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Sunday, June 7, 2015

What's Next?

I have heard from other writers that the crucial question to keep a story moving along is “What’s Next?”  When an author hits a “dry spell” or an “author’s block” the “What’s Next?” question is supposedly a way to drive toward the next words or the next story events. I find this question does not work for me as a device that stimulates my writing creativity but that it is a useful tool in my writer’s craft for choosing writing topics, projects, and publications.

In my own work the creative process is a development process, but one set of situations flows into another as I move the writing forward. I do not ask “What’s Next?” because the momentum of the ideas and characters in a story or book move the writing forward and this question would interrupt the natural forward flow of the plot as it unfolds. “What’s Next?” is an artificial stop that signifies the story or novel could not carry forward from what I have already penned. To me, this either means that the story or book should finish at that point or that I did not have enough fabric in the writing material to proceed.

In choosing my next writing endeavors, however, I do benefit from this question. Before I begin writing, I have to decide on an idea or characters to write about. Sometimes story ideas or writing project commitments occur while I am in the middle of writing something else. I tend to jot relevant notes for the next writing ideas on pieces of paper and collect any stray thoughts on my computer for future use. However, I typically will not start two similar types of writing endeavors at the same time. (For example: I might work on a book and a short story at the same time but I will not work on writing two books or two short stories at once.)

I have written two fiction novellas and a book of short stories. When I finished “The Dream of Keriye” I decided to take a year or two and focus on a non-fiction book “TEAM(work)” based on my business background and experiences in industries in Technical Writing over the last ten years. Right now, I am half finished with “TEAM(work)” and I have already decided to write a third novella for the character of Kervila Cramer.  My “What’s Next?” question is already answered for the time being.

“What’s Next?” can be a beneficial question. I just do not believe it to be a wise tool for developing writing. However, as a reader I do know that “What’s Next?” can be a good reason to keep turning the pages.  When there is a lull in the life of a writer where the next writing endeavors are not immediately apparent, sometimes writers need to remove themselves from the pages and walk a bit harder in life’s patterns. “What’s Next?” can be as simple as tomorrow comes and the pages will return after we live today.

 - Kimberly A. McKenzie

6:50 pm edt          Comments

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Here you'll learn all about The Rest Room and Kimberly A. McKenzie: Follow the Blog for facts and fictions.

The Rest Room Fact Sheet

1.  The Rest Room is Room 223 at the Motel Min.

2. Hale, South Carolina in The Rest Room is named after Nathan Hale- a soldier in the Continental Army during the Revolutionarly War.

3.  There are many types of shipping containers: intermodal freight, corrugated boxes, wooden boxes, crates, intermediate bulk, bulk boxes, drums and insulated shipping containers.

4.  Insulated shipping containers are a type of packaging used to ship temperature sensitive products such as foods, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals.  In The Rest Room, non-traditional shipping methods are at the heart of puzzleing circumstances for the three main characters: Kervila, Optin, and Henry. 

Look for the sequel to The Rest Room.  The Dream of Keriye is the sequel to The Rest Room and is NOW available at henrywrenpublications.com.

THE REST ROOM
Books
by Kimberly A. McKenzie

What's New?

Kimberly A. McKenzie resides in Charleston, SC and has been a writer/author for 20 years.  She is divorced and lives with her two cats: Hailey Commet and Phelecia Providence. Amazon.com carries another Kimberly A. McKenzie title "Growing Past".

Please get in touch with any comments or reactions to my site at kaktpgster@gmail.com

NOW AVAILABLE- THE DREAM OF KERIYE at henrywrenpublications.com

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