A home-schooling writer? The title builds pictures of a pajama-clad woman huddled in the corner over her laptop. The view of her is partially blocked by a broken easel and a thriving tomato plant. Microscope slides and a celery stalk in purple water decorate her desk while a partially colored US map provides wallpaper behind her.
Don’t get me wrong. This was never me. Well, never all at once. (And, my kids’ plants never thrived!) With all of the demands of home-schooling how does someone take on the career of writing? Tweet This! After all, teaching is already a full-time job.
I’ve got some suggestions to offer over the course of the next several posts here. I hope you’ll be able to use some of them and by all means share some of your own!
Ideally, we set up a schedule just like people at “real work” do. We put down “write novel” from 9:30 until 11:30. Yeah, right.
We can waste time setting up a calendar like that, complete with organized media time, along with house cleaning, showering, and putting on something besides pajamas. (Yeah, you guessed it. Already tried that one and it did work – for about two days.) The truth is, with teaching, nothing is routine. Tomorrow won’t look like today. We can’t just assume we can hold to any expectation we set.
And that’s really not the type of planning I’m talking about. Whether you’re a plotting writer or one that dreams as she goes, you can set up a plan. Short bites of what you want the next scene to look like or feel like.
For me (a way-extreme plotter who LOVES spreadsheets and has found a new miracle toy called Scrivener!) I use the little scraps of time I get to engage my characters, dreaming up their personalities and investigating their goals and nightmares. I do research on the settings that I want to use, even if I’m making them up. I have a terrible memory, so I make notes of everything and download pictures of similar places, people, and situations.
I outline my story so that I have a scene by scene process. I don’t have to do any rereading because I know what my next scene will be. That way, when I do find time to write, I don’t waste any of the minutes getting back into the story. I’m already there just by opening my planning file.
For pantsers, it may just be setting up your next section with a question or a note so you can jump right back into story-world. I heard a suggestion once that the set-up of the next scene starts at the end of the previous one. The author suggested that when you complete a scene, you crawl into the skin of the next POV and ask, “What are you feeling right now?” Once you jot that answer and maybe a note about what you want the next scene to accomplish, you can be ready to start when you get the next bit of time.
Your turn: How do you plan your writing?
The Digging Up Death blog tour continues: Find reviews & giveaways here:
Mystery Writing is Murder with 8 Ways to Cut the Fat from your WIP and a Giveaway!
Digging Up Death
And if you want to host me (Gina) for a guest post or interview here’s all you need to know: