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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » September 14, 2009, Did you Write?

Author Topic: September 14, 2009, Did you Write?
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September 14, 2009, Did you Write?

Over the past weeks, I have seen many of you have finished a piece. Congratulations. Many of you have also thanked me for this note. I thank you very much. I post this whether it is read or not, though It is more fun when I know someone reads it.
Having a regular goal to aim for seams to help many of us. It helps me some when I am at the edge of writing or not writing. When there is no way to write, or I have a lot of time to write, it won't matter.
AS to writing, Any new writing is writing, Editing and rewriting is even more writing than the original creation. I am not a Robert Heinlein, who Isaac Asimov said, could write it perfect the first time. Isaac had to rewrite it once to get it right. For me, fifty or a hundred times might get it there, or might be heading the wrong way long before I get it good enough.
Poetry, article writing, writing assignments, blogging, are also writing, as are Character or world building if something gets on paper. E-mails can also be writing, if it is very wordy and pertains to writing or story.
Please note that these are suggestions. Not everybody will accept all this list of things as writing, and there might be others that you can justify as writing that has not been listed.

As for me, I had sent a section of my Waxy dragon story to my writing partner and she gave me some fantastic suggestions as additions to the story. I had already processed in rearranging some fo the scenes and adding more. I went back and made changes based on her suggestions and I think it really snapped the story together. I think I have averaged an hour a night on this, which is not really much, but it does get things going well. I took the story, with heavy rewriting, zapping and adding, from page 34 to page 38. That ends up almost 3000 words added to it. This is my best writing to date.
One problem I have, is that I just want to tell about the action. I seldom give scenery, details, build the world around what is happening, show the character, or give motivation. I am spending the time, pulling it out of me by the teeth, to get the story to fill out the way it is supposed to be. It is kind of exciting. I have always been more interested in getting to the end and get it over with so I can go to the next project.
With the Waxy dragon story series, there are many holes, stories that need to be written between the stories I already have written, to answer some questions suggested but not shown. This rewriting has added many new solutions to the missing stories, and makes for a bit more excitement in rewriting the series, which will eventually be done. I have about sixty stories right now, but if I follow the plans I have, there will be over two hundred stories when done. These, hopefully, end up being children stories, each short story is both stand alone, but also part of a series. Some might be combined into a novel form too, depending on the stories and the publishing results, if it ever gets to that point.
They are a fun project to write and it is an enjoyable universe to play in.

I am doing all right on the story ideas. I had to dig into the compost pile this week for posts, but got four concepts to add to it yesterday and today. This brings me back up to 38 story concepts in my compost pile, including today's post. I am one idea behind for the month, and because I have a turning club meeting Thursday, I will fall two story ideas behind by Friday unless I get caught up.
The turning club meeting means I have to get one of my projects to a presentable level before the meeting, and I am still excited about working on the Waxy story, so It will likely wait until the weekend to get caught up and ahead.
My story ideas and older Waxy dragon stories are at
http://www.xprodigy.net/board/index.php go to WRITER'S ROOST. or go directly to
http://www.xprodigy.net/board/viewforum.php?f=9&sid=32e09475b74d990042e79cb73108c5a1 The waxy dragon stories are in the oldest pages posted, and work their way out from there.

I went to a orchid show this weekend. It was at a botanical garden. I love the variations of the foliage the gardens had. But when we got to the tents with the orchids, I drooled over the blasts of color that was available. I have my favorite colors, and tones of colors, but there was something for just about everyone. There was also different shapes and sizes to entice different people.
I remember hearing someone from a poorly developed area of America where she said that during Christmas, they would take Cigar wrappers and other shiny and colorful things and put them on their Christmas tree. During the winter, anything with color and shine was a pleasure form what they normally saw.
I also remember reading that the early American settlers painted everything wood. Now days, we strip the paint off everything so we can see the wood. The difference in times was back then, they wanted to see color because wood was everywhere. Now we want to see wood because color is everywhere.
To put this into a story idea, The people live in a place where all there is, is a dark stone or metal. The furniture is even made of stone or metal. They do have fabrics, but it is a natural grey color and they have no way to dye the cloth.
Their plants are either straw colored or green, nothing that "flowers" unless it is white.
Once a year, a starchy fruit that is the main basis of their diet goes into flower. There are several variety of trees, and they have male and female trees. The flowers come out in a bright blast of color in the morning and the color changes during the day. They flower for about a week and then the color is gone.
The day the trees flower becomes a special holiday for the people. They gather the flowers that fall to the ground and bring them inside and decorate their homes with them. Wilted, dried up, the flowers are nothing like what they saw when they were fresh, but it is the most color the people see. Because the plants are their main food source, they don't harvest very many fresh flowers.
The flowers are sometimes stitched together into quilt like sheets and hung on the wall for a month, before they fall apart and have to be tossed.
When the trees bloom, it has become a religious holiday, they get to see the eye blowing color and also it signals that their main source of food will produce another year.
One of their most serious punishment is that they are forbidden to see the trees in flower, nor are they allowed to see the cloths made from the blossoms. Since it is one week a year, it is as serious punishment. The rest of their year, they see only greys, greens and browns.

As to the question of the week,
Yes I did write!!!

