The Page a Day Writers Group

What’s New?

Posted on: September 15, 2010

By Trish Wilkinson

My husband and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary today, September 15, and I celebrated my 48th birthday a week-and-a-half ago. Those things sound new, I guess, but they’re merely a progression of who I am and will become.

Writing is kind of like that for me, too. The first novel I wrote when I was turning forty, Taking Chances, was a sort of midlife crisis project. I began to panic that I not only missed the boat on becoming a rock star in my twenties, but I had yet to write a book. In the midst of teaching third grade and raising two kids, I slapped the first draft onto the electronic pages in a Word file. This story is complete with a solid arc and several subplots, but the voice was all wrong. I also made a lot of other rookie mistakes, such as over describing, using too many adverbs and adjectives, interrupting the story with too much background instead of embedding the background in the story, etc.

I wrote and rewrote it, work shopped it, revised it some more. Seven times, actually. I never sent queries out to get an agent for Taking Chances.  In the end, although I believe the story is a good one, and I have come a long way as a writer, the novel would need another revision before I would be willing to send it to agents. Taking Chances was a great set of training wheels, but after I spent ten days at the Writers’ Retreat Workshop last June, got excited about moving on to the next novel – with a plan.

I chose a working title: Two Feet, Two Worlds, No Shoes. It’s the story of a young Latina who must establish US citizenship and conceal her ancestral abilities or lose her home and give up her Olympic dreams.

I used Randy Ingermanson’s Snow Flake Method to set up the novel. I thought I had the details so clearly outlined in my head, yet lots of nuances got fleshed out in the process of going through the steps Dr. Ingermanson Recommends. I also used scene cards that I got from the Writers’ Retreat Workshop and Lorin Oberwerger’s advice on how to write high temperature scenes. The first novel I sat down and blitzed through in a few months, but I revised it for seven years and never got it to where I felt it was ready to be published. Already, in the first several scenes, this latest project is coming together so much better than the last one. Hopefully, I am close to Gladwell’s recommended ten thousand hours of experience, although I’ve never tried to figure out the number of hours I’ve written.

Regardless, this latest novel has been fun to write. I look forward to sitting down at the computer every day to bring the scenes in my head to life. I worried that structure would stunt my creativity. I’m amazed to find the opposite to be true. I am enjoying an increase rather than decrease in the cool stuff that comes to me since I don’t have to worry about getting in all the details  that need to be there to create a believable, exciting story. I already have them printed and included in a three-ring binder that I refer to often. 

I’m keeping scene temperatures high, making sure each scene has a goal with a lot at stake for my characters, and including all the elements necessary to make this a great novel. Whoo-hoo! So far, writing Two Feet, Two Worlds, No shoes has been quite a ride!

I’ll let you know how it all turns out.

Happy Writing!



3 Responses to "What’s New?"

Congratulations on your milestones. Awesome post. Very inspirational and informative. I can see your book cover in my mind’s eye and I’ll be in the front row at your first book signing.

Me too! And congrats on your 25th and 48th!

The process continues and I cheer you on, Trish.

Thanks, ladies. I owe a good deal of my inspiration and motivation to you. 🙂

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Who are we?

The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!


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