IWSG July 3rd!

It’s time for the Insecure Writers Support Group post, one day earlier than usual because the first Wednesday this month is the day us Americans eat too much and shoot explode-y things off in the air. 
Getting on to the July IWSG question: 
What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time?
Well. How haven’t my writing goals changed over time? I’ve referred to myself as a “recovering writing major” a few times because at least at my college, the Writing program was very focused on literary fiction. And while I knew I didn’t fit in to that whole thing–there was no way in hell I was MFA-bound–I did still have that weird fog of wanting to write the Great American Novel. 
That’s gone now. 
I always wanted to write novels and I was always a bit frustrated in workshop classes because we only ever wrote short stories. Well, I still want to write novels, but I seem to be writing short stories these days and I’m totally cool with that. Short stories come easier to me. Now, I’m a little frustrated that I can’t seem to sustain a plot long enough for a full-length book.

Knowing that, I’m taking my time writing a first draft/outline for a full-length book. It’s not the Great American Novel–it’s a contemporary romance–but I know my weak spots in writing. I know they always have to do with plot and structure.

So my primary goal with this first draft/outline has been to nail the structure and the plot. I want to make sure that the conflicts are strong enough, the stakes feel appropriate, and that the story isn’t repetitive. The ultimate goal is to have a book that doesn’t fall apart at some point in the middle.

My ultimate writing goals: a book-length plot, novels that entertain and inform, novels that show diversity as natural and a strength no matter the time period they take place in.

14 thoughts on “IWSG July 3rd!

  1. The Great American Novel style was certainly pushed in my writing classes, too. Being a paranormal writer, my stuff naturally stuck out. I did experiment with a dark comedy and a dark, issue-driven contemporary piece, but I always felt like the teacher in my first two classes was pushing me to be more literary. The last teacher was a hot mess, but he didn't push anyone in particular direction. Go get that novel, girl!! 😀


  2. Good for you in allowing for shifting goals. I have a series of related flash fiction pieces that I eventually plan to string together as a \”collection,\” but I've looked at that as a possible route for writing a novel. Breaking the pieces of the story into short stories might make it easier to write. Best of luck to you, and may the cheese be abundant!


  3. I wasn't sure that I didn't want to write the Great American novel, if that makes sense? We had some fantasy writers, but everyone was writing contemporary style, painful, constricted literary stuff. And that's not me!


  4. I have a couple of ideas that are short story bound and I have another which is novel-bound but I need to research it and that can wait until I'm done with my current book-length ideas.


  5. Finding where we belong is part of the journey. Sometimes, I wonder if that does change as time passes too, but it's good to hear that you've found your place for now. And who knows, maybe that Great American Novel will come back someday. (Hopefully, not to haunt you 😉 )


  6. Ahh, the professors who don't want to read a full novel or spend the semester reading dozens of drafts and chapter rewrites. Yeah, I know how that goes. Keep on writing. One day at a time, right?


  7. My goals are always changing. But goals keep me focused. Celebrate each success, no matter how small. That's a little bit of encouragement and a boost to our egos. Good luck.


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