Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Writing Blog Links–Setting and Writing Into the Void

on August 29, 2014

Happy Friday! I’ve been reading some great blog posts lately and wanted to share a few with you.

This morning, I read a great post about setting on the Seekerville Blog and written by Harlequin Love Inspired author, Mindy Obenhaus. One of my favorite parts of her blog post is when she says:

Because Ouray is a real place, I had to get to know it not only as the guest that I usually am, but also through the eyes of the people who live in Ouray. In other words, I had to learn what they might do or where they might go.
One of my biggest pet peeves as a reader is when a story is set in a location I know well and the writer doesn’t do his/her research about where the locals might go. This is particular significant in towns which are heavy tourist towns as the locals will often know other places to go during those tourist seasons which are apart from the tourists. For example, in Cannon Beach, Oregon, most tourists will walk the main beach in front of Haystack rock. But locals will spend their summer time on some of the other beaches, such as those tucked away in the quiet North end, or down at the far South end of town.

You can read the whole setting post here and check out Mindy’s books here

Also, I’ll be presenting: “Map It Out: Plotting Your Way With Story’s Setting” at the Seattle Emerald City RWA Conference the weekend of October 17-19. There are still a few spaces left at the conference if you’d like to attend, details about the conference can be found here.


Writing into the Void: Over on the Storyteller’s Inkpot, a blog written by students and faculty of the Hamlin MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, Jackie Hess wrote a great blog post about falling into the void. She talks about how we procrastinate to avoid our fears with writing and falling into the void.

She says:

When we stare into the void the questions rise and are released: What am I really made of? Really capable of? What if I am less than I believe? What if there’s nothing more than me and this fear?

This month, I have been fast drafting a sweet, contemporary novel and understand this void well! Before I sat down to write the first draft, I wrote a twenty-five page bible for the story’s series. It includes everything from characters to setting details to a detailed plot outline and synopsis. I thought this series bible would help with that anxiety of facing the blank page of a first draft–it did not!

Each day, I set a goal of 1500-2000 words for myself and gear up to get it done. Sometimes it takes all day because I conveniently find “other things” to do–there is a lot of yard work to do! There is something in writing that really bad first draft which seems to produce a lot of anxiety. It’s not that I don’t enjoy this story, or that I think there isn’t enough of a story to write a novel. I love this story and I enjoyed the process of writing the series bible. There is enough material in this series to fill at least three books.

But, everyday, I have to override the part of me that wants to sit down to write. I have to power through the part of me that wants to go back and fix and change the words I just wrote. I know that if I do that, I will never make it past the first thirty pages of the book, and that I must continue on with this fast drafting–overriding my voice that is screaming at me to stop, stop, make it better! The voice that screams, this stuff is horrible. And it is a horrible first draft.  I write fast and capture the scenes as they play out in my head. The writing consists mostly of dialogue and action, and a lot of notes to myself about what I need to add into the scene. I don’t show my first draft to anyone. I just get the words on page, and then when those words are down, then, I go back and mold the clay into a story–and that’s the part I enjoy!

You can read about Falling into the Void here.


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