Jul 23, 2010

Friendly Friday - RaShelle Workman

RaShelle Workman grew up in a military family. She's the oldest of five and has lived all over the United States, including Guam. Since she’s never lived in once place long, it’s tough for her to stay put. After a few years, she still gets the itch to move, but she’s trying, for her husband and kids, especially since they built their dream home three years ago. Having moved so much, she learned to rely on her wits and creativity to make new friends. She began writing as a way to express her loneliness. In college, she participated in theater and dance as additional ways to articulate her feelings. Always though, she came back to writing. Her first book, Distorted is set to be released in the Spring 2011.
Beginning . . . Beginning . . . And Beginning Again

I wanted to discuss re-writes, but more than that—starting over. I’ve had my latest work in progress, Charity Can’t Die, finished for almost a year. A year. Yet I can’t seem to get past the first few chapters. I’ve literally edited and re-written those chapters . . . I don’t know how many times. And nothing has been right. Honestly, I’m ready to chuck all 90,000 words. I feel stuck. Trapped. I’m unable to move forward until I’m happy with the beginning of this novel. My mind keeps telling me to push past it. Keep going. It’ll work itself out, but I feel there is a roadblock in my path.

Am I alone in this?
Do I need to seek professional counseling?
I'll tell you I've been very specific on who my characters are. What their purpose is. When certain events are supposed to happen and where.
Everything is laid out. Getting from point A to point B is really kicking my butt though.
One thing I know for certain is that writing takes courage and I'd like to leave you with this quote from one of my favorite poets.
Listening to her read her poetry always brings tears to my eyes. She writes with passion and reads with the power of conviction that her words mean something.
Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.

Maya Angelou

***Thanks for being my guest today RaShelle. I totally get what you're saying here and you are NOT alone. I lost count of how many times I've rewritten the first chapter of my novel, Blood Bound, and I'm still not happy with it. And because I'm getting nothing but rejections, I know it's still not quite right. Love the quote, too. And, hey . . . I'm an Army brat and moved all over the place growing up. We have a lot in common, eh?

My guest next week will be Michael Young.


  1. That is great advice. I think those first chapters are there to really test our abilities as writers.

  2. Love the picture. Perfect! Maybe your subconscious knows the answer to what is blocking you. Some people advise going to bed with the question and then say you will wake up with the answer. Could work. Also, I love the title. Great post you guys!

  3. That's a pretty awesome roadblock!

    Happy birthday and good luck!

  4. Agreed, you aren't alone. When I wrote The Hidden Sun, I finished the whole book and then re-wrote chapter 1 and part of chapter 2.
    Each author has different "tricks" to get past blocks. Here is one I use: I have my characters in the setting and know what what I want to have accomplished, just not sure how that will happen. So, I'll use something that has happened to me either in the past or recently as the "action"--example: I had to have a conversation between two characters to update part of the plot, but needed a reason for them to be togehter. One of the characters was a nurse of sorts. I, in real life, had gotten a sliver under one of my fingernails, so I used that experience as the "action". One of the characters came to the other one for help with the sliver--which gave them a reason to talk. (It also let me build in some symbolism and foreshadowing as well).

    Another trick: Go to a mall or a place with a lot of people. Find a bench to sit on, close your eyes and listen to the conversations going on around you. It's amazing how much it will trigger your imagination.

  5. Gail - I agree. Sometimes I wonder if I should skip the first two chapters except I know how important they are. =D

    kbrebes - Going to bed with the question -- I'm trying that TONIGHT.

    Tamara - You like. My roadblock seems about that big. Seriously!!

    J Lloyd - Great suggestions. I'm going to give them a whirl as well.
    ps: My maiden name is Morgan. We could totally be related. LOL =D