Insecure Writer’s Support Group – 05/03/17

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.
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I am another of the bloggers who took the A to Z plunge in April. I understand why some people don’t want to try this. It can be too daunting, trying to match up 26 topics with the alphabet letter in a span of 30 days. But I managed to do it as I brainstormed my newest project, a historical fiction novel. In truth I found it very helpful in mapping out the course of my novel. When the flag flies on National Novel Writing Month I will be as ready as I ever have.
But as big a reason for joining the A to Z Challenge for me is to meet others. Blogging is such a solitary experience unless you have plenty of visitors who are willing to read and comment in a way beyond “nice post” or “good story”. Sorry if I come off picky or even needy, but I try to give valuable feedback or some kind of meaningful comment when I visit a blog. I found at least 26 new bloggers to follow and read last month, including several who have practical experience publishing, editing and writing good stories.
Each month group poses a question to the participants. This is the question for this month:
What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?
This question is geared toward a past project I suppose, but I think the coolest research will be what I have to do for the project I mentioned above. My new novel will be set in the mid-1860s. It involves a steam locomotive and a lumber & sawmill business. There will be a long list of items I will have to learn about to make sure my novel fits the time period.
Not only that, but I love dialogue in my writing and I will have to be very sure I keep modern slang and references out of the story. I might wish I had a device like Alexa before I am done so that I could ask when this or that became popular. I think overall it will be a fun experience however.
I look forward to meeting more #IWSG peeps. I am always glad to rub elbows with others whose minds are preoccupied with plots, settings, characters and story telling like mine.

IWSG – 2/1/17 – How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

insecure-writers-support-group-badgeThis is my initial response as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. It is not because I am an anomaly, one of those writer’s who exudes so much confidence I never doubt my ability. No, in truth I am just as full of questions about my ability as anyone who puts together a collection of letters with the hopes it will be recognized as a work of art as anyone.

I have been blogging on WordPress for about 4 1/2 years, so I have seen the IWSG logo for a while now. Why I have not taken the initiative to join before this time is one of those questions with an easy answer. No one wants to admit their doubts. None of us willingly steps up to declare that the possibility of irrelevance scares us into submission too often. But I am growing as a writer as I cross the many hurdles that are real and imagined. I want to rub elbows with other doubters as I also connect with those who have won the battles that lay before me.

I also want to answer the question posed this month: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader? I think it has made me more critical. I see more plot holes as I look at other works. This includes movies and television as well. I can distinctly remember a plot hole in a television series I loved and still to this day I think about it. It is not very often I will stop reading a book, or watching a program or movie, but it does happen, usually because something is either so out of place or the plot just does not capture my attention.

I find myself taking mental notes now when I read authors I really like, taking apart their characters and plot devices to see how they tick. I want to be able to make such a good story that my readers will crave more of my writing. I expect all the best writers operate this way, so why not follow their lead?

I enjoy any opportunity to connect with others in this solitary world of writing. While it can be a lonely pursuit, opportunities like this narrow down the field of folks to ones willing to share a piece of their world. It is difficult to share your struggles with those who do not face similar obstacles or challenges. They just look at you like they are thinking “why do that to yourself?” Because I have that desire burning deep inside me, although you cannot see it or understand it, I think.

So I think that will do it for my first IWSG post. I look forward to meeting all of you over time and who knows what kind of connections I might make here?