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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Progress and Projects

Progress and Projects

Lately it feels like I have a lot going on in the writing part of my life. But since I’m happiest when drafting or revising a novel, I feel a little sad and discontent at the moment. Because I’ve got a lot to do, but I’m not actually creating something new.
Last week, I got edits for a short story that will appear in this year’s Month9Books anthology, VERY SUPERSTITIOUS. Finishing the edits didn’t keep me busy long enough. It was over way too soon!
I’m starting to have promotional assignments for THE CAGED GRAVES, which releases in two months. They’re fun to write, but not like a novel. I have a launch party to plan, but writing out invitations isn’t exactly a novel either.
I’ve got a post to do for Project Mayhem, this blog to keep up, and I’m sure my agent would always welcome a submission for her blog. But again, blog posts aren’t the same as a novel.
I also heard from my new editor at HarperCollins. (The editor who acquired THE EIGHTH DAY retired in January.) It looks like I’ll have some more revision notes coming my way soon. That ought to keep me busy and make me happy.
But it won’t solve my current problem, which is trying to become a plotter.
I’m using Scrivener as a storage place for all my ideas about THE EIGHTH DAY #3 and the series in general – and I continue to love how I can file information in this program so that it’s all at my fingertips – and moveable – and ready to be transformed into a 30 page synopsis, if need be.
But that still doesn’t magically turn me into a plotter.
Right now, I have some basic plot points for the book. Normally, that would be the time I’d jump into the first chapter and figure out the story as I wrote it. But the problem is, I don’t have time to write this book right now. I just need to know what’s in it so I can make everything in the first two books align with it.
Part of my problem is impatience. I want it all worked out NOW, even though I know I need to give myself time to mull things over.
Skiing this weekend helped. You’d be surprised how many plot problems I work out on the chair lift. Long car rides help, too. So I guess it’s a good thing the Salerni family is driving to Killington, Vermont for one final ski trip at the end of this month. Let’s hope my muse is coming with us!

12 Responses to Progress and Projects

  1. Good luck figuring it out. I haven’t been able to master plotting out a whole novel yet. Glad you got some time to figure it out while skiing.

  2. Lexa Cain says:

    Yay for working out plot points on a ski lift! That’s much more exciting than the way I do it – by washing dishes. lol
    It’s exciting to be working on a new WIP, but even if you’re working on other things, I’m sure your mind is still busy percolating with exciting ideas that will end up being useful in your next WIP. Good luck! 🙂

  3. Ski-therapy!!! See, this is why I need to live ni a northern climate 🙂

  4. Linda G. says:

    Let me know if you happen upon any tricks to make becoming a plotter easier, because I haven’t managed yet. Which is too bad, because I suspect it would make my writing life easier in the long run.

    Have fun on your ski trip! May it placate your muse. 🙂

  5. mshatch says:

    Plotting can be difficult for those of us who began as pantsters. Now that I have approx. half my wip written, I have the rest of it mostly plotted out, but I had zip when I started and until I wrote the history/backstory for my tale I only had a chapter or two ahead plotted out with a vague idea where I was headed. I have to say I like having a clearer idea where I’m going but more than that I like seeing how everything is fitting together properly.

  6. Hi Dianne .. gosh more skiing – wonderful. I can understand the plotting things out on long car journeys – I’ve missed those in recent years, but now will be back to doing more of them … my head gets straight.

    Enjoy that snow and exercise and fun time .. cheers Hilary

  7. I sure never thought about all this when I first sat down to write a book. Sky plotting. Now that’s a winner!

  8. I’m a huge believer in physical activity as the solution to all my plot problems.

  9. We’ve already discussed this a bit, but that sounds like a real conundrum!

  10. Rachel says:

    I agree – doing other things (other than writing) sooo help me figure out plot troubles. Good luck figuring out. I’ve never been an outliner – I pants all the way. And good luck with your new editor and revision notes! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!

  11. DL Hammons says:

    I submerge myself in a hot tub to work out my plot problems! I’d sure like to try a chairlift though! 🙂

  12. Julia Tomiak says:

    I love these little insights into “a published writer’s life” and hope someday I share your problems! 🙂 I hope you find some solutions and get to do what makes you happy soon!