Thursday, May 6, 2010

Issues and Goals – for Merrilee’s Creativity Workshop

Several of my blogging friends have joined a 12 week Creativity Workshop and because I can’t commit (perhaps issue #1 but I’m not choosing it), I am auditing the workshop and completing the lessons when I can.

One of the first assignments was to review your issues and interests. A defining moment for me, as I am new to this writing process and have not written more than some short-short stories, a poem or ten, a bunch of blog posts, and a couple of family history essays. I have written an outline of a romance/mystery novel that I have receive positive feedback on, and that I like. Most of my friends have already written a draft of their novel and are into the revision stage. I’m so far behind already.

Looking at my issues, I can list many but will stick to the three I want to work on in parallel with the class:

Issue #1 – Staying focused

Issue #2 – Starting my novel (I have lots of research, ideas, an outline, but I can’t seem to start writing it)

Issue #3 - Writing something believable

Then there are my interests. Because I am still exploring this thing called writing, I have many. (This may contribute to the focus issue above.) I like writing:

• poetry

• family essays

• short stories

• funny snipets

• romance stories

• mystery / fantasy stories

• children’s stories (although I’m not very good at it)

Looking at my issues, challenges, and interests, I have a renewed comittment to my novel and have developed my goals around working on it.

Goal #1 – Learn about time travel and spells and how I can use them in my novel.
• Write 4 stories in the first month that deal with one or the other of these topics.

• Write for 60 minutes each day – attempting to be uninterruped.

• Use one of my characters as the lead in these stories, so that I may be able to use the outcome in the future.

• Give myself free reign to write out of my comfort zone (which I will need to do to write about time travel and spells).

Goal #2 -Delve into character development to strengthen my characters.

• Read, read, and read more about characted development. Learn from all the information available about how to develop     
and define strong characters.

• Write a short story about each of 4 characters in my novel to learn more about them and their personalities/interaction skills.

• Make sure these four characters are “worthy” of being a part of the story.

Goal #3 – Learn how to develop and describe a setting.

• Read, read, and read more about setting development. Learn from all the information available about how to develop and describe a believable setting.

• Continue to do research on the planned setting of my novel.

• Write 4 stories, each from a specific place in the setting of my novel.

This is my start and I am making the commitment to follow through with my goals, one a month for the next 3 months. They are perhaps very basic goals, but I believe that is where I need to start.


  1. It's a good start. On issue number 2 I say JUST DO IT! Just dive in and start writing. Once you start it'll be hard to stop.

    Also, one of my tricks for character development is to write a couple of journal entries for each one. This puts me inside their head.
    Nice list, keep going...

  2. Thanks for the suggestions and support! It is greatly appreciated.

  3. Good list -- and I like the way you have developed goals that work/play into your novel. I think that will be effective!

  4. Tanks Natasha! These goals will definately help me start writing the novel in my head. The goals are pretty basic, but I need to work through them. It also puts me on a writing schedule that I have lacked since my last class. (I also think I need a field trip to HillStead, but haven't approached that topic with my husband yet! :))

  5. Great job defining your goals - keep up the momentum!

  6. I totally missed this post and I have no idea how. ::kicks leg of desk::

    Time travel and spells sounds like a lot of fun.

    Here is a hint on character development that I use frequently. I always write a scene describing the character from another character that will be in the story. It is not actually a scene in the book, but more like a "the first time I saw him/her/it" experience. Think of yourself sitting on the shrinks couch and explaining your thoughts and feelings about another person. Include details like the way they dress, move, talk, the texture of their skin, the way they smell.

    It not only helps me define my characters, but also gives me a "personal relationship" with them that comes in handy when I start writing the actual story and need those little details that makes a character real.

    Good Luck with your new goals. I hope you have better luck than I am having so far. Today I have blank page syndrome. I just keep staring at the screne and on occasion I blink, rub my eyes, and stare some more.

  7. Tee Hee - ::kicks leg of desk:: No need!
    It's hard to keep up with everyone! AND you have 30 new blogger friends to keep track of now too!
    Thanks for suggestions about character development. That will be month two.
    Sorry you are having BPS today. Tomorrow will be better! A stroll outside amongst your beautiful roses will get your creative juices flowing.