Saturday, January 23, 2010

Breakthrough Moment!

Phew! For a bit there, I wondered if I would find an ending for my Steampunk NaNo.

If you've been following my blog for a bit, you might remember I blogged about this ms a while ago. Endings come first for me. I don't outline, but I pretty much know where I'm going anyway. Not for this one. I got images of the mc skulking around alleys with his tinkerings, but no ending.

I figured it would just happen. Silly me. :)

Tonight while I was typing - okay, deleting the last 2 chapters - I finally listened to the mc. He wanted to go sideways and I'd been resisting. Again, silly me.

Sideways we went. And suddenly he stumbled onto a secret that connected all the little clues I'd left throughout the ms. Weird. Exhilerating. But weird.

1000 words flew out of my fingers before I could blink. I'm not done yet. In fact, there's a fair bit to tie up now. But I know where I'm going!! Please feel free to toss some confetti!

What's your best breakthrough moment?

62 comments:

  1. woohoo!!! Congratulations :-) *tosses confetti*

    My breakthrough moment with Shattered was when I finally admitted to myself that the beginning SUCKED. And redoing it was so exhilarating, to know how much better it was than it had been! (Though I'm sure there are still revisions to make, ha)

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  2. Congrats! It is very exciting to find where the story is really supposed to go, to listen to the characters and let it fly. :)

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  3. CONGRATS! Isn't it so gratifying knowing that you're on the right track again. Tossing loads of confetti your way and still have plenty on reserve for the big day ;-)

    Greatest breakthrough moment for me, hmm.. knowing that seekrit wip will be done either tonight or tomorrow night! Finally :D

    Good luck and I can't wait to read your post that says it's complete!

    Cheers

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  4. Thanks Sara!

    That's an awesome moment! The decisions where you know how much work it's going to be are the hardest to make. But, it's sure nice when you see your hard work has paid off!

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  5. Thank you Monica!!

    It really is exciting - I love having a direction :)

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  6. Thanks Layna!

    Ooooo! You're almost there :) Excuse me while I go gather up all the confetti. Gotta have it cleaned up for when you finish! Can't wait to see the seekrit wip in pring!

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  7. Congratulations, keep up the good going. Just keep listening and the fingers will fly. :)

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  8. Mason - Thanks! I'm really, really hoping that's the way it will go! My ears will stay wide open :)

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  9. Congrats! I don't remember a specific best breakthrough moment, but I usually get them in the shower or on the subway, and it's usually figuring out how two strands of a plot fit together

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  10. Thanks Livia!

    The shower is always a good place to get those consolidating ideas! I find it often happens when I'm walking as well :)

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  11. Yeah! I'm so glad.

    Breakthrough moment. The night I imagined the premise for my current WIP.

    It was love at first thought.

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  12. Thanks Jenny!

    I love that expression! There's nothing quite like that first "Aha" when the idea springs into your head! Love it :)

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  13. Yay! Yay! Yay! Confetti in your hair! Confetti on your keyboard! Confetti missing your coffee cup. Yay! Yay! Yay!

    That's awesome. I'm so glad it helped tie up clues too. That makes things easier and the story stronger--good stuff!

    As for me... well, I have break through moments here and there. Some bigger than others. Right now I am working on a breakthrough--although I am not sure it is big enough to call it that as I didn't even *know* I needed this piece until a few days ago! Anyway, I'm just taking a minor subplot and internal motivation and boosting it up so it is a bit more front and center. We'll see if it holds.

    Congrats again! Your story will rock the steampunk world! Woo!

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  14. I can so relate to this post. In fact, I have often thought I'm possessed. I sit at my computer desk and off I merrily go... tap tap tap. No direction, plan, or plot. Nothing. Numerous times I've been escorted down the garden path by the green devil, however, in the end, the story miraculously comes together! (Weird). Won't go into how much blood sweat and tears there was along the way, but nevertheless :)

    It is an enigma - obviously to us both!

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  15. Yahoo!

    *throws lots of confetti and breaks into an Egyptian happy dance*

    Don't you just love breakthroughs? Hurray for you!

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  16. Thanks Jean!

