Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mastering Your Writing Goals by Sandra Ardoin

If you write fiction, you know you have to dig deep into your character’s motivations. Writers must find that one thing their characters need, emotionally, so the reader sees their growth. We ask why and keep asking why until we scrape the bottom of their motivational roots. From there, our people bloom and blossom until we type “The End.”

Today I want to get you thinking about what will make you blossom as a writer, so I’ll ask:

At this point in your writing life, what is the one thing you feel you need on the way to mastering your writing potential, the next step to taking it up a notch?  

I’m not referring to a laptop, fancy pen, or any of the typical “tools of the trade.” Get practical, dig deep, and ask “Where am I now, where am I going, and how will I get there?”

  • Do you want to improve your talent? 
  • Do you want to improve your connections? 
  • Do you need persistence in submitting? 
  • Do you want to find more time to finish that WIP? 
  • Do you need to be a social media whiz? 
  • Have a top-flight agent or publisher?

How will you get there?

This is the hardest question and one that requires a plan. 

  • Will you participate in writing courses, read more writing blogs? 
  • Take part in groups on Goodreads, Facebook, and Google+ to build and boost your networking skills?
  • Seek the encouragement of others when it comes to submitting your work?

Once you’ve figured out what it is you consider necessary to your future writing growth, share it in the comments, along with ways you might bring about improvement.

The Seriously Write blog is all about encouragement for writers and supplying tips to help you along your publishing journey. There’s a lot of good information to be found here. Let's all pitch in and provide some of that all-important encouragement. Readers, if you have suggestions or experience that will help others, please share! It's brainstorming for our careers!

Since I asked the questions, it’s only fair that I start, right? J

From a technical standpoint, I feel I need to master plot when it comes to writing a synopsis for an unfinished book. Being a part plotter, part pantser, that’s tough. I do fine until the climax. Then I freeze, trying to decide how I can make that portion of the book unique. I suppose I could study books I’ve enjoyed, but remember, I’m going for uniqueness.

I've decided my goal requires me to improve my imagination. So how is the best way to do that? I can brainstorm the climax with others, something I just did and it helps. I can sit with a pad of paper and do a timed exercise in which I write down every idea that comes to me, logical or not. I can pace my office and talk to myself. (Okay, I already do that.)  Any other suggestions? Help me out here.

Do you have any tricks of the trade that will help others? Where are you in your blooming process?


(Cover Pending)
Sandra Ardoin is a multi-published author of short fiction. A fan of old westerns growing up, it’s only natural that she sets stories in the days of the horse and buggy. Her Christmas novella The Yuletide Angel will release in October 2014.

She’s the married mother of a young adult and lives in North Carolina. Learn more about her at and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Click the link and sign up for Sandy’s newsletter to receive writing updates and event news, along with random historical and life tidbits.


  1. I know with my health issues, being able to write each day is a blessing. I not only have to ask myself those, but I have to ask The Boss the same questions. Prayer is an important part of my writing life.

    Great questions to ask every day. Thanks for that, Sandy!

    1. Thanks, Angie. Sometimes, we need to reassess and you're right, prayer plays an important role in that reassessment.

  2. Hi Sandra, I have been blessed with a new direction and editors asking me to participate in anthologies. There are certain prescribed ingredients you must have in each story. That's fun to put the pieces together. For instance, I had to somehow incorporate "Four Calling Birds" into a Christmas story set in Hawaii in 1890...Not saying I won't ever "be on my own" again or get back to writing full-length'ers, but right now, I'm having fun. Just what I needed. As for tricks of the trade, I think it's just not to stop when you feel like quitting. Hugs to you and God bless your creativity! He always knows when to lend a Helping Hand. xo

    1. Good for you in trying something new, Tanya! And that's a great point about quitting. To succeed in this business, it requires a good deal of persistence! Thanks! Hugs back! :)

  3. My problem is discipline. I can always find something easier to do than sit in front of my laptop praying for words to flow. I'm a master at yielding to distractions. I must pray for discipline and obedience before I can pray for His words.

    1. Good point, Sherry! I treat my writing like a full-time job, and I work the hours. If I didn't, I'd have a discipline problem and get little done. It's that BICHOK thing. :)

      Maybe it would help to schedule your writing. Even if it's only fifteen minutes per day, sit down at the same time every day and work. Don't answer the phone or the door and tell your family you need that time alone to write. I bet before long that fifteen minutes would turn to thirty and more.

  4. Great post, Sandra! It's a struggle for me to find time to write because of being pulled in so many directions. I'm a freelance editor, and I've been blessed with a lot of business this past year. That's been a blessing, but after a full day of working on other people's projects, I don't have anything left over to give to my own. So my hubby and I have agreed that I need to block out 3 months between now and March just for my own writing. I couldn't do that without his support. In return, I need to use the time wisely and write like crazy!

    1. Frankly, I don't know how people who work a full-time day job come home and tap out a novel in a few months. Huh? You and others have my utmost respect! :)

  5. I'm at the "land the dream agent" stage. For me that means battling my fears and getting out there to meet 'em. :) Great post, Sandy!

    1. Thanks, Dora. Keep plugging away at it. I'm sure it will be soon. Determination! Don't give up! :)

  6. Great post, Sandra. I need to work on my plotting skills and my discipline.

    1. You'd think, since we write fiction, we would automatically have those plotting skills. But anyone who writes knows those stories come in bits and pieces, and putting them all together can be hair-raising. Thanks, Terri! :)

  7. I'm not a fiction writer; I blog a quick Scriptural devotion almost every day. My goal at this point is to expand my readership outside my circle of friends. I am learning more about social media and promoting my blog by noticing what other writers do and by reading blogs about outreach. It takes a lot of time!


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