Metacognition: Taking my own advice

The beginning of Black Moon has been action packed, twisty and fun to write, until I got to the end of Chapter One. I did what I wanted and started with a bang that was natural and unforced. Got my characters going, but also started establishing the “New World” for this book. I was so excited. Then the action stopped and my characters, who did not end well from the last book, had to interact. It was awkward and tough for the characters, and I thought it was going to kill me.

My thinking shoes

Running shoes, how could you forsake me!

Trying to get through this, I cycled through my usual activities to get my mind to expand and be inspired on what should happen. Exercise left me just as confused as to how to try and push them through this stage. Walking let me figure out stuff for the next chapters, but nada on the troubled Chapter One. Visualizing it while driving with the windows down and in the shower left me refreshed and clean, respectively, but no closer to a solution.  My usual suspects had let me down. I was ready to give up, skip the ending of the chapter and pick up again with Chapter Two.

Then I taught my class about Multiple Intelligences, metacognition, in other words, “knowing about knowing”. In class they were taking two of the tests that would pinpoint each of their specific learning styles. Letting them know how useful it is in and out of school, I shared that I am a kinesthetic learner and gave some examples of tactics and strategies I use to think clearer and remember more (see some from the above paragraph). But I warned them, don’t get locked into only your specific strategy, all of us have each of the different styles within us, and can use some from each category. You are not only one branch that is just your strongest. There are choices.

Then it hit me. That’s exactly what I was doing. I was so reliant upon my kinesthetic tactics working for me, I was only thinking about them. There was a whole world of other ideas out there I was neglecting. So at lunch I sat down with my “Secret Weapon” ™ and used a different tactic. I talked through where I was, where I wanted to go, and the problem with my characters at this time. During the course of the conversation and explanation, things clicked into place. Auditory learning to the rescue!

Now, Chapter One of Black Moon is completed with action and character growth. New problems are already peeking around corners and the characters are trying to figure out how to treat each other after the ending of the first book. Chapter Two is underway and moving along swimmingly. Here’s to using all the tools in our basket, not just our favorites.


About Courtney Sloan

A New Orleans native, Courtney Sloan relocated to the hills of Central Maryland after Hurricane Katrina. There she lives with her husband and fellow author, J.P. Sloan, their son and their crazy German Shepherd pup. Adding to her writing life, Courtney is also a professor at the local college and enjoys learning a world of new ideas from her students as she teaches them about writing and communicating. Courtney’s New Orleans upbringing has left her with a love for the macabre and a flare for the next to normal. She writes speculative fiction with a variety of horror and sass mixed in for flavor. She loves taking the world of politics that haunts us now, and adding the supernatural to create a gumbo of thrills to keep you up at night. A self-proclaimed lover of way too many fandoms, Courtney also loves crafting. From blankets to jams to stories, it’s always better homemade. View all posts by Courtney Sloan

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