January 6, 2010

Epiphany!


I've been working on a picture book manuscript for well over a year.  It has changed MANY times.  But last night, while I was painting in my art journal I had an awakening of sorts.  I set up a dummy (a mini-book) drawing my pictures along with the manuscript lines on the pages.  And do you know what happened?

CLARITY!!!

It all came into focus.  Seeing the images helped me understand what parts were relevant to the story and what parts weren't.  I'm feeling giddy!  Only a week away from my critique group meeting and I can't wait to share.

What's created epiphany moments for you?  What gives clarity to your writing?

21 comments :

  1. I can't think of a great epiphany at the moment, maybe because I'm blinded by the sludge of just slugging along. I'm glad you got one, though! That's great.

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  2. Catherine, you have just inspired me to do something I have been putting off. I sometimes feel like my story is scattered in certain areas. Other authors have a "post-it" wall where they have character traits to reveal, plots to uncover, scenes that are key and they put them on a wall and rearrange them for clarity. I think I will do that this week. I'm glad to see it worked for you.

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  3. How cool! I love when everything is muddled and then--WHAM--you experience something that makes it totally clear!

    I would love to see more of your sketches--I had no idea you did all this painting and drawing. You're just one all-around artist!

    www.sarahnoelsmusings.blogspot.com

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  4. Elle, I've heard sludge is great for bubbling up epiphanies. :)
    GWOE, I've done the index card thing too and it really helped. You'll have to let me know how it went for you.
    SarahAnn, me too. Probably because they happen so rarely. ;) I wish I could share more sketches but I haven't figured out how to take good photos of them. I'm photo-graphically impaired. They're all fuzzy up close or too far-away to see. :{

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  5. That's so awesome!!!! I love love love when it all becomes clear!! A friend of mine just had her epiphany moment last night. She had no clue what to do with her MS...then all of a sudden she made one change and it changed everything!

    With my novel, I just did not know what to do with it. It was finished, polished, I'd shopped it out..had some partial requests..but nothing. Then when I was redoing my query for the bizzilionth time...it clicked. There was one line in the query...a bitch named Karma... and that was what I needed...gave the book a name change (To A Bitch Named Karma) and an overhaul to add in more karma and waalahh.....signed a publishing contract with Lyrical Press.

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  6. Yay! It's always wonderful when things come together like that. I can't think of any epiphanies at the moment - Hmmm.

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  7. Stephanie, that's awesome! You give me hope.
    Shannon, yes it is! Because most of the time I'm struggling to get to that moment.

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  8. Once, while doing research for a novel, I found some information about women's writings during the frontier era, and BAM! it was like I'd unlocked some secret into my story.

    I thought I'd stop by, as I seem to see you everywhere!

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  9. Caroline, thank you for stopping by!

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  10. Those are precious moments! I'm so happy for you.

    For me they come at unexpected times, while eating dinner, watching a movie, reading a book. But everytime feels like Christmas morning!

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  11. Love when that happens. I found your blog through Natalie's and just had to comment.

    There's nothing better when a sentence works brilliantly or a paragraph. Even a chapter.

    Congratulations.

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  12. Tamika, or a hidden treasure chest. Sorry, I've been watching Pirates of the Caribbean again.
    Patti, happy you came!

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  13. I have epiphanies while driving, standing in the shower and immediately after I wake up in the morning. Notice that I can't write during any of those times. Le sigh.

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  14. Elana, I know! One time I made my daughter write down an idea for a book as I was driving her to school.

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  15. I just had and epiphany, but I'm not sure it's going to work. I'm going to give it a try though. Cool that you're using your own drawings to help you write. I often look and pictures that fit with the time period and culture of my story and it helps make the scene feel more real to me.

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  16. With me when I'm trying to compose a blog post and find myself stuck, I add a few photos relevent to the text and in consequence an able to marshal my thoughts into a cohesive flow.
    Epiphanies happen to me all the time and almost always with regard to God's word. That's what happens when you spend a lot of time in his word and speaking to him. God bless you and may your book take off in a way you never expected.

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  17. I don't know what your light switches are like in the US but in South Africa "on" is at the bottom. HA HA.
    If you set your camera to macro, getting close-ups will be no problem.

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  18. i love when things click - its such a rush - isnt it?

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  19. Mary, YAY for epiphanies! I've looked at photos of scenery before to help me with description. But I can see how that would help for time period pieces as well. Thanks for the idea.
    Geoff, photos on my blog guide me too. I laughed at the light switch comment; guess I had a backwards epiphany. And THANK YOU for the tip on the camera. I'm gonna play around with that.
    Shelli, a total rush!

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  20. Yay!! I love hearing stories like this!! And it's so cool that you're an painter and a writer.

    Thanks for all the support on my blog :)

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  21. Diana, I wouldn't call myself a painter, per se, but I love to play in it. And your blog is fun to support!

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