Lessons in Writing

I have a pair of degrees that claim I know how to write. I occasionally even take them out of the box they’re in and look at them.
However, I have been disturbingly unable to finish most of my fiction. I get caught in the middle, languish in the first chapter, or rewrite one scene so much that even if it were the next great American novel, I wouldn’t recognize it.
The problem, at least to some extent, is that my training is not in fiction writing. Give me a good academic paper to write or call me for a news feature and I’m your girl. Ask me to finish that novel that’s been languishing on my computer for years and I’ll give you a dull stare.
Until last night. Last night I got some guidance from a friend and today I am busily scribbling out character information sheets and character interviews, ready to start my new project in earnest. I have challenged myself to write a publishable romance novel by August 15. I know that I can do it as far as word count goes. That has never been a problem. My problem is keeping all those words to one project and finishing it.
Today, I start the planning (who knew you had to plan to write?) and then later, the writing begins for real.
And that novel languishing on the computer? I have bigs plans for it this fall. Finish one and then move on. That’s the first step of the new plan.

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