    It was weird the way it's worked. Must be that odd subconscious mind working away on its own again.

    I think the subplot you're working on is going to be awesome! I bet it flows quickly :)

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  17. Wendy - that's exactly it!! I don't know how in the world everything ties together at the end, but I'm sure glad it does - even if it's thanks to the little green devil :)

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  18. Stephanie - I do!!

    The Egyptian happy dance is becoming quite popular these days :) Thanks!

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  19. Oh, my current WIP is just chock-full of breakthrough moments. They're all waiting to be written, though. I'm excited to get there, word by word.

    Congrats on your breakthrough, good lady! :)

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  20. Simon - that's so exciting! I love having them all in my head :)

    Thanks so much!

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  21. Yay for the breakthrough moment! That is one of the best feelings ever.

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  22. It is exhilirating. Writing is such a mysterious process, how your characters can lead the way, if you let them. Sometimes dialogue will open that up for me, or just listening to them...what they really think and want to do. Congrats on your breathrough!

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  23. Suzette - I agree! It's such fun. Can't wait to get in some writing time today :)

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  24. Yvonne - You're so right! Characters are amazing people - they somehow know just what to do :)

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  25. Yay Jemi! You did it...or your mc did it, either way, you've discovered the story's path. That's got to feel good.

    Helen
    Straight From Hel

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  26. Thanks Helen! It was definitely all him - which is a little odd, but that's okay :) It feels great!

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  27. I am so happy for you! I cannot wait to read it, even though I know it is far from that point. You deserve mounds of confetti!

    My biggest breakthrough moment came yesterday, surprise, surprise. I realized I need to do a little less Internet scrambling and much more pen-to-paper writing. This means I must forsake my laptop for a few days and use only ink. (I have no will power so I can't even be near an Internet button right now!) Have we found that perfect pen yet, Jemi?

    So I am looking for guest bloggers for the next week to fill my space while I carve away at my WIP. So far so good: two days filled and two hours of research and notes behind me.

    Congrats, again!
    Michele
    SouthernCityMysteries

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  28. Thanks Michele - Mounds of confetti is good!!

    Wow - yesterday was a good day if you found your breakthrough moment too :) I rarely write on paper - I'd just lose it!

    Guest bloggers, eh? I'll give it some thought!

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  29. Woo-hoo! Now that's an exhilarating post. And I love the sideways move. *tossing confetti*

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  30. Tricia - Thanks!! Moving sideways is always fun :)

    Thanks for the confetti toss!

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  31. My breakthrough moment usually happens after I've been slogging through the middle of the first draft and feel like I'm completely lost. I know where I want the story to end but I just don't see how the drivel I'm currently writing will get there. Then, suddenly, the characters start shifting into gear and a nice, clean path opens up and the writing flies toward the end.
    Okay, I then have to rewrite the entire middle of the story so that it isn't painfully slow but it feels good to finally get to that breakthrough moment where the end is in sight.
    Tossing the confetti for you and wishing you luck tidying things up.

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  32. Yay! That's awesome Jemi. I wish 1000 words would just come flying out of my fingers! :-)

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  33. Cassandra - It is becoming quite messy in here, but that's okay!

    Isn't it great when the characters figure it out for you? I love it!!

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  34. Shannon - Thanks! I'm happy :)

    I bet words do fly out of your fingers too! It's so much fun when it happens that way.

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  35. Hooray! Confetti and balloons! Congratulations.

    Don't you just love it when your MC actually takes you to places you never expected? My first big breakthrough moment was when I quit fighting a minor character over a decision he made. I let him go with it, and it turned out to give the book a direction I never imagined. And I think a better ending.

    Second big breakthrough was discovering how much easier it is to write a story with at least a general framework to start with.

    The key for me is balancing the need to let the characters find their way through their problems and keep the story moving forward.

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  36. Thanks Meredith!!

    So true - my characters like to do their own thing and usually they're right. I like your point about balance. It's so important!

    Funny how many breakthroughs involve us listening to our characters. Non-writers would think we're nuts :)

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  37. My best breakthrough moment? The one I've had just now, which will magnetise my butt to my seat tomorrow morning! It's late here on this side of the Atlantic - g'night!

