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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » November 01, 2010, Did You Write?

Author Topic: November 01, 2010, Did You Write?
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November 01, 2010, Did You Write?

This is a place to brag about your accomplishments, cry about your failures, and otherwise tell about what is going on in your life.
There are many among us who write every day, sometimes thousands of words a day. There are many among us who will write a thousand words in year. The hope of this note is to get those who don't write much, to write more often.

The way this note is supposed to work is that those of the board report on what is going on in writing and life, whether anything is happening or not. One then sees the note coming up each Monday, and realize "I have not written yet this week." To keep from having to say "No, I didn't write," one opens something, anything, and gets some words down on some project so that you can proudly say Yes, I did write!
If one does this every week, one ends up with a body of work, possibly a finished piece in the process. One becomes a WRITER, rather than a writer. It has helped me over a period of time to keep working on something.

We are not picky in how much one writes, or what one writes. The word count is meaningless especially when one is editing, particularly to reduce words for publication.
New writing is always writing. Editing of any kind is writing, even if it is the work of someone else. Critiquing is writing also.
Poetry, writing assignments, technical writing, blogging, article writing, character and world development, are also writing. E-mails can be writing, as long as they pertain to story or writing, and are wordy. There are many of these you won't think is writing, and you might think of something else. It is up to you. If you have to ask if it is writing, my answer is YES.

I finished an edit of my first Waxy story and fired it off to a publisher. It will be a while before he gets to it. I am in contact with someone who is on the inside and knows how busy the big man is.
I am working on my second waxy and have my characters at the final battle. This is going to be interesting as to how to get this done. My tendency is to have my characters walk through danger as if they are an innocent bystander. This has to be a serious battle, but I don’t want either side harmed. My character refuses to do permanent harm and I don't want my main characters banged up bad or worse.
The next hard part is to transition from the battle to the ending I am after without logging back on all the words I am zapping.
I have listed nearly 4000 words added, but I zapped a big section of text while I was at it. Really only a little detail past where I am right now will be used and the rest will be zapped, The total document is at 59 pages, but I had removed at least four pages in the process. When done, I will have to do some heavy cutting in my next edit pass, but right now I am telling the story.

On the story idea front, I finished another month of story ideas. I posted 32 story ideas in 31 days. That extra story idea caught me up for September where I ended an idea short due to my vacation. (it has been a month already?)
Those 32 story ideas took up 36 pages and amounted to 20623 words. A far cry from the 50+ pages I used to aim for. It is still presentable.
Many people want to write something but cannot come up with what to write. The design of my story ideas is to be a place where an author can browse and possibly find concepts that might spark their imagination. It could be in the core concept, or on the presentation, or on something mentioned in the presentation. They are offered as public domain and the hope is that not one of the concepts go to waste. I had learned long ago that people love to just read them for the fun of reading. That also is good too.
Including what I am posting tonight, I have 46 story ideas in my compost pile. I go periods without anything, then will get a bunch in a day or so. I love those multi idea days. I hate it when I get an idea and then forget it completely before I can write it down. I had one idea where I came up with it three times before I finally got it on paper. I could not write it down the other times. I hate that. At least I remembered it.

Last week, I got a catalog with figurines that were interesting. I figured out how to make them easily in wood. I wanted to remove the excess wood with power, and decided the lathe would do the job. Saturday, I carved and then painted three of the figures and they were good. I decided to make a little change and made the modified (more carving) figurines on Sunday. I now have two of my for kinds of Christmas ornaments.
Back in 2003, I saw an article on making bells, snowmen and Christmas trees on the lathe. I tried making them but my lathe kept dying. I decided I could make them by carving. I also made some sleighs. I had a bunch of them made and decided I would make a dozen of each of them. I almost had them done when it dawned on me I was making 48 pieces. At that time, it was a lot. I have tried to make as many each year ever since. The past few years I have had problems with coming up with ideas so I have come up short.
Nowadays, with experience, it has not been a real project. I have half of both figurines made already. I still have to come up with two more designs to finish this year's collection, and there are some old designs I need more of.

