Busy Busy Busy! But Need Some Advice, Please

November 5, 2009 | Karin's Blog | 15 comments


Too many life interruptions!  Some good, some bad, some meh.  But they are all interfering with my writing!  I wish I could just close up the lap top, hop in the car, and go to the local Holiday Inn and take three days to hammer out the rest of my book.  But, as many of you know, my granddaughter’s debut into this crazy ass world is imminent.  What’s an almost granny to do?


Do what she has always done: just deal.  And I am, but something is different with this book I’m writing, and it’s slowing me down. I can knock out 5-10K words in a day if I know where I’m going. Not that I’m a plotter, I’m a quasi pantser.  But this book is more layered plotswise then any book I have written.  I keep telling myself since it’s a romantic suspense, I need to make it uber suspensey.  So, to that end, I keep going for plot, but the plot is hanging me up, coz I just want to write about my characters.  Then I sit back and think, wait a minute, romance is about the characters first, the plot is secondary. So then I happily jump into the writing, knocking out pages like nothing flat, but then come to a screeching halt when I come up against the plot again. 


I do have this little voice in my head telling me, I’m don’t have the chops to write a bigger book, but when I go back and read the story, I love it.  It’s dark, sexy, edgy, and well, it’s good.  Really really good.  My best contemporary hands down.


So, I’m kind of scratching my head here wondering what I need to do to get on the hot streak.  Any suggestions?




  1. Edie

    My book is the same way, so no advice here. It seems that every book I write differently. This one so far is stop and go. It’s not a smooth ride, that’s for sure.

    I think you have Donald Maass’s workbook. If I’m really stuck, I’ll go through it. I always get ideas. Though I can’t guarantee you won’t get stuck again.

  2. virna

    You’ve definitely got the chops. The story is fantastic! I’ve learned some things in SC and wish you’d been here!! But in the end, it’s all in you. The knowledge and the talent–just get it down, which means plow forward as you have been IMO. 🙂

  3. B.E. Sanderson

    You don’t have the chops to write a bigger book??? Who are you and what have you done with Karin?

    Seriously, though, it sounds like self-doubt talking. Been there, done that. (A lot.) It also sounds like you’re doing fine, and just need to write past the sticky spots. You can always ramp up the tension after you get the scenes on paper. And if life is getting in the way, maybe you should take a room at a hotel within ten minutes of your daughter. That way, you can get the solitude you need and still be there lickety-split when she needs you. =o)

  4. Terry Odell

    I’ve been going through the same sort of thing. I’m trying a mystery, not a romantic suspense, and you’re right — you have to deal with more plot. I’m still figuring it out myself — but I did get to “The End” yesterday. Of course, it’s still dreck, and I have to revise (and cut — I ramble in my writing as much as my blogging). I used a modified version of a story board to track the book, and an ‘idea’ board for scenes and plot points. When I got stuck, I’d look at my ‘idea’ board, and that usually got me on track. But you’re so right — when it was character stuff, the word count went way up. Trying to get the mystery bits in there (and I could have used Officer Friendly for some of my cop procedure questions) was a struggle, just because it felt too much like an info dump.

    Can’t wait to see the “She’s Here!” post. We just bought tickets to go see our grandson for his second birthday next month. So excited!

  5. J. Carson Black

    Hey, Karin – I have some ideas.

    If you want to talk it out, let me know.


  6. HollyD

    Yesterday on the Murder She Writes blog after Allison made a comment about herself I reminded her that her writing deserves to make her what she is a NY Times Bestselling Author. What I didn’t mention was that 3 other ladies I adore deserve that title: Jen Apodoca/Lyon, Toni McGee Causey, and YOU!!!

    Your writing rocks and I bet if you sit back and let the characters decide what they want to do the book will get written and it will be FANTASTIC. You just have a lot on your plate & baby watch is very important. Try to relax.

  7. Jill James

    Just keep writing and stop listening to that voice in your head. (Unless that is your characters talking) This book is in you and you will get it down on paper. Your life is just a whirlwind right now and you’re just going to have to go with the spinning house and see where you end up in the land of Oz. LOL

  8. Karin Tabke

    this is what is so great about the internet! Instant gratification!!!

    Edie, I don’t have the DM workbook. I have difficulty with how to books, however I was looking for my SAVE THE CAT to shake things up, and couldn’t find it. However! DM is coming to a local RWA chapter in Jan and I am going to his workshop.

    Good luck with your story!!

  9. Karin Tabke

    Virna thank you for skypestorming with me last night! I feel like I can wrap this baby up now! Thank you!

    Beth, it *is* self-doubt talking! Ack, hate feeling like this! But, I think after talking with Virna for three hours last night (thanks you again Virna!!!) I have enough to go on, and it’s made a world of difference in my confidence. It’s really weird, it’s not the writing, it’s not even the words, it’s the concept and the execution that has me hung up and doubting. I do need to get the scenes down. today it’s iPod, coffee and carbs!

  10. Karin Tabke

    Terry, I’m writing up post its for my story board in between typing! I think it’s a great idea!

    I can’t wait to write the She’s Here blog! snerk, my daughter is so ready to have this baby!

  11. Karin Tabke

    Yo, Jake, I just sent you and email. I’d love to pick that devious brain of yours. I could use a few twists. Thank you.

    Holly, I need more Allison gray matter! Hugs for all of your support. I want his book to be so good, it’s messing with my head!

    Jill, I’m writing , I’m writing! (and I wouldn’t mind a little OZ input…)

  12. Laurie Kap

    Not that I’m published, but I say Puke on the page – let it flow out, you’ll know what’s missing later.
    You have the chops – stop doubting yourself
    (now if I could only take my own advise)
    Go forth and write, trust your instincts – it’s all we’ve got!

  13. Karin Tabke

    Laurie i always puke up the story. my problem has been, i have the dry heaves!

  14. Karin Tabke

    Okay! I’m going under. I’ll surface in 10K word intervals!!!!

    Thank you everyone for all of your support. Sometimes it takes a village! 🙂

  15. LaDonna

    Karin, so glad Virna helped ya out! Personally, I think it’s knowing that baby is coming and your super-excited mode is in conflict with your writer side. 😆 That’s my two-cents! The brain locks up when that happens, don’t ya know.

    Can’t wait for the baby news…. Hey, then all you’ll want to do is smooch the baby! Sugars for life!

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