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  38. DWC - Exciting! Even better you get to sleep on it and let the subconscious improve it before you even start to write :)

    Goodnight & have fun in the morning!

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  39. I'm so very happy for you for I get this you know. The being stuck and the what will I do feel. I'm glad your ms was able to show you the way. Happy writing dear friend.
    Warm regards,
    Simone.

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  40. Thanks Simone! It is truly a great feeling when the path suddenly clears of thorns :)

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  41. Champagne uncorked, Confetti tossed! What a wonderful moment, Jemi. Sometimes you have to trust characters to lead you to the promised land -- even when you think you know the way.

    My breakthrough moment came with my first ms. I was taking classes and belonged to several critique groups - all wonderful - but I realized I was taking every comment to heart. Instead of telling my story, I was telling theirs. It was devastating at first, but then I began rewriting, and for the first time I felt like a real writer.

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  42. VR - Woohoo!! Champagne too! Thanks :)

    That's an awesome moment. Trusting ourselves is huge!! I'm lucky to have 2 crit buddies who are honest and helpful, but don't push their own agendas. They're awesome.

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  43. Congrats on the breakthrough! It's such a good feeling...that relief, then the excitement...
    *Tosses confetti*

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  44. You're so right, Julie! The relief & the excitement are great! :) Thanks

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  45. Wow - yaya for you!
    I have break through moments when I have hours of silence or when it's raining - neither of those are happening right now!

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  46. I'm tossing biodegradable confetti all over the place. I love the feeling you described. Congrats.

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  47. Michelle - Thank you!

    Rain can do it for me too. It changes my mood and I guess my thought process. I cross my fingers it rains for you soon :)

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  48. Elizabeth - biodegradable is the best!! As is that feeling - thanks :)

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  49. My best breakthrough moments come when I finally finish that particular section that I struggle with for months. Especially when its sandwiched between two finished sections.

    Stephen Tremp

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  50. Hooray! I love those moments. And it always happens when you let the character do what he wants, doesn't it? Geez, they are stubborn!

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  51. Stephen - yes! It's such a good feeling to finish something difficult, isn't it? You'd get a great feeling of accomplishment with those ones!

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  52. Thanks Anne! Yes, they can be incredibly stubborn - thank goodness they're usually right :)

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  53. I love it! It is really so extraordinary how that happens, isn't it? I guess the key is to know when to stop resisting and let your character take you sideways, right to the treasure. My last WIP, I knew the ending, so even though I didn't outline, I kind of knew where I'd end up anyway. But this current one isn't like that, so I'm very hopeful that everything will come together synchronistically for me too.

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  54. Belle - it sure is extraordinary! Sounds like you're following my pattern - so I'm sure it'll work itself out! Good luck with it :)

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  55. Oh, there is no better feeling in the world. Lisa usually calls me and says, "I've got it!" during one of our breakthrough moments and it's like music to my ears!

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  56. Lisa & Laura - music indeed!! Working with a co-author would be fun. My sister however has zero interest in fiction. Maybe less than zero :)

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  57. Ah, the breakthrough moment. Aren't they amazing?? Yes, yes they are. I'm so glad you had one.

    For me, I usually can get my "ah-ha!" moments when I'm doing something else. Showering. Cleaning. Folding laundry, etc. And then I can't get to the computer or a notebook fast enough.

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  58. Elana - Yes they are!! Thank you :)

    Aha moments come at the strangest times! I get a lot when I'm drifting off to sleep or when I'm walking.

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  59. OMG! best feeling ever!! Congrats on the breakthrough moment!!

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  60. Thanks Carol - & you're so right - best feeling EVER!

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  61. I remember that when I was constructing the outline for my last work-in-progress, I was stuck for a while. I knew that the story was bland, because it was missing something crucial. I pondered about it, and a villain came to my mind. This character spiced up the book. And she was so fascinatingly evil that I couldn't wait to sit down and write her scenes.

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  62. Medeia - that's awesome!! Nothing much better than a spicy villain. I enjoy writing the villain's scenes too :) So much fun!

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