To take above to a story idea, Consider a world where children are not born. They are created. This could be a world of androids or robots.
One man is the maker. I picture him built into a machine and lives forever. At a specific time of year, he makes the children of the society. there are two bloodlines in the society and he makes male and female of each bloodline. He is supposed to work year around, but the supplies are slow to come so what he does is accumulate supplies until he has enough, and then takes three months to make all the children the society needs each year.
Lately, complaints have come in that he is causing the population to age, to get smaller. No one is sure if he is having supply problems, time problems, or is getting old and feeble. The society is worried.
What his real problem is, is that he is supposed to come up with brand new personalities with each baby, and different physical attribute combinations, preferably no repeats. His problem is that he is having difficulty coming up with new. His only records is for popular, well known, and leaders in society, mainly to avoid that combination again. (Feeling lazy today, I think I will develop this concept farther for a story idea. that gives me 47 ideas including this one in my compost pile)

As to the question of the week,
I can honestly say



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Yes, once again mostly revisions and a couple of crits. And two blog posts.
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Yes, I fixed/rewrote Chapter 3 of my current novel and did a bunch of crits.
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I wrote. More than I have been. I managed to get over 800 words on Sunday for one novel. Not sure how many for the rest of the week. Nor how many on the other novels. I managed to start new chapters in two novels. Third one though I didn't. Today so far written over 2,200 words on a new novel I started fro NaNo.

I did two or three crits, finished revising one story, and revised another one even though that one didn't take long.

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10k for last week and almost finished the first draft of this WIP. I did an initial edit on the last one but still need to shave a bit off it. I also got the plot finished for the next one.

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Robert Nowall
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Had a pretty good week, even though it was back to work and back to sleeping days and working nights (or trying to sleep days while working nights.)

Five hundred words a day, Tuesday through Thursday, skipped Friday (always busy for me), five hundred Saturday, a thousand on Sunday, and skipped (the also-busy) Monday.

I think I write more when I'm inspired. What this elusive thing "inspiration" is, I'm not certain. But I'm engaged with the work, I like the characters, and expect to bring it to a conclusion in one or two thousand words.

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Yes, I did write. I tried (AGAIN!) to find the proper beginning for my novel. I have the whole thing outlined, and some of it written, except I can't find the beginning. I have been trying for several years now to figure out where to start, with no luck. ARG.
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Since I suppose this includes the first day of NaNo, I wrote about 12,000 words this week. A LARGE flash, a LARGE chunk to start NaNo and various edits on current WIP. A busy week, indeed.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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sojoyful, you don't have to start with the beginning. You don't have to write any of your novel in the order in which it will be read. (They don't necessarily film movie scenes in the order in which they will be viewed, after all.)

Since you have it outlined, go ahead and write the parts that you are most excited about first, and then the next parts you are excited about, and so on--you can smooth it all together in the rewrite.

And you can write the beginning last, if you have to.

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Or, you can just take whatever you have as a beginning, stop stressing about it, and go on. You can figure out where the story really begins after you get to THE END. Sometimes it just is necessary to get some stuff out of your head and onto the page before you can move on. Then cut it in the second draft.
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Yes, but I didn't spend the week writing what I wished.

For a recently completed novel, I wrote a query letter (thanks to all Forum Members for their input) and 5-page synopsis and forwarded them to Penguin (UK) before their 31 OCT deadline. I'd have preferred running hurdles naked.

I formatted and submitted a short story to the magazine I last submitted to so very long ago. I feel like a penitent before a priest (well, as much as a Jew can imagine): "It has been thirty-four years since my last submission..."

Admittedly, spending the time learning and crafting my first query letter, novel synopsis, cover letter, manuscript submission format (both for snail mail and email) in over three decades was necessary experience, equivalent to when I was trained to percutaneously drain abscesses under ultrasound or CT guidance. Important skills. Just not pleasant ones.

In the half-dream state in which I awoke this morning, however, my mind did present me with the opening of Act 2 of The Golem of Chester Court and a new story outline tentatively titled Ghostwriter (possibly a post-Samhain treat for me ). Now I just need to find the time (and energy) to write them while working full-time. Then again, if I was not posting here on my lunch break...

Dr. Bob

[This message has been edited by History (edited November 02, 2010).]

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