Act II

I have found that my life this summer and fall has somehow begun to imitate that of one of my heroines.

Not romantically. Don’t panic. Let me explain.

For my latest manuscript, I am actually plotting. Seriously plotting. Beats, turning points, spreadsheets, note cards in Scrivener for scenes. The whole nine yards. I’ve also analyzed and rearranged the first scenes I’ve written to up tension and drama and to quickly get to the point.

And, in learning story craft, I have also come face to face with career craft.

I think we're all familiar with Act I:

  • The set-up: Fledgling author working feverishly in her “free” time to write a book and find a publisher.
  • Hook moment: Goal achieved. Parties and cover reveals follow. Sales figures awaited with bated breath.
  • The catalyst/life changing event: Sales are less than great. Author must start over. 
  • Debate/point of no return/choice: Does she stubbornly plug along and refuse advice? Does she quit? 
  • Act II begins: Reaction to the new goal. (Affectionately known as fun and games.)

I am quite firmly in the middle of Act II. I can’t say it’s all fun and games either. I find myself hiding from my emails, reading a lot, thinking A LOT. Considering, second-guessing, playing Candy Crush … and writing. Just differently.

As a reader, I love Act II. It’s where you see the characters bond and you get a glimpse of a happily ever after. As an author, I hate to even talk about it. It’s less romance and more mystery/thriller. However, just like my  plucky heroines, I’m finding myself in Act II. I’m realizing what’s important, and why and how to make a relationship work. Not with a hero, but with the blank page.

Failures and successes are now measured differently. The fork in the road looms. I’m taking the scary path, which should surprise no one who knows me. I’m starting in a different genre (maybe two). I’m discarding my pride, finding my courage, and continuing. Plot bunnies abound on this path, as do obstacles like research and new submissions and queries. Still suspense, still romantic … just a different kind of story.

And maybe a different name, because I am quickly becoming a different storyteller.

Yes, the black moment is still out there, but I can’t just stand here and wait on the end to come to me. I have to go get it. Because it’s important to me, and because I'm certain I won’t be the same at the end as I was at the beginning.

It is my author arc, if you will.  It is where I put my foot on the rocky path and decide to become a writer.

I'm not up on this blog again before the holidays. I hope each of you has a wonderful time with your families, doing what you love and making awesome memories.


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Carol said…
I think we all go through ups and downs in our careers...some more than others. Lord knows I've been slow out of the starting gate while everyone has run laps around me. But, no matter if this period of becoming better writers is at the beginning or a short way into our careers, improving as a writers and storytellers is always a good thing.
Mia Kay said…
Well said, Carol! Thank you for stopping by!! - Mia
Marcelle Dubé said…
Good post, Mia, and how clever to tie your growth as a writer to a story arc! It fits beautifully. I like how you're taking your career in hand and charging forward. Good luck to you!
Mia Kay said…
Thank you, Marcelle! Let's just hope I have my own version of an author HEA! :-)
Love this post, Mia. I'm about where you are, maybe not quite that far down the road. I'm still trying to recapture the joy of storytelling, mostly be reading, watching, re-learning. But I'm dabbling with a new plot. Good luck to you! Can't wait to see what's farther down that road for you. :D
Mia Kay said…
Thank you, Anne Marie. I can't wait to see either. :-D And, for what it's worth, I think we all go through points were we lose the joy of storytelling. It's always wise to take the time to reconnect and give your soul a little time off.
jean harrington said…
You've proven one thing with this post, Mia. Writing's not for sissies.
Mia Kay said…
Jean - It isn't at all! I have an incredible amount of respect for the writers who are able to be consistent and successful. It's as much of an art as selecting the correct word. :-)
Rita said…
If writing was easy everyone would be doing it. LOL!
Mia Kay said…
:-) Rita. I keep telling myself that.

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