All or Nothing Writing Week



The Extremist That is Me:

I’m either reading or writing: ‘All or Nothing’

Hello folks! Nice to see you again. I feel as though it’s been a while. I guess compared to my more consistent (multiple a week) posts from the last few months–when put up to those standards–it really has been a while.

It’s been a transitioning two weeks in March. Recently, in my writing, I came to a point where I felt a bit stuck. It was funny because looking at my Outline/Plot board, there are index cards filling up the first two rows, then there’s a gap in the middle with sporadic cards, then the end has a clean row mapped out.



It was interesting to see that where I was stuck was precisely in the middle–after ACT II begins–where I have gaps with no story line. See, I figured, when those parts came, I’d be a pantser and write like the wind spontaneously in the moment. And though, yes, there’s been elements of that, I need a little more preparation than that, teaching me once again, I’m better with a plan.

ACT I which took about 75 pages to get to (my inciting incident) and a good 50 pages after that into ACT II came easy. There were a couple scenes here and there, where I knew what was supposed to happen, just didn’t know, how I was going to approach the scene. Other than that, I flew through part one. I had a good writing rhythm.

Then, the blank spots on my board came and…cue the crickets.

I had been eagerly anticipating getting to this part of the book. It’s where everything really starts moving, my main characters are in each other’s lives–this was the fun relational stuff I’d been waiting to begin and…damn crickets. I think I felt pressure about this part. I want to write these characters well and I want their interactions to be purposeful and realistic. I want to build the tension, and the relationship while making sure everything flows along with the whole mess of story going on around them.

I had to tell myself to calm down and remember…it’s just the 1st Draft! (Second, technically, but 1st Draft of this new concept) Anyway, I had to remind myself that it would get polished after, but of course, still, you want to try and do it as well as possible so that when the revision train comes to bulldoze, it’ll be even BETTER!

Finally, I found a new system when approaching new chapters that I haven’t thought of or figured out yet. In my writing journal for this book, I mark the page as:

Chapter (X) Map Out

Then, I put on some “Writing Playlist” tunes and ask myself some questions. I found this on Pinterest which has been helpful for these little exercises.

writing a scene

The main question I attack first is:

What needs to happen in this scene?

I brainstorm on paper. I scribble a version. After I feel I have a good outline for the chapter, I go to my MS document and then do number 8.

Play it on the screen in your head.

I was going to study film once (admission process to FullSail and all), even the bestie and I naively started our own production company, and started a short film production about Human Trafficking her and I wrote from a concept she saw in her mind one evening. Alas, we were naive and broke and lacked resources. It didn’t happen. I’ve always seen stories in my head. I have a VERY VIVID imagination. I like to stop, let the music play in the background (literally) and picture visually the scene in movie form. I’ve been doing that more intentionally in these recent chapters. Before, I did it subconsciously, not focusing.

I don’t Repeat 200 times, like number 11 says for the sake of my sanity.

So what’s this ‘All or Nothing’ subject title about?

I laugh realizing how much of an extremist I am. Gosh, it can never be in moderation , it’s all or nothing with me. I’ll explain. When I’m reading a book, especially lately, I rarely pace myself anymore. I end up reading the whole think in one sitting, unless five in the morning comes and I just can’t, I must put it down due to my body shutting down, then the next evening, I’ll finish it.

When I was stuck in my writing, that week, I devoured books, which has had me ahead of schedule on my Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2014. (widget can be found on the Right)

Now, using my new found system, last week, I started writing like a mad woman. When I go into my writing cocoon, ignoring the world, my reading books take a back seat. I feel them glaring at me. I miss them too, trust me. I haven’t read a book in four days which seems ghastly! It hurts my heart to say it. There are so many I still need to read and want to.

It’s one or the other apparently. Earlier this year, I mentioned my writing slump and how it was affecting me emotionally–that stupid failure button pushed–because as a resolution, I wanted to be consistent with finishing this draft. Now that I have my rhythm back, I really want to be intentional with this story. It’s there. I have both book plots generalized and ready. They just need to be told now.