Did you write?

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Yes, I did. The first draft of BLOOD WILL TELL is now complete at 70K words. That's about 15.5K words for the week. It's about time to let this one rest a bit.

I'm about to go back into revision mode on both THE SHAMAN'S CURSE (using the checklists from SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS) and THE IGNORED PROPHECY.

And maybe I'll work on a short story idea.

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Meredith - congrats!!

I wrote a complete short story (5800 words) which I'm going to sit on for a few weeks then try to spiffy up for WotF next quarter. Other editing happened on various short stories/novels/general ideas-in-progress but I didn't keep track of the specifics.

I also spent an entire day wandering around in the middle of a tallgrass prairie taking notes about everything I saw, heard, felt, etc. Nearly tripped over my own feet a couple of times and scared a bunny-rabbit (err... Eastern Cottontail) out of its little wits, but I'm SO back on track to work on TSB again (which stalled out a few months ago due to world-building issues).

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Robert Nowall
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A couple of sessions, performing some minor revision to my existing work---roughly, I've gotten to page fifteen of a fifty-page manuscript (even though it's all in computer files, and even though I jump around here and there in the manuscript.)

I've mentioned a "gaping flaw" in it a couple of times---I think, in my head at least, I've got a solution. But it requires major revisions, and lengthy ones---I might turn ten thousand words into a hundred thousand to do it.

I'm tempted...maybe later...but I think I'll revise this as is and send it out as is, gaping flaw or not. I'll save the revision for later.

Meanwhile I've got a few other ideas to write out some notes on...

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2500 words this week. A good one for me. All on my WotF entry.
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Got a bit done on my "fallen star" story on the 14th, working on a crit today.
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Meredith, how are you able to output so many words? It blows my mind. Congrats.

I rewrote the doomed story that so downed me last week. After sending it out for a few crits I realize that it still needs some work but the new version is much better and doesn't have the fatal flaw. The problems now seems to be about pacing.

I haved also tap-tapped a little on a story that I have to work hard on to get into the character's head. I've got a lead now though so I'm hoping to do a lot more on that this week.

I'm coming to realize that short fiction might not truly be my thing. Well, at least not by the ideals that are set forth here. I have worked so much on my novel in the last year that it seems my pacing for shorts has faltered. Often, it seems that my 'action' starts shortly after the first thirteen. However, the set up is not something I feel should be cut.

I just posted the first thirteen for my WIP that is the origin story for my novel's villain. It starts with a battle but that's only two brief paragraphs. The hook is at the end of the second paragraph and the heavy character stuff starts immediately in the next section. So none of this is in the first thirteen. Of course this is going to be long for a short story, 9000 words or so, and the pacing will be slower. The thing is, I know I need to show that battle but I'll probably be told here that I don't have enough of a hook.

Oh well. I'm not trying to whine. It's just my current quandry where I'm divided between wanting critique and assistance and needing to know when the story is right whether it fits the ideal format here or not.

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I wrote. Not as much as I wanted to, and I diverted from my "novel only" admonition into short fiction again. I managed a little more than a thousand words of fiction 'on page' this week, a dozen or so pages in my ideas notebook, and a Saturday afternoon wallowing through old chapters/storylines, compiling them into what I hope is a solid platform for launching the rest of the story. Hopefully I'll continue to do a little better each week and form some good habits.
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I wrote another 5K words for my novel plus a 5K short that I shelved as it started to grow in my mind into something larger. Two flashes and I finished up my WotF entry.

So, yes, I did.

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Way to go! Sounds like an intensely productive week.
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I've made progress on the new outline for my novel. This week I'm focusing on the story arcs for another point of view character. I consider this progress despite the fact that I'm not getting any of the novel written.

So far I like this technique of working backwards from the end and moving toward the beginning of the novel. However, the real test of this technique will happen once I finish the book. Hopefully this outline technique has helped me develop a plausible story.


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Robert Nowall
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Well, when I'm producing new words, I see a good day as one where I produce five hundred words. A great day is one where I double that to a thousand.

Kinda a habit I picked up in my typewriting days, where I read that Frederik Pohl wrote four pages a day, come what may, day in and day out. That probably comes to about twelve hundred words, but I can't sustain the day-in-day-out part of it.

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The 14th I sent my entry off to WOTF. Right now I'm writing a brand new, never thought of sf story at a minimum of 200 words a day. It's another one set on Mars, or rather above Mars, I think.

No outline. I've no idea where this is going. It's almost like I'm reading it myself, only I'm not.

Since it's a first draft, it doesn't have to be good or even make that much sense. I love first drafts. There's no pressure on me beyond meeting the number of new words added each day.

Editing is a beast, of course. But that's someone else's job. Me, some other day.

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Yes I did. And its been a long time since I can say it. Did a couple rewrites, and a new flash.
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Goal for next week: Write. I still need to work on the first 20 of my novel.

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Yes. About 500 words on a flash during an hour long car ride. And I did some world building/plotting for a web-comic my brothers and I are putting together. Do web comics count?
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I did, thank you. I am going over adding a little tension to my story. I have been taking it too easy on my characters, I think. Poor things are about to writhe a little.

I am learning a lot from all you guys. Thank you very much!

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