. And D is always ready to help us on ours.

At 7:24 AM, Blogger allen said...

Try '149' and '198' and '13' simultaniously but with different character names...see which one hits you as the strongest by the third or fourth chapter. When I was teaching at an elementary school I had two computers at work and two at home. I'd write my musicals on the IBM at school, edit my story on the Mac, come home and do rewrites of my second story on the mac at home and started working on Entropy Gate on the IBM at home...eventually EG consumed me and the rest sort of dropped off...just an idea...

ps. Kristi and I found two more agents to send off to...

At 8:23 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

That's why you're such a great writer, D, you don't settle for the first idea that pops into your head!! You always allow things to simmer.

Glad you feel it's starting to come together!

At 8:42 AM, Blogger Sabrina L. Fox said...

Denise, your ability to talk about your struggles is such a blessing to all of us unpubbed! ;)

Denise did a great interview with me this week. Hop over to my blog to check it out.

At 8:46 AM, Blogger Katy said...

What?? We're not supposed to jump on the first idea? Oh-oh.

Maybe THAT'S my problem. :)

Katy McKenna

At 8:55 AM, Blogger Janet Rubin said...

I know what you mean! I can't imagine what it's like after you've been published and you have to work under pressure! It'll come to you soon, I bet.

At 9:41 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

I had Girls Write Out withdrawal yesterday! :)

Thanks for sharing about your slugging out process, D. I'm sure the right idea will come to you. What's so neat is to have crit/writing partners to brainstorm with. What a blessing!

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Jaime said...

So, then, the way to approach the 200+ plots is you might have about 150 good new books in there if you spread the plots around!!! :) :) :)

At 1:59 PM, Blogger Julie Carobini said...

I threw out a fleshed out plot line during the proposal process of one of my novels--THREW IT OUT. Ouch!'s so much prettier now :) Glad you found the right one, Denise (I hope).

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

I can certainly understand with your crit partners, Denise. ;) Since Colleen told me I wrote RS and not WF, my ending went right out the window! LOL Maybe I should call her up and ask her to brainstorm a new ending with me. :o)

Actually, brainstorming is one of my favorite parts of the writing process.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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