Novel Fixes – Week 36

January 29, 2015 § 2 Comments


Still sorting through papers here, I came across a journal entry about the novel January 30, 2013. I had so many unanswered questions (a list, of course). I remember thinking, “But I don’t know! How am I supposed to know everything already?” afraid the project was a bad idea and wouldn’t be interesting to anyone because I didn’t make outlines and was basically clueless.

My “mailbox friend” (see Teen Novel In-Process post) had been giving fifteen minutes a day to her novel. I’d given mine zero, still afraid to dive in. I’d think about it occasionally, but I understand now how that’s not the same as writing. Not even close.

“I couldn’t hear my narrator and if I lost his voice, I’d lose the novel.” – Tom Grimes, Mentor: A Memoir (I gave this 6 stars out of 5 – beautifully written, reads like a novel – I didn’t want it to end so I read it again right away.)

This is exactly where I derail. If I’m stuck at all it’s because I’ve lost my narrator’s voice. Either I’ve been too long away from the pages or gotten in the way of her, having elbowed front and center with my own voice.

These five FIXes in the photo have this in common. The voice sounds flat or trails off into nothing, no connector to the next scene or chapter. Sometimes it’s obvious, other spots not so much, but whatever – they need fixing. And I think I just found the perfect advice jotted on a little slip of paper from something I read, or heard a director say in the comments after a movie…

TIP: “Think of a visual, not an idea.”

xo Pierr





Novel Papers – Week 35

January 21, 2015 § 4 Comments

This is it! “THE END” is in sight.


I’m into category three of the tidying-up-book-sidetrack from last week. “Papers.” It looks like a big mess, I know. But this is what you have to do to see it all at once, to get in there on the floor and go through it. That yellow notebook cover in the recycle basket in the foreground? Notes from art school days – over thirty years ago. Have I ever looked at them? I thanked them for supporting my Artist Self confidence.

I worried sorting papers would take me away from the novel big-time. But it’s actually had the opposite effect on me. The chapter I struggled with last week practically wrote itself on Monday, and yesterday I wrote another one, easy as eating Dove chocolates. It’s as if the tidying-up has cleared away fears of my Writer Self.

As I type I want to tell you I’m calling this 5th draft the final draft – I’m done…writing things from scratch (unless required to by an editor). I’ve combed the first 200 pages so smooth, all that’s left is the combing of the last 40.

The novel spans twelve days, from Groundhog’s to Valentine’s. So I think it would be fun to have the pages all ready with a cover-query letter for release to the Universe of Agents by February 14th, real time.

TIP: True life is lived when tiny changes occur.  – Leo Tolstoy

xo Pierr

Novel Sidetrack – Week 34

January 15, 2015 § 6 Comments

On the ferry heading into Seattle to be Nana Pierr.


I’m writing a brand new chapter to flesh out a sequence of events near the end. I’m out of practice writing from scratch. Been revising for so long it hits me what a different process it is.


Distracted, I draw the morning.


There’s big change going on at the Kids’ place. Boxes of books and stuff lining the hallway as if they’re moving. Where is it all coming from?


A book. K’s got a sparkle in her eye. Doesn’t even tell me the title, just “Does it spark joy?” Now, those who know me well, know how I practically salivate at the word ‘organize.’ I’m in heaven rearranging and sorting and tossing, solving my world’s problems. She emails the cover.

I want this book NOW.

I check out the library…#57 on a wait list for 7 copies circulating in Kitsap county = a good month. Go to the bookstore…sold out…and all their distributors around the country…sold out. I order three copies and do deep breathing. Just as well, right? I can’t have any distraction going on in my life. I’m finishing a novel.


Week later: In line for the ferry home again, I’m smiling because this little book is definitely life-changing. Takes all organizing methods I’ve ever known and loved to a whole other level: MAGIC.

coming home - Seattle Big Wheel - Pier 57

Seattle Big Wheel

TIP: Get it. Read it. Do it.    xo Pierr


Novel Wheelin’ – Week 33

January 6, 2015 § 6 Comments


Happy New Year faithful readers! Been rolling along here. Hope you are too.

I dreamed this bike – metallic blue Schwinn – the wide tires so new I can still smell them, see the nubbies on their treads. Santa brought it and I practiced every day till not long after this photo, the training wheels came off.  The rest is history, including me forever in the phrase experience “like riding a bike.”

Nearing the end of this fifth draft, the training wheels about to come off, already I’m dreaming about my next write, feeling confident it’ll be…like writing a bike.

TIP: Got spotters? Here’s a couple expert riders: Life Coach Martha Beck , Editor Cheryl B. Klein’s Second Sight

xo Pierr


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