IWSG – August 2019

Loads of good music to listen to today. If I might suggest one song, let it be this one.

It’s delicious.

And without further introduction, it’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it is time for…


…monthly bog hop.

Sign up HERE.

The optional question for August – Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you’d forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming?

When I was working my way through the initial draft of my second novel, I had a very clear idea of what I wanted the story to be about, who would live/die, and how the end would come together.

I kept a writing journal, moments, ideas, thoughts that came to me during the composing process. I read it again recently, intrigued by the way I approached the story, the conflicts, the difficulties (and writing is always full of difficulties). But what really stood out- How off I was in the beginning when it came to almost everything the finished draft became. Characters evolved, changed gender, names, motivations. Some who were supposed to be killed off early on, talked themselves into survival, then into becoming catalysts for events, actions, changes. By the time I was wrapping up the first draft, the entire story had evolved, and while the overall tone was exactly what I hoped, the way things came together were unexpected and surprising.

I cannot recommend a writing journal enough. I certainly would have forgotten most of the process I went through while writing. And looking back, seeing my insecurity, uncertainty, confidence and passion helps immensely when approaching any new project. I’ve done it before, and beyond the finished product, I have a detailed map of how I got from point a to point z.

About Ryan Carty

There are some who call me, Tim?

8 responses to “IWSG – August 2019”

  1. helenmatheyhornbooks says :

    Thank you for sharing your writing process/ideas. I found your answer to this question very thought provoking. I may use that journaling idea, or at least notes to self before I begin. Again, thank you!

  2. Liesbet @ Roaming About says :

    I’ve never heard of a writing journal, Ryan. Is it like an outline of your book, where you note when ideas change? A place to keep track of your progress? Wouldn’t it be a lot of extra work to write about your writing? Or, do you use it to improve your craft as well? Since I already spend 20 minutes a day (at least) writing my normal journal and write many other things as well, I wonder how to fit this in as well…

    • Ryan Carty says :

      I used the journal as a place for ideas, both leading up to writing the first draft and during to try out directions, story ideas, character shifts, etc. It wasn’t a place to improve the craft, but more a place to jot down ideas I might otherwise have let slide. Since you don’t write a ton of fiction, it might only be practical as an organizational tool, one you might not need.

  3. Alex J. Cavanaugh (@AlexJCavanaugh) says :

    I might have to try that then. Might help me finish my current work.

  4. Jemi Fraser says :

    That’s a fascinating idea! I’ve never thought of doing a writing journal – may have to try that!

  5. Angeline says :

    That’s such a great idea! What a lovely, useful thing to have to look back on.

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