This week we have author Jacqui Jacoby with a writing craft post of 'Second Paragraph'.
Award-winning author, Jacqui Jacoby lives and writes in the beauty of Northern Arizona. Currently adjusting to being an empty nester with her first grandchild to draw her pictures, Jacqui is a self-defense hobbyist. Having studied martial arts for numerous years she retired in 2006 from the sport, yet still brings strength she learned from the discipline to her heroines. She is a working writer, whose career includes writing books, teaching online and live workshops and penning short nonfiction.
Jacqui Jacoby on the web:
Every writer faces it. Every writer worries and dreads that it is going to arrive. You sit down to type, whether it is a novel, an article or a blog entry, and there it will be: a blank document with a blinking cursor asking you to begin.
We sit in our chairs, ready to write, the ideas in our head ready to pour onto that page, but we just can’t get it. We can’t get it to sound perfect, moving from our mind to our fingers, even when we think we know what to say.
“Why don’t you just start on the second paragraph,” Lucien Carr said when he at worked at the United Press International, no doubt kick starting a writer at a type writer. And Carr was right. Sometimes skipping the beginning to fill in later and moving on to what comes next is all it might take to get forward momentum.
Hitting a wall of “writer’s block” can be cured by something as simple as Mr. Carr’s suggestion. You can’t get that first paragraph to work, move down the food chain to the second and see if that doesn’t jump start your ideas. Sometimes something as simple as going back to write the beginning last can fix the problem.
If hitting the wall, however, turns to jumping off the cliff, then it might take a little bit more creativity to break through.
Ted Schwartz, in his book Time Management for Writers gives excellent advice on multi project. It is, as Mr. Schwarz says, only writers who set off to work on one solitary project at a time giving it your full interest, until that interest is burned out. “Doctors see several patients. Lawyers see several clients … but writers often believe the myth that they are not being professional unless they stay with one project through to completion …”
Editing a book? Have you started the research on the next, giving equal time to both projects? Have you volunteered to guest on a blog? How about your favorite RWA chapter? I bet the editor of the newsletter would love to have you ask to contribute as well as serving on a board or committee. Contest judging? Always a fun way to share our creative thinking while helping out while getting a chance to see what other people have to say.
The key to finishing a novel is regularity, to be able to face that first paragraph on a daily basis and say “This is what we’re going to do.” You must commit to it with a set time and a set goal in order to move from Page One to The End. Nothing can get in the way of this goal. Not TV programs, telephone calls, requests from family or even that cat who decides your keyboard is the warmest place in the house. Here is a little known truth: You can move the cat.
On the days the book talks back rudely, telling us “writer’s block” is on the menu, then we need a to attack from a different angle, letting that book know it is going to get written. We’ll just spend twenty minutes answering writing related e-mail, or maybe we’ll write an entry or our blog. Or better still … we’ll start on the second paragraph and see what the story has in store for us.
Jacqui Jacoby's newest release is MAGIC MAN
Detective Peter Mackenzie knew crime and knew his job. With The Cemetery Man schedule to leave the next body on the next grave Peter doesn’t have time for the puzzling Alexandra Madison. Her wild stories of a stolen life and family and friends who don’t remember her. Her last resort, she tells him is him and the relationship they shared. Peter doesn’t need this nonsense and his eccentric father walking in only irritates him more. Until his father utters the name everyone forgot, giving hope to Alexandra for the first time.
Time is their enemy as the weekend grows closer and on Sunday, Peter knows another body will be waiting.
What he doesn’t know, what he couldn’t know, even with Alexandra delving deeper into his father’s past, the victims are not random. They are chosen with reason and the monster who takes them is not done. She is coming for one of them.
Enter this Goodreads giveaway to win signed copies of MAGIC MAN.
***Thanks Jacqui! I tend to work in a linear fashion, but I have jumped ahead to writer certain scenes that are calling to me, and I definitely have worked on more than one project at a time - it's fun!
How about you? Anyone cheating on their MS with another MS at the same time?