morning fog in Estes Park, ColoradoHow is it October already?  Last time I checked it was still June.

Not that I’m complaining.  We are moving into my favorite time of the year.  The gardens are giving up the last of their bounty, the grass doesn’t need to be mowed anymore, and being outside is pleasant.  I like the fact that my house isn’t as hot as Satan’s Kitchen, and I can start to make some hearty soups for dinner instead of trying to figure out which meal will cause the least amount of heat to get added to the house.  It is the time of fresh-baked bread with jam, warm drinks, cool nights snuggled under the quilts, and brisk mornings with sun turning everything gold.

As my daily workload lightens, I have more time to spend on the things I really like to do.  That includes working on some of my neglected crafts, like the big rag rugs I’ve been crocheting out of sheets and the half-finished sewing projects that have been collecting dust in my sewing room.  And it includes writing!

In my last post I talked about the plotting bootcamp.  Although due to my current workload, I wasn’t able to keep up as well as I liked, I still got a lot out of it and have been working on my sad sad piece of a novel.  The exercises were really helpful for me, and I will continue to work through them over and over, until the process sticks better in my mind.  Many of the exercises allowed me the opportunity to dissect my characters, and find a few conflicts that I had not thought of before.  I’m still struggling with the difference between motivation and goals.  I know I need both, but when I write them down, I can’t tell which is which.  I also struggle with the difference between internal and external goals.  In my mind, all goals are internal – they are things the character wants and is working toward.  To me, “external” means something outside, perhaps forced upon by someone else.  Those aren’t really maintainable.  So, that struggle goes on.  I read and read about it, but I can’t seem to get them straight.

So, any help or examples in this area would be appreciated!

As we head toward the season of National Novel Writing Month, my most productive writing time of the year, I’m hoping I can iron out the rest of my plot so I can finish this draft.  That was my intention last year, and I didn’t even get close.  I’m going to have to hold my own feet to the fire on this one!

Do you feel motivated to write in the fall?  If not, when is your time of year for the most inspiration?

5 thoughts on “October!

  1. Susabelle, I’m enthralled by your description of autumn in your neck of the woods. Here in NYC my favorite part of early fall is the bagpiper that plays mornings in Central Park because we are having some very blustery Outlander weather here the last few days. In my mind the goal is what I or my character wants and the motivation is why I want it. So it’s what/goal and why/motivation. I think internal and external is trickier both in real life and in fiction but if you think of the heroine’s journey there is usually a big thing she wants /external but it feeds some need or want inside /internal. Anyway I really enjoyed your post. Have a great weekend.

  2. Charlotte gives a good explanation. An example of Goal is a character who plans to run in a fund raising race for cancer research. His motivation is his wife who’s suffering from ovarian cancer. His external goal is to win the race. His internal goal is to help find a cure.
    This is kind of a loose example, but I hope it helps.
    Have a happy autumn…and happy writing, Susabelle.

  3. Enjoyed your post Susabelle! I like autumn for the warm soups but I don’t like it for the shorter and shorter days. Good luck with your WIP it sounds like you are gearing up for a big push and that is always so exciting! Best to you.

  4. Lovely fall descriptions, Susabelle. I live just a little ways north of you in Wyoming, but our summers are much more pleasant (except for the hail!) and our winters longer and windier, so it’s hard for me to be too enthusiastic about fall, since it quickly leads to winter. I do feel like I have more time once gardening season is over. But it seems like the build-up to the holidays happens pretty soon, and I get busier then. So, I feel like my most productive time of the year is after the holidays when there is really nothing to do but write.

    As for goal and motivation, I write intuitively and don’t ever dissect things out. When I try, my story loses all life and energy and I lose interest. But my characters come to me pretty complex and angsty, and there is always a pretty strong conflict, so I just focus on that and the goal and motivation stuff seems to work itself out.

    Best wishes. I hope we can both be more productive in the next few months, as I am also desperately trying to finish a WIP I started at the beginning of the year.

  5. Enjoyed your post Susabelle! I love fall and Halloween for all the reasons you list. And no more hail. Do you own the book Goal, Motivation and Conflict by Debra Dixon? It gives great explanations to your questions!

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