Category Archives: Alicia’s Posts

Getting it done . . .

Alicia Finney

Alicia Finney

The best story idea in the world won’t write itself, and, once you acclimate to the fact that your story is going to change as it fleshes out and hits the page, your next great hurdle is focus.  

No great endeavor of any kind has ever existed without someone first deciding that the thing was important and, second, deciding to do something about it.   But a project as extensive as a book takes a special kind of focus.  It takes endurance.  Runners train differently for endurance than they do for sprints.  You have to maintain your energy, keep yourself going, keep the rhythm of the pace even when you feel tired.  You have to have a reason to keep putting one foot in front of the other Continue reading

On demolition and darlings . . .

Alicia Finney

Alicia Finney

Every writer has heard the advice about killing your darlings.  How important it is to know when to let go, be it an idea or a beautiful passage of prose, a turn of phrase.  There is a maturity in sacrificing a small jewel in a project for the betterment of the story itself.  But let’s face it.  It hurts.  Like re-breaking a misaligned bone so that it can be re-set.  You are clearing something good to make way for something amazing.

I recently heard a somewhat extreme version of the killing your darlings concept.  It’s for those that are caught in a quagmire and cannot seem to move forward, or just those daredevils that want to see what other options might be out there.  The concept is this.  Take your best idea, or a couple of your best ideas, and throw it out.  Then dive back into the project and see what shakes loose. Continue reading

Pixie dust vs. Unbelief . . .

Alicia Finney

Alicia Finney

In the world, seeing is believing, but, in my faith, believing is seeing.  You come to a place where you say, Yes, I will put my heart here.  Then a new reality, new truths are seen from this new vantage point.  Like trying to see the lay of the land, then climbing a mountain and marveling as it all comes into view.  Very much a journey.

I don’t share this that you should join my church – though, you’re welcome – but that you might consider your writer’s journey much the same.  From the view of a person of faith.  Your faith.  

You see your writing, your dreams.  They are a seed within you, one that looks nothing like the end product quite frankly.  But it is yours, and you say, Yes, I will put my heart here.  And you work, and you sacrifice, and you believe.  And, slowly, that seed begins to grow.  For the longest time, only you will be able to see the shifts and changes, the little sprouts peeking from the shell.  Yet, you are encouraged.  This seed may yet bear fruit.   Continue reading

Finding the perfect dress . . .

Alicia Finney

Alicia Finney

Which comes first?  Character or plot?  And how do they relate to each other?

Years ago, looking for my wedding dress, I ran across a curious problem.  I had indulged when selecting dresses to try on.  Things with layers and embellishments, interesting skirts and bodices.  They were beautiful and unique.  Lavish.

Eagerly I began the process of getting into them (it required help), and a parade of beautiful designs soon greeted me, one after another, from the mirror.  Bit by bit, though, my excitement dimmed as I realized that, while beautiful, none of them looked right on me.

Now, I’m no runway model, but those dresses should have at least looked okay.  Why didn’t they? Continue reading

Part II: Worldbuilding idea, meet taffy puller…

Alicia Finney

Alicia Finney

Last time we talked about the concept of going deeper with our worldbuilding ideas to create a richer story and setting. Today, I’d like to give you some ideas and tools to help you do that. Some of these will work better with technology or magic, some with more cultural or people-oriented ideas. Either way, the next time you get a great idea for your worldbuilding, try running it through this little gambit to see where your new idea can take you.  Continue reading