Thursday, August 20, 2015

Guest Post: Listening to Your Inner Writer by Heather M. Gardner


Thank you, Leandra Wallace, for inviting me to do a guest post on your blog today.

So…funny story. While writing my first book in the Maguire’s Corner series, Already Home, I experienced a major, colossal, way-too-long temporary halt. I mean really long. I couldn’t figure it out. I wanted to write. I needed to write.

But, every time I would sit down to continue my WIP, it was all just blank and I couldn’t write another word. Everyone said, take a break…read books…do something different for a while. And I tried all of those things. But, I still couldn’t get back to writing the story.

One day my mom/editor/biggest fan asked me what had happened to ‘that book’ I was writing. So, I told her. And as I explained my dilemma, it all clicked! EUREKA! I don’t like where the story is headed. I don’t want THIS to happen, I want THAT to happen! It all made sense. I couldn’t write the words, because I didn’t like the words.

This happened again, just weeks ago. I started on book three in the MC series, which I intended to be about the third female Maguire cousin, but no matter what I tried, I couldn’t make her story work. I had nothing for her. I scratched and clawed and fought to come up with something, anything, to write for her, but to no avail.

Finally, after lots of hemming and/or hawing, I figured out that book three wasn’t her book at all. She may get a story later on, but not right now. Book three will feature one of the male Maguire cousins, and he has a lot more going on in his life and will be SO much more interesting to write about.

So, had I actually thought about WHY I couldn’t write instead of trying to force the words, I might have saved myself some serious frustration. Had I listened to my inner writer voice, or even talked it out with someone I could trust, maybe I could have gotten back to writing that much sooner.

Do you fight with your words? Do you listen to your inner writer or do you shush that bugger up?

Thanks again for letting me visit, Leandra.



Heather M. Gardner's love of books began on the hand-woven rugs of her small town library where her mother worked. There she had a never-ending supply of stories to read at her fingertips. As a teen, her favorite genres to curl up with were romance and mysteries. When she started to create her own stories, they were the perfect fit.

Heather resides in New York with her best friend who is also her husband, plus her talented and handsome son. She is currently owned by four stray cats. Heather's a full-time mom, works part-time from home, a chocolate enthusiast, coffee junkie, cat addict, book hoarder and fluent in sarcasm.




Already Home: A Maguire’s Corner novel
Second Edition: formerly Maguire’s Corner
Author: Heather M. Gardner
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Publisher: InkSpell Publishing

Coffee shop owner Maggie Maguire doesn’t trust the new police chief her father hired to protect Maguire’s Corner. He’s a stranger, cold, bossy and annoyingly handsome. But, Maggie’s witnessed a serious crime and now someone’s trying to kill her. The man that aggravates her most might be the only one that can help her.

Police Chief Jack Munro likes his new job and his new town, and unfortunately he also likes the stubborn but beautiful town sweetheart. His self-imposed hands-off Maggie policy is about to be put to the ultimate test when he must keep her close to protect her while he tracks down a ruthless killer.

Determined to ignore Jack’s charms, Maggie attempts to help him unravel the mystery but when their lives hang in the balance she must decide how much she’s willing to risk to save the man she suddenly can’t resist.

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | AllRomance

24 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for having me on your blog today!
    Heather

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  2. I agree, usually for me, 'writer's block' isn't really real, but it's more that I'm working on the wrong angle.

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    1. That's exactly it for me as well.

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    2. Tiana
      Yes! This! But, we might think we can't write instead of wondering why.
      Thanks for the comment!
      Heather

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  3. Great advice, Heather. I find that if I can talk it through with a friend who knows my story, I'll get past whatever block I have. It really helps to have one friend who is dying to know what happens next.

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    1. Vijaya
      Those are hard to find, so if you have one, send them chocolate!
      Thanks for the comment.
      Heather

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  4. So true! I have a completed and revised-many-times manuscript that I've kept saying I'm not in love with. Whenever I reread parts of it, I realize I love the characters, and the story overall, but that something was just missing. Luckily, I think I figured out what it is so I'm editing it again :)

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    Replies
    1. Genissa
      It feels like we just invented the wheel when it all comes together, right?
      Thanks for the comment.
      Heather

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  5. How fun to hear from Heather! I talk through the series I am working on because I am writing it with my co-author. It does help to talk it out. I mostly need more hours in the day so I have more time for writing! :)
    ~Jess

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    1. DMS
      Being paranoid about our ideas makes it hard to share, but its a great idea. Best of luck finding more time!
      Thanks for the comment.
      Heather

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  6. It definitely takes me a while to figure out my inner writer was right all along. I always struggle with writing what I want and writing, what I think my reader would want. But what I want is always the right answer for me. Great post Heather. Glad you could figure out a solution for book 3.

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    1. Murees
      Hi! Exactly. We can't write for the reader. We have to write the story the characters want us to write.
      Thanks for the comment.
      Heather

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  7. What a great post! I mean, great in that I'm glad I'm not the only one who struggles with this :) I've definitely had times where the reason for why I'm stuck takes a bit to unwind, and usually it's something I'm trying to force to work when it really shouldn't.

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    1. Meradeth,
      Why does it take us so long to figure that out?
      If I was a better listener, I'd get more done. : )
      Thanks for the comment.
      Heather

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  8. Great advice! I was stuck most of the summer because I really didn't want to cut one of my story threads. I finally decided to just tone it down instead and now I'm back writing again.

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    1. marciastrykowski
      That's a great idea! I'm glad you came up with a solution.
      Thanks for the comment.
      Heather

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  9. Thanks everyone for the comments.
    It's good to know we all have similar problems.

    A great writer once told me, if you get stuck in your MS, it must be time for someone to die.
    :)

    Best of luck to everyone.
    Heather

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  10. I've had this happen, recently too. It can be frustrating.

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  11. yep, this is exactly right for me too. Sometimes a simple change in plot or direction makes ALL the difference :)

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  12. Sometimes you just have to talk it out and it all comes out...and then sometimes you know it isn't going in the right direction and you just can't figure out how to make it work! I guess that's what makes writing so hard.

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  13. Excellent points, Heather! If a story isn't moving forward, it may be because we're trying to force it in a direction it doesn't naturally go (or, that we're intentionally/not-so-intentionally resisting the direction we know it needs to go, because we're scared to explore that direction/it will be a real challenge/it's not an area we've considered before). When I write, I have to let myself be flexible and follow the story in directions that surprise me, or that initially seemed frightening to write about. That's the only way the story in my mind settles into its voice, and its the only way for me to grow as a writer.

    --Sam Taylor, AYAP Intern

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  14. It always helps to talk out with somebody WHY the story isn't working. Talking about the problem often leads me to a solution. In fact, there are several times I typed a long, long email to a CP about a problem and realized the solution by the time I was finished describing it. No need to send the email! (Although I did thank my CP for being in my head enough to suggest the answer while I was typing!)

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