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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Did you write 2016?

   
Author Topic: Did you write 2016?
rstegman
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This can be about recently or over the past year.

for the year, except for the wood working diary I post each weekend, I have written half a story. It is in strictly rough draft with loads of details missing. Most of it was written in like five sessions.

My writing time has been curtailed for the most part. it is hard to write when you only have a few hours each night to do everything including meals and getting ready for the next day. Also, My full time work has been more consistent. When I was writing more, I often left work early, which added up to writing time during the week.

This next year might not be spectacular for writing. I will will have to see.


did you write?

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Robert Nowall
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Minimal. Most of what I did this year didn't seem very satisfactory...and it's been completely shut down since October. I've had a fair amount of distracting problems, and, frankly, am starting to look at my literary career with a certain amount of regret.
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extrinsic
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2016 was a year of writing epiphanies per moi. Writing research, investigation, experimentation, and application that bore fruit revolved around a question inspired by other study: what is literature's social function? Answers started as sparse raindrops and became a deluge. Treaded water for a time, found a dry peak atop a submerged summit, stood upon a clear place above the deep-fathomed abyss. 2017 is my year of ascendance from sea level.

The answer!? Moral truth persuasion such that any given narrative, through an assortment of extended irony selection types, shares social-moral behavior information, instruction, direction, adjustment, correction, and castigation -- Naturalism's rejections notwithstood: "action, inclination, or thought based only on natural desires or instincts" (Webster's 11th) and that Naturalism's conventions as such entail pessimistic nihilism: "a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless" (Webster's). Especially moral values and beliefs.

Curious how a negation opposite (antithesis) assertion premise can reveal much about its positive opposite affirmation (thesis) premise.

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M.J. Larsen
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I did! I've been working on a co-authored book about Native American artifacts. The biggest challenge has been the blending of two very busy in-matched schedules.
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Meredith
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Yes!

I completed the first draft and revisions and published the fourth (and last) book in my DUAL MAGICS series, WAR OF MAGIC.

And I'm 42K into the next book.

[Big Grin]

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Disgruntled Peony
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I completed two new short stories, edited the two I wrote last year into better shape, and started a novella (still very much a WIP).

(I hope to be more productive this year, but I'm not going to feel guilty if production remains slow.)

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Grumpy old guy
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Have I written? I guess that depends on what you mean. If it means putting down consecutive words that form sentences, paragraphs, and chapters in a story, then the answer is an emphatic no. However, I have not been idle. Discounting designing a dozen different dinner menus that are wholesome, simple, and easy to cook, yet indescribably delicious, I have spent the majority of my time thinking about writing and storytelling. And yes, they are separate concepts in my mind. Writing is simply the mechanics of storytelling, storytelling itself is the creation not only of a relationship between storyteller and listener (reader) but an exploration of what it is that draws us to stories and why we love them.

To give you an idea of the types of things I have been considering, my first writing epiphany was achieving a greater and more complete understanding of the power of the correct choice of viewpoint than I previously had. I then began extrapolating those principles into finding just the right moment at which to start a story.

My second epiphany that encompassed both writing and storytelling was the idea that a story is not a single narrative arc but multiple. There is the narrative arc, call it plot if you will, and the character's arc. Tension within a story is created and heightened by having both the narrative and character arcs out of sync, even oscillating, and the greater the disconnect and inner turmoil the greater the narrative (story) tension.

Another aspect of writing I am currently considering is seriousness. Huh? I hear you say. To quote Aristotle: Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude. Freytag also mentions seriousness: The action of the serious drama must possess importance and magnitude. And I'm trying to work out what they actually mean by serious; it certainly isn't the obvious.

Then there are other, more nebulous, concepts I'm thinking about: creating trust between writer and reader, finding out what your own story is really about, and deciding when enough of something, setting, description, exposition, back-story, character, conflict, etc., is enough; too little is confusing and short changes the reader, and too much bores the heck out of them.

And that's what I was doing last year. This year I hope to actually start writing again. [Smile]

Phil.

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LDWriter2
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Yes I did.

These probably won't be in any order because I don't remember what order they came in or what part of the year I wrote them-mostly. The first one is an a exception;


I wrote one 51,000 words novel in Nov.

A number of flash stories based on various pictures throughout the year. One set were 590 to 598 words each. I say were because I have expended on many of them. Two more and I plan on putting them together in an anthology. Maybe 12 to 16 this year.

A few shorter stories based on the pictures. About eight.

A few longer short stories-not sure how many 4 to 8 I may come back if I can remember more of them.

Four or so partial short stories I need to finish.

I worked on two ongoing novels maybe three.

I am more than three fourths if the way through revising last year's NaNO novel but I will add another chapter I think.

Wrote out a few blog posts throughout the year and now FaceBook posts.

