January Thirtieth, Twenty twelve, Did You Write?
While the month is not quite done, another week has passed us by. For those new to these notes, the idea is that you post here each week about what is going on in your life to get you to post every week, and to report how you did in your writing. The hope is that if you keep posting that you failed to do any writing, the perceived shame will force you to open something during the week just so you can report that you did something. Doing that will become a habit and you will produce something after a period of time. Not all habits are bad. I will say that having to write these notes and say I did not write, really bothered me during a slow period. It is so much nicer to report positively.
How much you write is not important. It cam be one word or tens of thousands of words. When editing, your word count might not change much or even go backwards. While high word counts are nice, they might not be necessary to say you really worked.
As to what is writing, We all know that new writing is writing. Editing is also writing. I generally write by editing anyway. I get something on paper then expand it in many passes until it becomes something worth reading. Editing the work of others also counts as writing. Critiquing is a form of editing and therefore is also writing. Poetry, technical writing, blogging, writing assignments, synopsis, world or character creation are all forms of writing. E-mails and board posts can be also writing if they are very wordy and pertain to story or writing. The real answer as to what is writing, if you have to ask, the answer is yes.
As for me, I did write. I only have a word count of 1250 for the week on my second Spirit of Vengeance story. I did a lot of editing on what I had. I also blasted out the plotting for my story to give me an idea of what scenes I needed to hit and get a better feeling for what the story is to accomplish. My original concept for this story was simply the lead up to a big fight. When I wrote out my first story to a publishable level, the first story shifted dramatically. In order to include those changes, this second story had to change. My plotting made an even different shift in the story. I took the second scene of my plot line and made that my first, where you see this story's bad guy up close. In the first story, I showed scenes from other characters, but this time I will spend more time, showing what is going on behind the scenes. I have two major goals in this story. One is to have her nearly fail completely, and another is to have her solve some fairly minor problem or solve some mystery. The first one looks nearly impossible for me since my characters seem to walk through the problems untested.
ON the story idea front, My compost pile has 48 story ideas in it. The way this past week has gone, I don't feel like I dug into the pile very deep, but also don't feel like I came up with a whole lot of new ideas. I have a whole lot of good story ideas on the top of the stack to dig into. I would love to have a whole lot more really good ideas on the stack, but I generally come up with as many as I need all the time. We have a 31 day month and today is the 30th. I already wrote and will post tonight idea 31.I might write idea 32 tomorrow. That would be a good start for the year. I love to have extra in case I run into problems and fall behind a month or two. It has never happened. The few times I was unable to post such as on vacation, I made up for it during the next month.
On the personal front, the dragon carving is finally coming out of the wood. It is different than what I pictured, but I was not sure of how it was within the wood. I have told people over the years that master wood workers look into the wood and see the shape that was within the wood, and then just removes the wood hiding the form within. In the case of this dragon, There was interference with what I could see. I took out the paint brush and painted how the legs and tail were positioned and that allowed me to remove the wood fast. I was not worried about cutting wrong. The paint will go along with any natural surface. Ths piece of wood is rather interesting. I had picked up a U shaped slab of wood that I could barely move. I cut it in half so I could handle it. I immediately knew I wanted to carve a dragon out of a piece of that wood. I then saw a bark inclusion in part of the log and there was a branch sticking out on the end of the inclusion. I cut the wood off at the crack and instantly saw the dragon inside the wood. It is one thing to have a piece of wood that looks something like a dragon, and having something that is a dragon. I was a bit afraid of making the wrong cuts. Adding paint to show here the limbs were helped alot. I could just remove the wood where paint was not. Of course, because of the angle and position of the body, removing the excess wood is not as easy as it looked. This should be a rather interesting carving when done. I have about six more weeks before I have my art show where I want to display this carving. I intend to give it a generally smooth finish for now, and then add details such as scales some other time after the show when I have a whole lot more time. It is exciting to actually have something that really looks like a dragon now.
I did write, though very little actual draft. I wrote the start of a story yesterday, after the title of someone's blog post inspired me like it was a prompt.
That said, I finished the outline for Possession (book 2 in my Mirrors trilogy), which felt like... words fail me. I think I used them all up. Incredibly excited to write this one, but I'm tempering it a bit. I'm letting the outline sit for a few days while I make a last pass at Dark Mirror before it goes to my test readers. After that, time to reread the outline, see what I think and then possibly start another 30-day write-a-thon. Those suckers seem to work for me.
I also got my short story back from my test readers with some excellent feedback, most of which I acted on, and thankfully it was mostly on minor stuff. The only problem is that now that character, who is more of a supporting character in the Mirrors trilogy, and my test readers, are demanding he get his own book. And what happens? My brain takes up the challenge. Have I mentioned that there's already too much going on there (in my brain I mean)? Now I just have to decide whether I want to send it out for more feedback or just start submitting it. Decisions, decisions.
Oh, and a few blog posts. So, yeah, I guess a lot of words flying around over here, most of them splattering onto one screen or another.
I definitely wrote last week. A fraction over 7 thousand new words, finished a flash fiction story, made it 3/4th the way through editing one of my YA stories, posted a Bloggathah entry, and began outlining ideas for a new story. A good week, I'd say.