by Molly Jo Realy (@mollyjorealy)
IN THIS JOURNAL:
Write Where You Know.
“Location. Location. Location.” That’s the standard mantra of any great real estate agent, right? People are willing to pay the price if the location is prime.
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You may say I’m a dreamer … Oh, wait. Wrong song. Thing is, while my body is doing one thing ~ washing dishes, driving the car, eating/breathing/sleeping, and yes, singing along with Pandora, for example ~ my writer brain is multitasking. Rote tasks enable me to work out complex scenes in my novel. Yes, yes. The same novel I’ve been pretending to work on for the past few years.
Insert some cute and quirky excuse here.
Yeah. I got nothing.
Last month I allowed myself a creative vacation. Hung out in Columbus, Mississippi during the last week of their Spring Pilgrimage. Spent time writing, painting, walking, reading, eating, and enjoying the company of good friends. If y’all missed it, I shared some pics on Instagram. [Faves: Day Two in Columbus and The Timer is Ticking.
It’s no secret one of the main characters in BLINDSPOT (detective Denton Chase, a secondary character in NOLA) hails from Columbus. What I didn’t know until my visit is that a lot of the story must be set there. I thought it was background, heritage. Turns out there’s a related character (his estranged dad, a former police officer himself) who still lives there, and danger must bring them together before they’re separated forever. Ooh. That’s good. I need to write that down somewhere.
So I got my head in a proper place and went to work. Won’t bore you with the details. Let’s just say there was a lot of caffeine and flying fingers over the course of that trip. And I’ve kept working at it ever since.
This whole lesson is basically a funnel theory:
Now, I know not all of you are writers, so feel free to alter and apply this to any rut you may find yourself in. But today, I’m talking to you, wielders of the words:
NOTE: Change is inevitable. Embrace it.
Location No. 1: Start with where you’re at physically. Find your quiet place, and spend regular time there. Soon enough it will become a rote action (there’s that phrase again!) and you’ll be able to accomplish much more. Although there’s a lot to be said about sipping tea in the rocker by the window for ten minutes a day. Just sayin’. But this is about finding your writerly workspace. Be intentional about being habitual. If your place isn’t always available but your laptop is, there ya go.
Location No. 2: Set your mind at ease. Take the pressure off, but put the coffee (or drink of choice) on. Do you need to gear up before writing? Grab your favorite notebook and pen, turn up the tunes, do some armchair yoga. Try a few journaling prompts. You got this. Your brain is waiting for you to let it loose. Oh, right. And don’t worry about being perfect. Write with typos. Set the scenes you know won’t make the cut. Just get the story out of your head and onto the page. Practice the skills you want to perfect. Your future writer will thank you for it.
Location No. 3: Where do you want your characters to live? Where do they feel most at home? Challenged? Removed? The setting is integral to your story. If the places don’t help move your story along, it’s time to move places. You can create fictional dwellings within real-world dynamics, or build a universe of your own. Make sure your characters can live there, and your reader will, too.
Focus first on your writing skills. The story will follow the path you forge. But let your characters explore on their own now and then. They’ll come back. If they don’t, write them off. *snark, snark*.
Location, Location, Location. Write a book with location in mind, and you’re sure to find prime real estate on the bookshelves. See what I did there? Oh, quit rolling your eyes. Someone had to
say write it.
Come alive, stay wild, and always, savor the journey.
I would love to share with you about God, writing, journaling, tea, and New Orleans. Drop me a comment or send me a message.
Author of the romantic location mystery novel, NOLA, Molly Jo Realy is an award-winning writer, editor and author coach. Encouraging others to embrace their unique talents to come alive and stay wild every day is her cup of tea! Addicted to God, cats, caffeine, pens, and planners, in no particular order. Savor the journey, y’all.
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BTW: At the end of each post, I will share social media or marketing links, like this:
The Book Builder Binder is a sought-after notebook generator, and the safe place to curate and keep all your story writing ideas. It is a reference and resource tool, with hands-on pages you will use again and again:
Ideas and methods to create detailed characters, settings, and plots
Overcome writer’s block
Journaling for your story
How to manage the non-writing parts of life
Goal tracker sheets
Many more tips to help you write the book that’s inside you