Saturday, July 24, 2010

Back At It.

Yesterday was a triumph. After about seven months of dormancy, I've dusted-off my Work in Progress (clever title, I know. Is it any wonder I fancy myself a wordsmith?) and did about 620 words. Last week, I had a 600+ word day and a more lax 340 word day. To the more experienced writers who read here, it may like small numbers, but I'm just tickled pink to be back at it.

I need to thank the Blogging community for this. I briefly mentioned my WiP awhile ago, and a few of you seemed interested, so I thought, “Time to get off my duff with this thing!” Another motivator is NaNoWriMo; I only heard of it last year, and I wasn't up to it, not by a long shot. So now I'm trying to get my daily output up, 'cause I think it needs to be about 1600 words a day for NaNo. (My Soundtrack post was over 900, so I'm optimistic.) My short term goal is to get to 1000/day by Sept.

So far, I've had a bit of a handicap (besides a full-time job). For those who haven't written fiction, there's two main strategies. Outlining, where you map out your story, then then go from that direction and flesh it out. Then there's discovery writers, who start with an element (character, scene, conflict, etc), then sit, type, and see where they wind up.

I've tried outlining this story, but somehow, my brain won't work it out. So I sit and type and see where it takes me. It's kinda like walking at night with a flashlight, I only see a few feet ahead, and figure it out as I get to it. So as I truck-along, I'm not only progressing the story and choosing my words, I'm discovering characters, naming them, and figuring out their role, taking up valuable writing time!

I figure that this way, I'll have a LOT of editing to do; this bad boy will need to be tightened right the hell up, because much of what I'm churning out won't serve the story, except in my own comprehension of it.

It would help mightily if I could do all of this in my head, and just spend my writing time producing something that's closer to a finished product. When I put the process down like this, it makes it look like I should try harder to outline. But I've heard that Steven King is a discovery writer, and Dan Brown said that he writes ten pages for every one he keeps. Maybe there's something to it.

What say you? How do you crank out your work?

15 comments:

  1. I outline and just do a little writing a day, probably 500 words or so. Glad you're back into it!

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  2. I try to write a poem a day, ( not so demanding of a writer of novels), mostly I write about what has happened in my life or what I'm expecting to happen.
    Please you are back into writing once more.

    Yvonne.

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  3. I clear out a month and do an entire project in that time, like an entire rewrite of a novel, or set the goal of 50,000 words of a new one. Don't sleep much, barely cook or do anything extra. I've only done it twice but it's worth it because then I have something to revise and edit for the next 6 months. In November I'll try this with a new idea I've got. Mainly, it's important to remember that you're writing will be really really bad at first (well, mine is) but still you gotta get it out there. Good luck with your wip (charming title)

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  4. Good for you getting back to the writing. Easy does it at first until you establish the rhythm and the habit--at least that's a good way to look at it in my opinion.

    I tend to do a combination of discovery and planning. I like to write like I imagine the reader sees the story. An element of surprise helps increase my interest level. However, a general outline needs to be in place so I have a idea of where I'm going and where I came from so I don't get totally lost along the way.

    Good luck!

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  5. Lately its been whenever I can. I few minutes here, a half hour there. Life is trying at the moment but I expect things to be smoothed out in the very near future.

    Stephen Tremp

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  6. I was told a brilliant way of writing. Plan your novel out like you would an essay. Your Beginning, middle and End. However many chapters you want in your novel, thats how many points you bring up. For each point write a chapter and in the end vowla you have yourself a finished product

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  7. Glad to hear that you've deciding to get back in the game and not let your WIP die. Keep forging ahead.

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  8. I don't have the patience or willpower to write anything over and above my blog - Maybe one day!

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  9. Very glad you're back to it, Will! And if you have a HABIT of it, the word count will increase--I know my first novel was about at the pace you're describing, and it had a couple lapses where I wrote very little, and even when i was going, think I was averaging 300-500 words a day (now I average 1000-1500 without much more time). There is a learning curve going on, but I have no doubt you can do it and it will get easier.

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  10. 10 pages for everyone he keep? Not me. I know what I want to write and just write it. I do have mu Junkyard to store spare parts, but eventually I'll use just about everything.

    Stephen Tremp

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  11. wow nowhere near that :( I'm happy for you though, but it stresses me out realising how little I actually get done!

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  12. Will if you click on Alex's name which is underlined then that will give you the link to his page with the trailer on.

    Yvonne.

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  13. Congrats on getting back on track! I love your description, walking at night with a flashlight.
    I feel that way about my art, drawing, painting, mixed media and etc. Keep at it...

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