Tuesday, June 15, 2010

3 Parts Make a Whole (lotta chocolate)

  • Could there be a better time than starting a new project? Possibilities are endless and your imagination knows no bounds. Consider everything.
  • Your protagonist is shaking your hand and giving you a winning smile.
  • Supporting characters are waving and doing a small but tasteful dance.
  • The road stretches before you, straight and true. You know there will be unexpected bumps, but that just makes the process more interesting.
Helpful Hint: Celebrate the beginning of a new project by eating a few bits of chocolate. Reward yourself: You're creative and you're proud.

  • This is where manuscripts come to die. All action stops.
  • Your protagonist is sulking over in a corner, turning around occasionally and sneering in your direction.
  • Supporting characters are determined to push their way into leading roles. They're fighting for the spotlight and your protagonist doesn't seem to care.
  • You discover your straight and true road is actually going in a circle.
Helpful Hint: Console yourself with many bars of chocolate. Say to yourself that the sugar will give your brain a boost. Anything helps.


  • How did you wind up with so many subplots? Time to tie them all up. You have so much to do and so little space to do it in!
  • Your protagonist has taken back the spotlight and is pushing the plot to its conclusion. There were a few pies in the face and he/she slipped on a few banana peels, but everything is back on track.
  • Supporting characters are doing their bit to bring the main plot to a close. There's still a bit of pushing and shoving, but you've learned to accept it.
  • The road is downhill to the finish. Don't speed, but don't ride the brakes. You're almost there. There's no feeling like that finish line breaking against your chest as you raise your arms in triumph.
Helpful Hint: You know how this goes - get out the chocolate. The triumphant get chocolate. It's the unwritten, but acknowledged law of the writing world.


  1. For some reason I feel like chocolate. I don't know why? But I love how you sum up the process so well...


  2. Clarissa; Here's a secret - I don't actually like chocolate that much - I feel like a traitor. I eat it occasionally...very, very occasionally.

  3. "Oh, yes!" she said, finishing her Oreo.

  4. Oh, that is the best way to go from beginning to end with chocolate.

    Thoughts in Progress

  5. Karen; Yes, I am, thank you for asking. Actually, a whole new plot dropped into my head yesterday afternoon, I'm busy brainstorming it today.

    Carol; "I'm so glad!" she said, handing Carol a big glass of milk.

    Mason; Why not try to make the journey a little more delicious?

  6. Elspeth - You've outlined this journey so, so well! Right now, I'm in the middle part of the journey with my WIP. I think I'm going to buy my protag some chocolate. He's very grumpy right now. Or get some for myself. Or something ; ).

  7. How true! Hmmm…I wonder if I could lure the sulking protagonist out of the corner by offering her some of my chocolate:)

  8. Margot; The middle is the WORST, isn't it? Everyone seems to be grumpy, including the writer! (or at least, that's the way it always seems to be with me!)

    Jane; I'd try it. Bribes often work. Try offering it while sporting a winning smile.

  9. I'm needing some revision chocolate right about now... :)

    Just a tiny pinch of dark chocolate and I'm good...

  10. Great outline. I put it in my reference file. I promise there's just one or two tiny chocolate smudges on my notes.
    I hate the middle -- unless it's an Oreo. Mmmmm....

    Giggles and Guns

  11. Okay - according to this, it's time for a chocolate break! Thanks :)

  12. Elizabeth; Revision chocolate; sometimes a pinch is needed, sometimes a truck load. How wonderful you just need a bit!

    Mary; Chocolate smudges are the sign of hard work. Badges of honour. Display them proudly.

    Jemi; I say go for it. It's energy, right? And I'm sure you deserve it.

  13. You might want to check out my blog, you are a sista! Posted my adventure tearing down the Great Wall of Chocolate at patriciablount.wordpress.com.

  14. I've discovered pretzel M&Ms work when things are only moderately problematical.

  15. Chocolate is my friend. As a matter of fact, I just made tiramisu from scratch today. I've been eating a lot of chocolate as I query and write Book #2. Thank goodness for the gym!

  16. Couldn't agree more. What would we do without chocolate?

  17. I'm currently knee deep in chocolate. My daughter brought Ghiradelli chocolate from San Francisco. But no excuse to eat it since I'm doing no writing this week. :(

  18. Excellent! Chocolate IS the best medicine! It doctors everything, including manuscript pains. :)


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