Writing Circle: 23 June 2023

Happy Friday! And thank goodness for the first weekend of summer 😎

As you can see from the title, I’ve decided to swap out Keeping Score for Writing Circle for these updates. I think the latter is closer to what I want these to be, for several reasons:

  • It implies a circle of trust, which is what we build when we write; we invite the reader into our circle of trust, because when we write we’re vulnerable, in ways we can’t always see at the time.
  • The writing process itself is a circle: idea, draft, edit, new idea, new draft, new edits. There’s no real beginning or end, only calling time on a current project.
  • As we travel on a circle (working on a project), the idea of “winning” or racing doesn’t really make sense. There’s no where to go, really, other than forward, no destination to arrive at where we can compare ourselves (favourably or unfavourably) to others.
  • A circle is bounded, which (hopefully) will keep us from wandering too far astray.

With the last point in mind, I think I want to start exploring a different aspect of writing each week. Share something I’ve learned from other writers, in the hopes that it’s helpful to someone else. Small tricks of the trade, if you will. I’ve got ideas for the first few (starting next week), but if there’s something you’d like to discuss, let me know!

As for my own projects, I did manage to wrap up the second round of novel edits last weekend 🎉✍️

So now it’s on to the stickier bits. The relationships I didn’t properly flesh out before and the background characters that exist as little more than a name right now (if even that). For those, I’ve just been brainstorming this week: Opening my notebook to a fresh page, writing a question at the top, and then listing out all the different possible answers I can think of in fifteen minutes. Yes, I do set a timer, and yes I do make myself keep jotting down progressively silly ideas until the time is up 😊

This weekend I’ll make time to go back through all of those, pick out the ones I like best, and then start planning how to work them into the story. I’m hoping to make more targeted edits this time, adding these new parts of the story as extra scenes or flashbacks or dialog where appropriate, instead of having to read the whole thing through again.

That’s the plan, anyway. We’ll see if it works 🤞

Ron Toland @mindbat