I’m excited because there is a cool Editing group who offer services for Reading critiques, In-Depth critiquing, and you can even organize an Editor Skype chat,which is great. Sometimes you just need to chat back and forth thoughts and ideas.

The services are very reasonable, financially, and I’m planning on investing in their services this year. I want to take up a few of their services, actually. I am not mentioning or crediting the group yet because I haven’t starting working with them yet. You never know what the future holds so I will hold off on naming them.

As soon as we start working together, I’ll let you all know about them. The kicker is, I need to finish this draft. They need the entire manuscript for critiquing. It gets me more motivated to be consistent and finish telling the first part of this story.

What I love about what they do is one, they know the industry, what’s marketable, what agents are looking for, and help clean up your story, make it the best in can be at that point in time. THEN once it’s been cleaned up a bit, you can go pimp it out to agents. I love that! It’s why I believe it will be a worthy investment. I imagine and hope, it’ll give me a wee bit more confidence to go out there and put my child, my heart and soul, my FIRST, out there, finding adoptive parents (Agents, Publishing houses) who’ll take her in(my book–I guess cause my MC POV is female is why it’s a ‘she’), love her, share her with the world.

I’m writing a YA dystopian/post-apocalyptic which is already a hard sell right now. There are already so many in the market, that were done right, that they’ve become much more picky about submissions they’ll take and believe in. We shall see the fate of this ol story of mine.

So that is my Writing update!

Happy Monday, Happy St. Patty’s Day and Happy Reading y’all!

Till next time!

5 thoughts on “All or Nothing Writing Week

  1. Ah yes, that old “must get it all right on the first draft.” I too suffer from that malady. It sucks. I’m stuck right now, too. My characters are suspended, literally, since at this point they’re on a plane. I know the outcome, but getting them there is the challenge.


    1. Yes, that little sucker likes to linger on my shoulder, telling me it needs to be perfect “now!”. Pfft! It’s why I like to read author’s–I follow–stories of their writing/publishing experiences to help bring me back to reality, give myself a break and proceed having fun with the writing process.

      Haha, “literally suspended,” well, what a sky raising predicament…*cracks self up then walks away–only one laughing it seems* 🙂

      This whole scribble brainstorming the scenes, has been helping me a lot. Also, I allow myself time to just daydream the scene, while doing random things around the house, or while driving. Driving to music during brainstorm writing–very therapeutic.

      Well, happy writing sir!


      1. Yes, they shall land momentarily! 🙂

        I agree, allowing time for daydreaming, or just letting your mind do the work subconsciously has worked wonders for me.

        I do need to make a detailed outline. I’ve read of other known authors doing this and have seen some of their examples, so I know the benefits of it. I guess it’s just a matter of doing it for me.

        The current adventure/mystery novel I’m working on I outlined, but not extensively, so now I’m stuck. Also, it must be the fact that I’m going to school and working full time. Maybe the summer would be a better time for me to write, but I digress.

        Happy writing to you, too!


  2. I know it’s hard for me personally to sort my brain into ‘this is only a draft’ mode. Because I want it to be right first time!

    Sometimes (only sometimes) I’ve used the olde ‘just write anything’ method when I get stuck in a writing slump, or a transitional scene. But that also requires a certain mindset.. I don’t know about you, but my inner editor is a bitch!

    You look very organised though! That’s gotta go a long way towards getting the thing finished in a neat and tidy fashion. My method is so haphazard, it’s a wonder anything ever gets done!

    Nice to read you girlie. Good luck and have fun with teh writingz 😀


    1. Ugh, I’m horrible lately, getting to these comments. It’s been crazy.
      Oh yeah, my inner editor is a bitch as well and it’s hard for me now to not go into it without some sort of idea or plan. When I’m stuck, trying the “just write whstever” method ends up overwhelming me and I write nothing. haha

      I’ve become more organized on this draft. The last one, I was semi-organized but in the end, it bit me in the ass. lol I decided I’d get my ideas more in order this time around.

      Thanks for stopping by. It’s nice to see ya around these neck of the woods. Thanks and good luck and happy writing to you too 😉


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