In mid-March, I invited you to Finish Writing Your Novel with me. Having stalled out in the middle of writing a novel back in 2013, I resurrected the manuscript. My goal: to finish what I started four years ago, both writing the novel to the end and following the prompts all the way to the end from The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts (published 1/13 by Adams Media (now an imprint of Simon & Schuster)). Your tweets and messages of progress are a testament that you, too, have brought a new vigor to one of your unfinished stories. Together, nearly at the finish line, bringing the plot to the end!
As tempted as I was to read the first half I’d written years ago, I chose instead to concentrate on bringing to life the second half. As confusing as moving forward with only my old Plot Planner and notes proved to be at first, I stubbornly started where I’d left off with the prompts. Thanks to keeping track of word count, writing schedule, and projected ending date in the “record” section for each of the 120 prompts, I knew exactly the last prompt I’d followed. Some of the secondary plot lines were a bit fuzzy and I couldn’t quite remember everything, but I was thrilled to find that the major plotlines had developed and solidified over the years of imagining, daydreaming, and pondering.
Now, having taken some time off for good behavior — I’d kept to my projected word count making solid progress for weeks — I find I’ve got to triple my productivity if I’m ever going to make the May 1st deadline. Nearly at the finish line and bringing the plot to the end.
Benefits of Prompts
Before I leave for my writing cave, I wanted to share how the prompts from The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts have helped my progress.
In the zone of a daily fiction writing practice — best feeling ever — I often found myself writing forward as ideas poured in (there is something to be said for giving a story a break and coming back refreshed!). When my energy waned, I’d turn to the prompts. Inevitably, I find tips where and how to deepen scenes I’m writing. Reading several prompts at a time never fails to stimulate scene ideas relevant to placement, provide focus reminders about character development, dramatic action, and thematic significance at each key turning point, and offer pointers in building to the Crisis and beyond.
The affirmation prompts provides a quiet moment of focus. Deep cleansing breaths are a great start to every writing session.
The plot prompts remind me of the significance of each scene in that particular place in the story.
Each of the writing prompts gives me specific plot and structure direction in relationship to the character and deeper meaning of the story.
This exercise of resurrecting an old story and finishing all the prompts has been enormously satisfying. Now, so near the finish line, I’m eager to write to the finish line and bring this plot to the end. Join me! #TodayWeWrite!