Tuesday 18 September 2018

#GuestPost #Augustchallenge #winner, Tanya Miranda on being STUCK IN THE STORY

Hi! Denise here!

A huge congratulations to Tanya Miranda who won the WEP/IWSG Inaugural August challenge, A CHANGE OF HEART. 

Her winning flash fiction was described by editor/judge Nick Wilford:  "Tanya's flash made the biggest impact on me and posed a profound question that makes us all ponder as humans." If you haven't had the pleasure of reading Tanya's entry, GO HERE.

All WEP/IWSG winners are asked to write a guest post. Tanya is sharing a very personal experience regarding being:


Thank you to the WEP team for selecting my story as the winner for the August Challenge, and for having me here today. I was taken entirely by surprise at the win, which ended my summer on a tremendous high note. Today, I’m going to talk about a moment when I hit a wall while working on a project, and what happened that helped me overcome this obstacle.

A few years ago, I completed my romance novel A Selfish Moment. It was technically done, but I had that sneaky little gut feeling that something was missing, something important. I didn't know what it was.

The story had a great ending. My beta readers raved. My editor and I went through the rounds smoothly. I was ready to start the publishing process, but this uneasy feeling was like a pesky woodpecker that would not stop pecking! There was something about the ending that wasn’t right, and my gut was telling me so.

A thousand self-doubting questions filled my head. I lost a lot of sleep. I couldn’t proceed with publishing until I addressed this nagging sensation. Out of pure frustration, I put this project on hold. I was miserable, being so close to the finish line.

For the next few weeks, I read tons and worked on other unrelated projects. I watched movies and read books on writing. I forced myself to forget about it for the moment and move onto newer things since my efforts to “finish” my book were proving to be futile.

Then, a novel-based movie came out that caught my attention. I LOVE reading the book (or series) before watching the movie adaptation and comparing. Yup, I’m that annoying person in the theater that whispers, “that’s not how it happened in the book.”

I devoured the trilogy in a couple of days and loved it. The movie was good too, but not as good as the book. Then, one night, as I was lying in bed and comparing book to movie, I had an AHA moment. I figured out what was wrong with the ending to my novel.

The ending to that story had a format that stung—a story BEYOND the end of the story. It’s not a new revolutionary format, but nothing I had experienced at the time stood out the way that did. I wrote the last chapter of my novel in a couple of hours, and I slept soundly for the first time in weeks.

And, I learned a lot in dealing with a "difficult" or "stuck" manuscript. These bullet points can work for any project.

1 – Trust your gut.

It was illogical for me to doubt the story as it was, especially since I got so much positive feedback, but I was not budging. My mom claims I have always been stubborn, and this time it worked for me. Listen to your gut; it knows you better than you know yourself!

2 – If you’re stuck, step away.

When you’re stuck, and I mean really stuck, like I-will-burn-my-story-if-I-read-it-one-more-time stuck, sometimes you just need a serious break. Go bike riding. Work on your next project. Take up art. Read loads of books and short stories in different genres. Try reading and writing poetry. Clean your mental pallet and give your mind a break.

3 – Sometimes you have to stop trying.

At the time I had that AHA moment, I wasn’t trying to fix the issue. I didn’t even know what the problem was let alone how to address it. I had re-read my book a dozen times looking for errors, to the point of resentment. I was at a loss, and I almost gave up. Luckily, my break recharged my brain and opened it up to new ways of thinking. New ideas can come from anywhere, so be open and ready.

I hope my experience helps anyone who is stuck on a story and feels hopeless. It's a horrible feeling, being unable to pass the finish line, but I think it's one of those experiences that are good for the writer's soul.

After decades in I.T. building software for the e-commerce industry, Tanya Miranda finally gave in to her lifelong love of writing. She writes stories and poetry in many genres and posts some of her pieces on her blog for the world to read.

Visit her at http://www.tanyamiranda.com to read her flash fiction and poetry, and don't forget to sign up to get a free copy of her fantasy novel, The Box Of Souls.

She's still super giddy about winning the August Challenge and has been spotted breaking into a happy dance in the streets of North Bergen, New Jersey. Her children have begged her to stop to no avail.

Thanks Tanya!


As most of you would have picked up from our posts, Yolanda Renee, Denise's right-hand woman and co-host extraordinaire, is retiring from the WEP team after the October challenge which she is co-ordinating. Florence has been giving Yolanda a hard time. She had to evacuate her condo in South Carolina. It was lovely that Yolanda was out of danger, but we all know the disruptions weather can cause, but like a true author, Yolanda used the time to write her horror story for the next challenge!

So, to ensure the ongoing success of the WEP/IWSG partnership, we needed a new addition to the team. LG Keltner was chosen. She's been an enthusiastic participant for a long time and has talent which will enhance our success.  

Hey folks, Renee, here: just stopped in to welcome Laura, the new co-host. Yes, Hurricane Florence did tragically impact North Carolina where it made landfall and has hit South Carolina, my new home, with ongoing flooding. We were lucky. We evacuated. Thanks, everyone, for your concern, and you, Denise for your lovely words. You're right, I worked on my October Challenge, in fact, I wrote two short stories. But that's not why I'm here, today.

I'm here to welcome Laura. The newest member of the WEP Team. When Denise told me she'd chosen Laura. I immediately said, "She's a perfect choice." I've known Laura since 2008 when I first joined the IWSG, and I was always impressed by her skill. She's an incredibly talented writer, blogger, and publisher. As a natural storyteller, I've no doubt that she'll add depth, creativity, and expert editing skills to the WEP. While she's your go-to girl in all things science fiction, she's just as prolific in the other genres. But more importantly, she's a great blogging friend.

WELCOME, Laura! I'm thrilled that you'll be a part of the WEP family! I’m genuinely honored that you’ll be considered my replacement. A compliment in itself!

A quick word from L.G.:
Hello everyone! I'm looking forward to being a part of this fantastic team and reading some excellent submissions in the upcoming challenges. I'm honored to have been asked to come aboard, and I hope to contribute all I can to the success of this group.

Not long to the next exciting challenge for the WEP/IWSG 'writing together' partnership. Please consider joining us for the eagerly-anticipated October challenge. GO HERE to gather ideas for how you might like to approach this challenge, but really, there is complete freedom to write it your way.

                           And Laura!

We'd love if you'd Tweet this post or share to Facebook or your favorite social media site.

Come join the August 2018 Challenge winner, Tanya Miranda, for Stuck in the Story @DeniseCCovey @YolandaRenee @theIWSG https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2018/09/guestpost-augustchallenge-winner-tanya.html #amwriting #flashfiction

Tips from Tanya Miranda for when stuck in your story @DeniseCCovey @YolandaRenee @theIWSG  https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2018/09/guestpost-augustchallenge-winner-tanya.html #amwriting #flashfiction

See our latest winner as she stops by for a guest post, Stuck in the Story, and some breaking news @DeniseCCovey @YolandaRenee @theIWSG https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2018/09/guestpost-augustchallenge-winner-tanya.html #amwriting #flashfiction