Well-timed Writing by Lani Longshore

I am a writer, therefore I collect technique books. And articles. And notes on random scraps of paper. I’ll save anything that will help me get through a muddy plot or tame a misbehaving character. The problem I have isn’t a lack of information but the wrong timing. The most brilliant advice in the world won’t help a fig if I’m not in the right place to accept it.

I’m not talking about being receptive to criticism, although that can be an issue. When I’m in my “I am genius” mood, there’s just no talking to me. In this instance, I’m talking about being in the right place with the right project to incorporate good advice.

Case in point: writing prompts. I have pages of abandoned story ideas from writing prompts. The ideas weren’t abandoned because they didn’t have promise, but because they didn’t fit into my project at the time. Then TVW President Patricia Boyle gave us a writing prompt at the February 2017 meeting that fit my needs perfectly. I had been considering writing more short stories to have available for contests and the next TVW anthology. Boyle’s prompt of “Beyond that door” set me on a journey that resulted in one short story and two pages of notes for a novel based on the short story (which I will write in my copious free time).

I will continue to collect writing advice and notes from writing prompts. I am also going to add to my writing regime a review of those notes and tips on a regular basis. Sooner or later, it’s bound to be the right time to use them.

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