Monday, August 31, 2009


Please welcome my guest host Anjuelle Floyd, author of The House, due for release Fall 2009, and Keeper of Secrets, on sale now.
Anjuelle Floyd is a wife of twenty-seven years, mother of three, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in mother-daughter relations and dream work.

A graduate of Duke University, she received her MA in Counseling Psychology from The California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco. She has attended the Dominican Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley, California, and received her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, Port Townsend, Washington. She has received certificates of participation from The Hurston-Wright Writers’ Week and The Voices of Our Nations Writing Workshops. She teaches online fiction classes at Perelandra College.

A student of Process Painting for the last decade, Anjuelle has participated in The Art of Living Black Exhibitions 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 held at the Richmond Art Center, Richmond, California.

Anjuelle facilitates writing groups and provides individual consultation of fiction projects. She also gives talks on The Need for Family, the Writing Process as a Path Toward Self-discovery and Healing.

--by Anjuelle Floyd

Setting out to write a story or novel is one of the most difficult tasks a person can undertake. Several things make the work hard, one of which is uncertainty.

We start out at the beginning of a story, thinking we know where we are going, holding some idea of where we'd like to travel.

Yet even with a destination in place, marked and pinned through outlining and planning, the path to the end holds many forks and turns, more so than when working with no blueprint.

If one chooses to make a plan or blueprint for one's story or novel, the possibilities of what might occur in the narrative line multiply exponentially.

Setting down ideas and thoughts allows for brainstorming. It ignites an exciting pattern of creativity both consciously and unconsciously.

Perhaps this is why many writers choose not to outline, at least in a literal sense. The fear of uncertainty guides their hand. They want to control the outcome of their story.

And yet we all have a plan or some sort when setting out to tell a story. We have a process for writing that novel that leads us either within, or outside the range of our awareness.

The question we face when writing becomes, “Does our way of writing the story, the manner in which we relay the order of events, allow for elements of craft and happenstance to blossom?”

“Or do we set out to craft a story in such a way as to control what takes place on the page?”

Life does not guarantee happy endings. And yet every story must come to a close.

The way in which we resolve the displayed dilemma(s) has as much to do with how clearly we distill the protagonist's yearning as much as cracking open the depth of transformation that she or he undergoes in an attempt to reach her or his goal.

Or do they avoid what externals urge them to acknowledge and accept within her or himself?

It is the side roads, the detours from the plot or narrative line we so eloquently devise or avoid erecting by not drafting an outline, that lead to the overall change in perception wrought by obstacles on the way to the forum.

We, the writer, travel this unwieldy road with our protagonist. The plot of their journey lies intermingled with ours as we struggle to craft, revise and edit their story.

Whether we plan, outline or simply write the story seeing where the words take us, we encounter uncertainty.

As writers we must become warriors, bodhisattvas battling to keep our hearts open long after the mind shuts down on possibilities.

We must brainstorm. And yet stay the course as we write.

How much does the excitement of discovery drive you in writing?

What most frightens you when writing?

You can follow Anjuelle's blog at


  1. Thank you so much for being my guest blogger, Anjuelle. Your bio is inspiring. And your books sound wonderful. They're on my list. Please come back soon.

  2. I'm often unnerved by uncertainty. I like not knowing what's going to happen until I actually write it, but when I hit a wall, I feel nervous and apprehensive. What if I don't get back on track? What if the story dies a slow death? What if...?

    Thankfully, these moments are far and few between. These days I'm learning to live in the presence. It's an awarding experience, and very helpful with my work. With this new attitude comes a sense of peace. No matter what, the story will unfold and the ending will be closure, and as it happens, I'll enjoy myself.

    Thanks, Anjuelle, for reminding me of this.

  3. I have similar experience, too. While writing my novel it just flow and I became an explorer connecting numerous dots to see an unsuspecting elephant. Like Columbus wanting to get to the spice islands he discovered a great continent. And even now, I am amazed with my own discovery which I didn't set out to do originally, lol.

  4. That happened with one of mine, but not the current WIP. I really feel that an outline is required this time. Perhaps because I gained enough confidence to challenge myself, and now I'm nervous.

    Hi Joel.

  5. I like the excitement of beginning a new book and not knowing where it's going to lead. When I reach the end, I set it aside for a few weeks. When I return to it, I'm always amazed the prose came from me. The characters are just as appealing as they were the first time round.

  6. I'm in the middle of my book, and I know where I am headed, but I don't know how to get there. I'm thinking an outline would be the ideal way of figuring it out.

  7. Hi Lazy. Love your name. And I like your attitude. Especially setting the ms aside for a few weeks. That's a great idea.

    Pat, I can relate. I'm doing the outline thingy this time and yet didn't feel compelled to with the last 5. Go figure.

  8. Thanks for the great blog, Anjuelle. What a lovely name. And your smile lights up the page. Nobody in the office would believe you were old enough to have kids or be married 23 years. Best of luck with your career and your writing.

  9. Anjuelle, I'm so glad to get to know you and read your great post. I lived in Washington state for about 16 years. It is a wonderful place. I'm always looking for another author and I'm putting you on my list. Your books sound wonderful.

  10. Hi Rochelle. I agree, Anjuelle looks like a kid, not somebody's mum. Thank you for stopping by.

    Hi Dianne. Thanks for visiting. And thanks for your kind words.

  11. How do you know when to stop editing and revising?

    I think I'm close, until I read the chapter over. At this rate, I'm never going to finish my first book.


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