Consider your current WIP (Work In Progress). Then, ask yourself two questions: (1) Is it complete? (2) What would make it complete?
Now that you have answered those questions, consider this one: What could I do to make this work better? Once you answer this question, now you can go forward. This means you are prepared to look at your work, seeing it as an artist and a critical eye. These things are amazing because it allows you to clear your mind enough to focus on what you desire to write.
The rewrite is your space as a writer to do what Neil Gaiman says: “to look like you knew exactly what you were doing all along.”
Follow the fabulous Magnolia C. Carter (The MCC to those in the know!) on Instagram at: @theemagnoliacarter.
Magnolia C. Carter is a passionate writer. She is present, dedicated and aware of how demanding writing can be! When asked about her writing journey, she will smile and say: “This is what happens with boredom and an overactive imagination.”
Her inspirations come from three things, “the three M’s” as she calls it: music, men, and mischief. Magnolia says that her mission with her writing is to ‘get everything out.’
When asked about her favorite thing to write? “Erotica…and hoetry.” When asked what hoetry is, she describes it thus: “Hoetry is the full expression of female sexuality…without regret.”
When asked how she defines success as a writer, Magnolia says she’s unsure. “Success is a weird term to me. I think the fact that I’m even writing is success! Successful writers are those that keep writing.”
So far, there is one book of poetry that Magnolia published under her mother’s maiden name, Read (like the color—RED)-Possession And The Nine-Tenths (available on Amazon and Kindle). With all the writing she’s doing, she’s starting her website, and two collections of poetry brewing—and a novel—Him, Her & Me. “I’m just getting it done.”
When asked about writing advice, Magnolia keeps it simple. “Best advice? Get it off your head. Then deal with it when it’s done.”
Character development: How are you going to develop them?
Just like you must have an idea for the structure of you story, the same goes for your characters, their settings and even the scenarios they find themselves in. The key thing to remember is watch out for troupes what will limit the growth of your characters; stereotypes that will stunt other characters and not give them depth; if you are writing cross-culturally (a white writer writing Black character for example), make sure that you have invested time and effort into seeking out someone from that culture/ethnicity/background to read your work!
Why? Blind spots.
You don’t want a work to be offensive to other people when it does not have to be! Having someone read for cultural sensitivity will allow for feedback in a safe space where you can ask questions, get feedback and revise as needed! Your characters are brought to life your imagination—and that imagination may represent a real person. Write wisely.
Note: For sensitivity read-throughs, contact Anette King through her site, The Blurb Diva.
Let me off you this bit of encouragement: you have already done the hardest thing. The hardest thing that you have done, or will do, for this endeavor is start.
You started! At this point, accept the nerves that will come with this. Accept that the map is not completely laid, the ideas will stutter, and there may even be some days that you think you cannot do this. With you not believing you can’t go on or write another word–when the fear and apprehension try to take hold–do this: breathe.
As hard as it is, I want you to breathe. I want you to remember the thoughts you want to write are yours; the story is yours; the space is yours; you are still in control! Bear in mind the words of James Baldwin: “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed unless it is faced.”
This is the fear you must face, and face down–this unknown. You must embrace this unsteadiness–it will pass. It will pass as you continue on. You can do it. Keep going.
Take responsibility for what you write and what you don’t write.
The time you have not writing, the time you have writing, the time you spend actually writing are all under your control. They are all subject to your demands, to your time, and even your desire to write.
You are in control, so act like it. So write like it.
The hardest thing you will encounter while writing is the dynamic duo of time and planning.
Some times the best writing has to be harnessed, caught and pushed (this is the surge of creativity artists rant about. It is a real thing!), other times you must put your own energy to storm as you want!
Remember focusing requires discoline. It requires seeing one thing in front of you, and just that one thing, so your task can be completed.
How will you harness your focus today?
Turning off your phone?
Developing back story for your character?
The day is yours. The time is yours. Use both wisely.