Rain is a Great Thing!

In my last post, I lamented my busy schedule and lack of writing time (and progress.)  My prayers were answered in the form of rain.  (If you don’t believe in God, you can attribute the rain to Native American dances, Mother Nature, cold fronts/low pressure systems, or the Easter Bunny – whatever makes you comfortable.)

Luke Bryan’s song “Rain is a Good Thing” came to mind when I decided to write this post, but we like rain for different reasons.  His intentions may not be so innocent (rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey, and whiskey makes his girl “frisky”.)  My reason is just as selfish, but at least no one’s morals are compromised:  rain makes mud, mud means no T-Ball; no T-Ball means free time for momma.

Monday night was supposed to be my younger son’s first T-Ball practice of the season, but it rained all day – forcing the coach to cancel practice.  It doesn’t rain all that often in the desert, but when it does, it’s a mess.  Especially since little boys have a talent for finding (and stomping in) every mud puddle, regardless of how miniscule it might look.

The sudden change of plans for Monday night gave me the extra hours I needed to do character research.  I had written some notes about each of my main characters and last night, each of them took a personality test.  I printed the analysis pages and form there, I plan to write backgrounds about the characters (maybe even in short story form.)  THEN, I can get to the (most) fun part:  novel writing.

This is a new approach for me.  The personality test idea was suggested by the instructor of writing class I took a few months ago.  Since I’m a plot-driven writer and haven’t previously invested mounds of time in character development before, I thought this exercise could be beneficial.  I’m crossing my fingers that the extra effort shows in the novel.  I want the characters to feel “real.”

Now, in case you are feeling bad about the little guy missing practice and all, let me put your mind at ease.  He has another practice scheduled for tomorrow evening.  And, unless another miracle happens, there’s no rain in sight.

So we all lived happily ever after.  Playing T-Ball near our castle…in the Brazilian rain forest.

Okay, maybe not that happy, but it’s still a fairy tale ending to my frustrating story 😉

Heads up:  I’m posting my short story for March on Friday.  It’s a walk on the humorous side, not a “heavy” story like the last one.  Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

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20 thoughts on “Rain is a Great Thing!

  1. Melissa March 23, 2011 / 6:34 AM

    Personality Test? I have NEVER considered that. My current WIP has me going back to my pantser ways, but it’s a difficult switch after plotting the former WIP (to death). This go round, I wanted to heavily focus on character to drive the plot forward in the early draft, but I feel like I’m learning to drive all over again.

    Which test do you use?

    • jannatwrites March 23, 2011 / 10:06 AM

      Melissa- I went to http://www.humanmetrics.com/and did the Jung Typology Test. It has 72 questions and after you complete it, there are a couple links where you can go for interpretations of the results. I printed the pages and labeled them with the character’s name so I can go back later and construct their lives. I don’t know if this will work or not, but thought it would be fun to give it a try 🙂

      I lie somewhere between a panster and a plotter when it comes to writing. I have to have a general idea of how a story could end before I start. I don’t plot too much because my characters are like my children: they don’t always do what I want them to. I don’t see the harm in having a loose plot as long as we’re open to changes as the story unfolds.

      Good luck on your current WIP. I hope you post about your status/progress 🙂

      • nrhatch March 23, 2011 / 11:03 AM

        That’s a neat idea. Thanks for sharing, Janna.

        • jannatwrites March 23, 2011 / 10:48 PM

          You’re welcome, Nancy. I have yet to see if it works or not, so we’ll see!

  2. Addy March 23, 2011 / 8:54 AM

    Wow, thats great to know that you finally managed to do some writing in your “free-time”… Another amusing thing is the personality test for your characters- I always like it when an author tries to bring out some more traits about their character… Will keep my eyes out for the short story..

    Best Wishes,
    Addy

    • jannatwrites March 23, 2011 / 10:12 AM

      The little bit of extra timewas enough to keep mefallinginto the pitof frustration and discouragement. I read somewhere (I wish I could remember where) about writing complete backgrounds for characters just so we (as the author) know them very well, but many of the facts may not even appear in the novel. The lazy part of me discounted it as too much work, but the bigger part of me that wants to improve decided to take the challenge and give it a shot.

      Thanks for your support, Addy- I do appreciate it.

  3. suzicate March 23, 2011 / 10:39 AM

    It’s always good to get a catch up day, even if it means rain! I remember those days of hectic schedules…you won’t believe me, but some day you will miss those days…well just a teensy bit!

    • jannatwrites March 23, 2011 / 10:47 PM

      Oh, I believe you, Suzicate…that’s why I try to be careful what I wish for.

  4. nrhatch March 23, 2011 / 11:04 AM

    Just don’t tell your son you prayed for rain. 😀

    • jannatwrites March 23, 2011 / 10:49 PM

      Ha! That secret will be as tightly guarded as the location of the Girl Scout cookies I hid in the freezer.

    • jannatwrites March 23, 2011 / 10:49 PM

      Thanks, Hilary. I’ll take what I can get!

  5. Carol Ann Hoel March 23, 2011 / 12:44 PM

    I agree with Nancy. Don’t tell your son you prayed for rain. Ha! I’d have done the same thing. I always believe that God won’t answer my prayer if it will hurt someone else. He’s a good God. Your boy needed a night off, too. I’m glad you had time to work on your characters.

    • jannatwrites March 23, 2011 / 10:52 PM

      The rain is long-gone and he’s looking forward to practice tomorrow (and he will never know about my prayers :))

      It was good to get some research done. I don’t know when I’ll get back into it, but I keep the papers with me so I can jump in whenever I have a few minutes.

  6. Aligaeta March 23, 2011 / 2:47 PM

    Your a determined woman. I’ll glad you were blessed with the time you needed.

    • jannatwrites March 23, 2011 / 10:53 PM

      My husband calls me “stubborn”, but I prefer the way “determined” sounds. Thanks, Aligaeta!

  7. Ollin March 23, 2011 / 4:56 PM

    Yay for rain! 🙂 I’m glad you found time to write your novel.

    • jannatwrites March 23, 2011 / 10:54 PM

      Yes, Ollin, things were good. The desert got a bit of rain and I got to do some writing. Now if only life always worked out that way, right?

  8. domermom March 23, 2011 / 5:26 PM

    Isn’t it funny how we writers delight in anything that gives us a chance to catch up on our writing? I’ve been up to my ears in work lately, and my novel is catching dust bunnies from lack of use — sigh. Thanks for the link — I’ll go check it out!

    • jannatwrites March 23, 2011 / 10:56 PM

      Sorry about the dust bunnies on the novel, Debbie. When it gets to that point, it’s so hard to figure out where things left off. Well, it is for me, anyway 🙂

      We have to steal the time when we can or it just slips away!

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