It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Every month, the organisers announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. Remember, the question is optional!!!

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

June 3 question – Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

Fascinating question. I’ve got an excellent secret. It’s one of those weird, walking a thin line type of techniques a creative person uses to move the muse into responding. It’s a method I use when I get writer’s block. I’ll explain how it works. I act the story out. I get my butt off chair (the opposite to butt-in-chair, as recommended) and I act out the scene, saying aloud the dialogue and embodying the emotions.

Several times working on my latest book, The Last Tree, there were parts of the story that just wouldn’t work. I’d written them, torn them down, rebuilt them, sandblasted them, destroyed them, rewritten them and hacked them to pieces again and again. But I had no joy. The little inner writer’s voice kept nagging, ‘it’s still not right, it’s still not right.’ Then I tried the acting-it-out technique and ironed out the kinks. It got the story flowing again every time.

002 (2)

This is how it works. *Note: for this technique I need to be home alone!  I set a pad and a pen on the counter, ready and waiting for the words of inspiration. Then I pace the house and start talking aloud.

I find it best to keep moving. I walk about around the rooms and put myself in the hero, Aden’s shoes. I say something like “I’m Aden. I’m a boy, thirteen-years-old. The enemy has recaptured me. I’m sore, I’m tired. I’m homesick. The hours are going past. What am I thinking? What am I feeling? What happens next?” and I talk it out with myself until I find the answers. As soon as ideas form, I write them down.

I’ve fixed every problem that way. It really is an effective tool. Yet if anyone had been a fly on the wall, I’m sure they’d have carted me off by the men in white suits. Lock her up, the neighbours would say, she’s ready for the loony bin.

OI

Another great secret from my past is that when I was in my twenties I used to work as “Barbie” for the Mattel toy company. They sent me to malls during the holidays, where I had to don my pink polyester suits, white high heels and an enormous blonde wig, and walk around handing out autographs. The funny thing was every time I entered a mall I expected to stand around twiddling my thumbs, but something about the whole Barbie magic would make the girls come running. They swamped me every time. I carried a stack of my own head shots, and would ask the kids’ names, write them on a postcard and then sign Barbie in a big flourish at the bottom. The girls loved it! Come to think of it, the job paid pretty well, and it was a cool gig for a junior writer.

And I’ll finish with the revelation that I like to watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians. I have a circle of rather wonderful friends whom I’ve known since high school. What they don’t know is that they’re all more high-brow than I am. They like to do things like going to the art gallery, poetry readings, listening to lectures and so on. I go along because we’re friends, or I try to join them mostly for the lunches and dinners.

220px-KardashianSisters@JillStuartShow_9_1110_by_BettinaCirone42_(10)

One time we were all out at dinner, the nine of us, and one friend was telling me about someone she was having difficulties with. As if indicative of this person’s low character, she said, “She even watches KUWTK.” I had to bite my tongue, thinking, ah, so do I. I confess I like reality shows, trashy magazines, big budget movies, rap and R&B, and my favourite treat on my nights off is eating a big bag of crisps with a glass of cold, full-cream milk. I can happily solely watch the E channel night and day. I’m sure it would horrify my friends if they knew. They’d probably disown me. But that’s why these are secrets.

Shh! Don’t tell. What about you, do you have an interesting revelation to share?

B

Keep Writing!

Yvette K. Carol

*

Choose happiness. It’s the ultimate act of rebellion. ~ Piper Bayard

Comments
  1. emaginette says:

    I love your idea of walking the house acting out a scene. Now across the world, someone else is gong to do the same thing. Power to the two of us.

    And can I get your autograph, Barbie. I’ve been a fan all my life. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Brilliant! I’m so glad you’ve found something you can use, Anna. It’s one of those really meaty tools. We can swap notes, later.
      And, of course you may have an autograph! 🙂 Barbie is always happy to help.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t even explain to you how much I relate to pacing around the house, talking to yourself to quench your writer’s block. Being Barbie sounds similar to being a Disney princess, which was an actual dream job for my neighbor who was Cinderella at Disney World a decade ago. She had to go through rounds and rounds of auditions like a serious acting gig to get the part when she was in her early years of college. It must feel quite literally magical when little girls (I’m sure little boys sometimes too) come running up to you with wide eyes, blushing and swooning as if star-struck. So cute!

      By the way… reality TV is my ULTIMATE guilty pleasure. I’m here for any contrived dating show where the contestants are literally cat-fighting for their 10 minutes of fame 🙂

      Xo,
      Laurel

      Liked by 2 people

      • yvettecarol says:

        Talking to oneself is definitely under-rated when it comes to figuring things out, right?
        And, yes, now when I look back I realize being Barbie was a dream job. It’s funny how you don’t appreciate these things when you’re young and are in the moment.
        Thanks for the comment. It’s nice to meet a fellow reality TV buff!

        Like

  2. You were a live Barbie? That’s wild.
    I would definitely need an empty house to roam around talking to myself.
    By the way, my last book had a character named Aden and I had several people tell me I’d spelled the name wrong. Glad I stuck to my guns on the spelling!
    Welcome to the IWSG.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Hi, Alex, yes, I walked the malls in those hallowed heels.
      That’s interesting you had a character named Aden, too. I haven’t heard that comment, yet, re the spelling. As a matter of fact, it took me a few years into writing this series to get the name. He had at least six other monikers first. When I finally settled on Aden Weaver it felt right and I haven’t had to change it since.
      I love the IWSG. Thanks for the welcome. I don’t get time to write until the end of the week, so I apologize for the tardiness.

      Like

  3. cleemckenzie says:

    Your strategy for getting those scenes to flow is fabulous. Be sure to turn off Google Home when you start acting. I understand it has been known to spy on conversations. As to the reality programs you enjoy…that’s great. It’s undoubtedly an escape, and who knows but that you’ll find some good material for your next book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Wow, thanks for the great comment. I didn’t know that about Google home.
      And, the first time I came up with acting out the stuck scenes was when I was well and truly desperate! I was so thrilled when it shifted the gears that I’ve used it ever since.
      Btw, I never know what to call you. Is your name Clee or something starting with C? If you don’t like people to know, that’s fine as well. 🙂

      Like

      • cleemckenzie says:

        There’s nothing mysterious about my first name, Cheryl. I chose to write under C. Lee becasue I’d been writing academic papers under my real name and I thought I needed some separation. As it turned out that was ridiculous. There’s a stripper named Cheryl McKenzie. I’d rather be confused with an academic writer.

        Liked by 1 person

      • yvettecarol says:

        Thanks for that, Cheryl. It’s interesting to hear the back story.
        I also used to write under another name. I started out using my full maiden name, but when it came to divorcing the second time, I came to a crossroads, do I revert to my maiden name again? Or do I move over kit and caboodle to my writer’s name? I made the choice to go with my writer’s name. And I’ve never looked back.

        Like

  4. cleemckenzie says:

    That makes sense. Changing names can be a lot of work and sometimes cause trouble. I’m kind of stuck with C. Lee in the writing business, so I’m not adjusting that. Great to have an exchange of back story. I agree.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      There are worse names to be stuck with. I think C. Lee sounds cool.
      On the name thing I had encouragement from Kirsten Lamb, in her book on self publishing, We Are Not Alone. Her advice was to solidify your brand before you put your first book out. Part of establishing one’s brand was having one photo and one name used across all social media outlets so the “face” you’re putting out there is uniform and professional. I went against that somewhat, when I opted to use a “selfie” as the headshot for my blog, but apart from that one deviation it’s the same name and headshot used for everything. Taking on my writer’s name legally just seemed like an extension of that process.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s