Katia Raina

The Magic Mirror

Psst… an admission: I haven’t really been writing. But that’s okay.

I haven’t really been writing.

Wow — just saying this — writing this now feels huge, ominous, like saying, I am an alcoholic.

But it is the truth. (Not the alcoholic part, thank goodness, the not-writing part, I mean).

Well, I should amend this by saying I’ve been writing every day for my job. You know, news stories about people getting hurt, new businesses coming to town, residents complaining about taxes, talented young people doing outstanding things …

Now, you’re probably thinking, it’s the job that’s been keeping me from my writing, but you are wrong, well kind of. Because the truth is, I have been working for three weeks, but haven’t been writing, really writing, for about a month and a half now.

Now you’re probably going to worry about me.

Don’t — because I will tell you what I have been doing.

I have been studying.

I put aside my yet another imperfect WIP, and picked up books instead. A whole bunch of books.

Some books I picked up are those dealing with story structure, which I feel is my weakness. My strength, I think is writing scenes, language, description. But the more I have been writing, the more I realized that plotting is where my manuscripts grow weak. And characters and plot are often interconnected.

So that’s why I went back to the books.

I am also studying works of fiction. Not reading them for pleasure as I have always done. But taking them apart, scene by scene, beat by beat. Examining them… what is this chapter’s purpose?

Sometimes I get frustrated with myself — what am I doing? Sometimes my fingers itch, that’s how badly I want to write again… chase words into sentences, live in worlds of my invention.

But ultimately, I feel this is the right thing for me to do right now.

I am not writing. Not revising. I am studying.

One day soon I am going to get this right, people. And then, my plot will take off, and I will fly, along with my characters.

You’ll see 🙂


April 6, 2012 - Posted by | Personal Mirror, Writing Mirror


  1. I’m pretty sure studying about writing qualifies as writing. I also believe all the writing you’re doing for your day job is contributing to your long term goals. All the writing we do is practice, practice, practice!

    Which mean you are moving toward perfect!

    Comment by joycemoyerhostetter | April 6, 2012 | Reply

    • Yay! Thanks for the cheer, Joyce!!!

      Comment by Katia Raina | April 6, 2012 | Reply

  2. I’m with Joyce. It all counts. Also, you’re doing more ‘not writing’ than me, by the sound of it 🙂

    Comment by sarah1357 | April 7, 2012 | Reply

    • Ha-ha, thanks Sarah. “Not writing” does not equal “waste of time.” Or at least it doesn’t have to, right?

      Comment by Katia Raina | April 7, 2012 | Reply

  3. I’ve done the same, taken off time from writing to study it. I once wrote a chapter by chapter outline of a novel I read to see how it worked. It wasn’t easy since I usually read for pleasure, but it helped plenty since my weakness was plot.

    I agree with the comments above. It all counts.

    Comment by Medeia Sharif | April 7, 2012 | Reply

    • Medeia, that’s sort of what I am doing now, plus I write down certain things I’m looking for. Just reading a book the second time often brings huge revelations, something I didn’t do enough of. Thanks guys for affirming, once again, what I sort of knew, but needed to hear again, it counts. It all counts.

      Comment by Katia Raina | April 7, 2012 | Reply

  4. I have a strong feeling that you WILL do that, Katia. You will get it right. And studying about writing is certainly a step toward that.

    I’ve just purchased Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell, because that’s my weakness. I’m between writing projects myself, having just finished revising my first novel and not ready to tackle a revision of the absolute mess that is my second novel. I want to start writing the third, but I know I need to put in some serious studying time first.

    Comment by Joanne Fritz | April 8, 2012 | Reply

    • Joanne, welcome to the club, then 🙂 I think plotting and structure is probably a weakness for most writers. One book that is totally changing my understanding of plotting is Save The Cat, by Blake Snyder. Well, not just one book, but an entire series. In fact, I think I’ll blog about these once. They are amazing.
      Here is to studying!

      Comment by Katia Raina | April 8, 2012 | Reply

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