Sunday, March 20, 2016

Bones & Joints

Most of you who follow along with this blog are aware I've had some health issues of late. Mostly dealing with my joints. I seem to have great bones, but lousy joints. It's always been an issue, but as I get older, it seems to come into play more and more. So far, the count is 2 elbows, 3 hips and a shoulder.

A writing buddy of mine commented recently that she had to go back and redo the opening scene of her WIP, since it was disjointed. Which led me to an analogy. Your work can have great bones, but without being able to join all those scenes together into a cohesive unit, you just have a pile of bones. And a lot of pain.

I've been working lately on a little Christmas novella. One would think it'd be easy to write, since it's only going to be about 20,000 words and it is about Christmas. Easy-peasy, right? Never have I been so wrong.

I started out writing this two years ago. I had the bones of a good story, since it was about an actual event from my childhood and I folded in my time working retail in a Hallmark store, following the advice given to all authors–write what you know. But for some reason, I couldn't connect the scenes into something that made sense. I had way too many holes in my plot. I put it on the back burner, thought about how to fix the holes, and have recently devoted time to it again. I was able to take about 8,000 words from my first attempt and transfer them into the new, improved story. Those are the bones. But what I have this time are the joints, making it a story that can stand on its own with nary a crutch in sight.

I'm at the point where it's ready to send off into the big world of publishing, and hope to find a home with a traditional publisher. But, if not, I may bite the bullet and enter the unknown world of self-publishing later on this year. Either way, it's an exciting time in my professional life. Can't wait to see what happens next.


  1. Good luck with your shopping. I'm finishing a short (as soon as this book is done) to submit to an anthology. I know I started this at least two years ago.

  2. Thanks, Lynn. Each time I reread the little story, I change something else, so it's not quite ready yet. But it's nice to know it takes you a couple of years, too, sometimes.

  3. Excellent analogy! Good luck with the novella :)

  4. Thanks, Joanne. It seemed to make sense to me.

  5. Good post and wonderful anthology. Yes, those troublesome joints sure can be a pain! And so can troublesome plots. Fell better soon and keep writing. ~RJS

    1. Thanks, Fawn, for visiting today. My Christmas story got mailed off this morning, so I'm keeping on track.