Hi, My Name’s Jackie and I am a Writerholic

Just got back from an Easter break and am feeling very writing deprived. Apparently it’s good to have a rest but I tell you five days without writing anything feels like torture to me. Luckily I wasn’t in the middle of a wip otherwise it would have been hell. Still, the one good thing about being away is that there was lots of opportunity for thinking time.

I’m currently writing a synopsis for a competition entry and it’s giving me gyp. Of course, synopses are the devil’s own work and this was annoying me in particular because it’s a rewritten version of my Feel the Heat story. Now rewriting previously rejected stories is HORRIBLE. Especially when they only have a passing acquaintance with conflict. Actually, scrub that, this story wouldn’t have known conflict if it leapt up and bit said story on the backside. Hence the complete rewrite. In fact, nothing remains of the original apart from the character names, the hero’s profession and that there is a protest involved. The rest of it has been totally done-over. Sounds good right? Well, it would be if I could get the conflict sorted. For nearly a year and a half I’ve been trying to get the conflict on this story okay. Yep, that’s right, a year and a half. You’d think it would be easy. Nope. Problem has been not knowing what the hey I’m doing. I mean, here’s the thing, you’ve got to make each character the worst possible person for their counterpart, and yet the best. They each have to learn something from the other which means they both have to lack something that the other has. But they both have to have qualities that the other admires and yet also something that keeps them apart.

Think I’ve mentioned jigsaw puzzles haven’t I?

Groan. Anyway, think the last part of the puzzle slotted in over the weekend. Bout bloody time. Now, the reason it’s taken me so long is that I never really had a good enough idea about what I was doing with conflict until now. Of course, the editor could disagree with that but at least it’s more right than it’s ever been (famous last words!). And the answer – as it was in the beginning – is in the characters. Their lives up until this point, the kind of people they are, what they admire, what they dislike, what they’re secretly afraid of, and what they’re currently doing in order to mask this secret fear. I think I’ve done it and then I realise that I’ve neglected to ask myself what my heroine’s relationship with her mother was, or how she viewed her father or her siblings or whatever.

I have to say, the friends we went on holiday with were rather puzzled by my conversations with Dr Jax. “You know Kate? What’s she afraid of?” I would ask him as we were walking along the beach. Or, “Remember Kate? I need her to do something that teaches him this thing but I don’t know what she does,” as we were in the middle of a card game. Or “I think I’m getting rid of the baby. It doesn’t add anything,” as we were watching one of the kids having a tantrum. 😉

Yes, even on holiday I do not have a holiday from writing. One of my friends asked me how many hours I put into this ‘job’ and I couldn’t put a number on it. Suffice to say that if I was actually paid for every hour that I put into it, then I’d be rich!

Anyway, now I have my conflict sorted, I can write my synopsis and send away my competition entry. Woohoo. In the meantime I am reading Mira Lynn Kelly’s debut Modern Heat and loving it. Gosh those Modern Heat gals are good eh? Tough acts to follow. WTG and congrats on yor release Mira!

18 thoughts on “Hi, My Name’s Jackie and I am a Writerholic”

  1. Can I join too? Is there a 12 step program involved? OK – perhaps do not want to get rid of my writing obsession, but I can say that conflict has been giving me the shites lately!

  2. LOL. Jackie, it’s like being a mom. It never stops. We’re never on a break, even when the kids aren’t with us because we’re always thinking about them, worrying about them, missing them…

    And then some of us write too. It’s an obsessive life for us…

  3. Janette – conflict is a pain in the butt! One day it’ll get easier – this I tell myself every day. ;-0 But no, no way I want to be rid of the writing obsession either.

    Maisey – he, yeah, it IS like being a mom. And when mom conflicts with writer….urgh, it’s WW3 in our house. 🙂

  4. Hi Jackie
    I absolutely hate writing synopsis too (have no idea how to make it plural and to be honest the thought of writing more than one sends shivers down my spine – and NOT in a Modern Heat kinda way). I think we should put a call out round the blogs to find someone who does love writing them and pay them to do it for us! You must be due to hear back from your Editor soon – good luck!

  5. Yeah, my oldest the Meerkat drama king (he’s a meerkat this week…don’t ask…I didn’t. I just GO with it at this point.) has a way of making me feel SO guilty. I sneak into the bedroom for five minutes with my laptop and he’s laying in front of the door shouting, “Mommy! No work! Mommy!!!”

  6. Susan – good plan! I’ll pay good Kiwi money for whoever can write my synopsis for me. Any takers?? 🙂
    I’ll probably hear from her in the next two weeks – I’m thinking next week probably. If I’m lucky (or not lucky depending on the answer).

    Rach – yeah! Sometimes our kids just inspire us eh? 😉

    Maisey – Argh!! It’s terrible isn’t it? Guilt if you do work, guilt if you don’t…My four year old hangs around in the doorway going “I want someone to play with me”. She’s not subtle this child. 🙂

  7. Jackie, I’m a writerholic too. My DH just told me ‘you’ve been writing non stop since November.” and told me to take time off. He also said ‘Its not a job, it should be creative, something you love’ and ‘whats the point in just banging it out, maybe if you spent more time, your writing would be better.’ I wish he wrote too, then maybe he’d understand!

  8. It’s true, Jackie. You get torn up either way. My hubby is very understanding. Has been, even before checks from M&B started landing in the mailbox. he’s an incredible source of support for me. I loves him.

  9. As nice as Easter was, it’s even better to get back into normal (writing) routines.

    Great that you figured out your characters’ conflicts and backgrounds – I’m sure your story will be much stronger for it given that you’ve taken the time to really get to know what makes them tick.

    Good luck with the synopsis and the comp entry!

  10. Angie – thanks! It’s not quite the conflicts I’d imagined even a month ago but getting them right is important.

    Jane – I’m so with you there. Oh for the day when I don’t have to do them anymore.

    Maisey – Hoo as evidence! Lol. He is.

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