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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Alicia Renee Kline – Stream of Consciousness Writing

Stream of Consciousness Writing

by Alicia Renee Kline

Every writer seems to have a method to their madness.  Some will sit down and make an outline of their entire book prior to beginning, a sort of map of each and every chapter.  Others wing it entirely, making up things as they go along.  I’m somewhere in between.

The hardest part of the whole process was starting it.  Where to begin?  How to introduce everyone?  When to get to the good stuff?

I may have delayed my progress at the beginning by focusing on the staggering task at hand.  It was always my intention to create an honest to goodness novel, and no matter how many hours I worked on it, I always felt like I came away with little to show for it.  Part of the reason for this was that a novel looks very different in your traditional word processing software.  What may amount to two or three pages in Word is quite possibly eight to ten pages on an e-reader, maybe even more.  Once I did a little research and realized that the average page of a novel is between two hundred fifty to three hundred words, I felt a lot better.  I read somewhere that a respectable novel was at minimum 70,000 words and made that my goal.  With the finished product clocking in at over 100,000 words, I obviously exceeded that.  Focusing on word count instead of page count definitely improved my productivity.

Before I started writing Intoxicated, I knew pretty much the beginning, middle and end.  I had established the five main characters, their general personalities and the gist of the storyline.  Entire scenes were created in my head that I knew I had to include.  Certain things had to happen in a specific order to do the story justice, and it was now my job to connect these pieces somehow.  I chose to just write, knowing that the delete key was my friend.  As time passed, this became easier to accomplish organically.

Part of the reason this worked so well for me was that the idea for the story had been spinning around in my brain for fifteen years.  I had a lot of material to refer to.  A lot of the details changed and evolved the more I reflected on it; but my novel was there, waiting to be told.  A lot of ideas also ended up never being written.  But the best scenes, the ones that resonate the most with me, were written well in advance of them being typed on my laptop.

As I was coasting through Intoxicated – probably somewhere around 50,000 words or so – I realized that I had more ideas than I wanted to fit into one book.  At that point I began to tweak things a little, bolstered by the fact that I wasn’t going to wrap things up in a neat and tidy bow at the end.  I added details instead of omitting them, knowing that not everything had to be addressed right away.  My goal became not making everyone happy at the end but leaving the reader wanting more.

Now that Intoxicated is a reality and not just a figment of my imagination, I’m much more comfortable with the self-publishing process in general.  So much of the stuff I worried about in regards to making it happen had very little to do with writing.  Most of my concerns were with what to do once I finished telling the tale.  I’ll admit I could have finished it sooner but I held off, not wanting to let go.

I’m notorious for working ahead.  I dove into book two immediately after finishing book one, partly because of my hesitation to take the next step in the process.  Book three is slowly taking shape, though I am battling with the idea of taking the narration away from Lauren and handing it over to Blake instead.  Ultimately, I know I’ll end up doing what feels right.

That’s just how I operate.

When everything she ever wanted turns out not to be enough…

Lauren Jefferies is on the verge of having it all. Hard work and determination have culminated in a promotion that promises to put her on track with her upwardly mobile boyfriend Eric. High school sweethearts and together for ten years, they are young enough to have their whole lives ahead of them, but old enough to have established themselves as forces to be reckoned with.

The news should be cause for celebration.

But taking the job means moving two hours away.

Instead of planning their reign as an up and coming power couple, they find their already tenuous relationship further damaged by their conflicting opinions. Eric doesn’t want her to leave. Lauren refuses to back down. In the end, she packs her things and heads up north to her new life, the abstract promise of figuring this all out later hanging between them.

Lauren settles into her new routine quite easily, thanks largely in part to her fast friendship with her roommate Blake. Blake’s companionship comes in a package deal with that of her older brother Matthew. One night over dinner, an innocent conversation leads to the discovery that the three of them have more in common than they’d ever imagined.

Ashamed of his role in the thread that ties them together, Matthew begins to withdraw. As Lauren devises a game plan to ease his torment, Eric inadvertently pushes them together with his selfish actions.

Lauren’s relationship with Eric continues to flounder. The distance is an issue, but Eric’s indifference does nothing to help. Every bright spot in their courtship is countered by darkness and bitterness. More often than not, Matthew is there to pick up the pieces that Eric leaves behind.

Prior to meeting Matthew, Lauren thought she knew what she wanted. Now that she’s just about to obtain everything on her list, she’s left to question if she ever really knew what that was.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre – Romance / Chick Lit

Rating – PG13

Connect with Alicia Renee Kline on Twitter

Website http://aliciareneekline.com/


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