Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year = New Realizations

At the beginning of a new year, I always wonder what new challenges lie ahead. I'm almost afraid to look back on my accomplishments for the past year, thinking it will be depressing when I discover I haven't met any of my goals.

What looking back does do is remind me of all the interesting things I've done and learned, which might be even more valuable than analyzing those goals that I have (or haven't) completed. The most important thing I've learned for my writing this year is this:

The plot is nothing until the main character's experiences and thoughts make it come alive.

Maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but one of the things that has happened in my writing this year is that I've gained a deeper appreciation for how critical the main character's perspective is to the story (thanks to Mary Kole, Cheryl Klein, the Plot Whisperer, countless blogs I've read, and working hard on my own writing). It seems like something obvious and basic, but the more I think and work on this, the harder and more challenging it becomes.

Now, if only I could stop obsessing over whether each individual word fits the way the character thinks or acts, I might actually make some progress.

What important thing did you learn about your writing in 2011? What aspect of writing do you hope to get some insight into in 2012?


  1. I just bought THE PLOT WHISPERER and I can't wait to read it. I love her YouTube channel.

    For me, I'm going to go deeper into craft. Not too much worried about anything else.

    Have a great 2012! :)

  2. I've learned how important it is to just keep writing and writing! You can't achieve anything without getting words down on the page. Happy New Year!

  3. That's a great insight Andrea. I'll be working it this year right alongside you!

  4. I learned that I love revision a lot more than I thought I did. Now I want to date the revision process.

  5. That's one of my favorite things to do - look back on not what I've done but what I've learned! Or how I've grown as a writer.

  6. I learned I need more focus and organization so I get more accomplished - not a "writing skill" per se, but definitely important! Happy New Year, Andrea! I hope you accomplish everything you want to in 2012! :)

  7. I don't have my writing goals all figured out yet. I suppose I should get on that. : )
    Yours are great! I hope you have a wonderful 2012!

  8. So true! What happens isn't nearly as important as who it happens to. Since I tend to be a plot-driven writer, that's something I try to keep in my head. Happy new year! :-)

  9. That's a great tip! I think the most important thing I've learned this year is to slow down and settle deeply into the story :)

  10. I learned that I can write even if I don't want to, even if I'm tired, even if I kind of hate my story. And I'm glad I to have learned that, because it took the panic out of finishing the second book!

    Happy new year! Wishing you all the best in 2012!


I love to hear your responses and thoughts! Your comments will appear after moderation (I’ve decided to enable moderation due to excessive spam).