A couple letters to the editor too.

Seems like there was something else so as I said earlier I may come back and add to this.

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Kathy_K
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2016 was the busiest year for me in terms of writing that I've had in over a decade. I got accepted into a Creative Writing MFA program, and so there has been a tremendous amount of writing involved in that. In addition to that work, however, I finished a novel (~91k), worked on revising it for a while before recognizing/admitting that it is a typical hot mess of a first novel. I uncoupled my ego from it, trunked it, and moved on to other projects. I've written one full short horror story. I've begun two other short scifi stories, neither of which I am liking very much. And I've discovery written a couple chapters of two very different stories, both of which I envision as novels. Lastly, as part of a course I began in August called "The Artist's Way," I started journaling daily, first thing in the morning. I've found journaling to be a very enjoyable writing experience. That was my 2016. My hope is that I'll finish my second novel in 2017, and I hope that it will be significantly better than my first novel (which was a worthwhile endeavour if only for the learning experience.)
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extrinsic
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Within writing program culture is an observation: three novels written before the next one sticks. One across writing culture overall is one million crafted words first before an apprenticeship transcends into a writing career. One more from MFA is ten years post graduation before it all gels. Exceptions notwithstood -- about one in ten thousand or so. Meantime, life's distractions take their tolls. And learning artful, amply appealing writing is a marathon, not a sprint.
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telflonmail
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I did not reach my writing goals in number of words, but I believe my output was of better quality with less revisions required.

I did less random blogging and set time limits on internet blogs that did not provide compensation. I now maintain lists of user ids on certain sites that I ignore as they ramble on or provide no meaningful content or are argumentative for no valid reason. This has saved me time in getting through blogs that are still of interest.

I met all deadlines for content contributions and stayed ahead of the game with backup content which was used only once.

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Kathy_K
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quote:
Originally posted by extrinsic:
Within writing program culture is an observation: three novels written before the next one sticks. One across writing culture overall is one million crafted words first before an apprenticeship transcends into a writing career. One more from MFA is ten years post graduation before it all gels. Exceptions notwithstood -- about one in ten thousand or so. Meantime, life's distractions take their tolls. And learning artful, amply appealing writing is a marathon, not a sprint.

Completely agree with all of this. That hasn't been said to us by anyone in my program, but I've heard as much from so many successful authors. Things like, "I wrote seven novels before I wrote a good one," or "it takes 5 to 10 years before it really congeals." That's why I celebrate letting go of that first novel I wrote. Being able to mentally uncouple from it and move on means I'm progressing. Baby steps, right?
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Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by Kathy_K:
quote:
Originally posted by extrinsic:
Within writing program culture is an observation: three novels written before the next one sticks. One across writing culture overall is one million crafted words first before an apprenticeship transcends into a writing career. One more from MFA is ten years post graduation before it all gels. Exceptions notwithstood -- about one in ten thousand or so. Meantime, life's distractions take their tolls. And learning artful, amply appealing writing is a marathon, not a sprint.

Completely agree with all of this. That hasn't been said to us by anyone in my program, but I've heard as much from so many successful authors. Things like, "I wrote seven novels before I wrote a good one," or "it takes 5 to 10 years before it really congeals." That's why I celebrate letting go of that first novel I wrote. Being able to mentally uncouple from it and move on means I'm progressing. Baby steps, right?
I'm not gonna lie, statistics like this intimidate and depress me.
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extrinsic
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Those are anecdotal as much as proverbial sayings, germs of truth, less so if at all statistics. Depressing as those may be, exceptions breakout debut too. I study why any one work and writer stand out from the fray. A generic reason is compelling public interest -- and few shortfalls that disrupt the general reader reading experience. A subtle factor is often the works evince not having to unlearn convenient habits that delay success and stand in the way of appeals. Also, a skilled editor is often involved.

Originally posted by Kathy_K:
"That's why I celebrate letting go of that first novel I wrote. Being able to mentally uncouple from it and move on means I'm progressing. Baby steps, right?"

Yes, though letting go is a seven-league stride, what with the heavy emotional investment a novel accrues -- well, any size creative work. Writing program culture doesn't inform student writers about the journey's heartaches; that would interfere with the assembly line's job security.

When I raised those anecdotal points, I was put off by instructor, administrator, and classmate alike. Not by my advisor-instructors, who expended a touchstone class time on those matters, more delicately than I. I face hard truths as much as I am able. Truth is as compelling a want as a problem for their congruent motivational antagonisms (complication) to me. And the success and failure conflict stakes are high.

[ January 05, 2017, 04:14 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Not a statistic, more of a factoid:

I understand that Brandon Sanderson completed 10 novels before he felt he had written one that might sell. And all that practice did him a world of good.

I believe he may have been able to go back and use things from those first 10 novels in his subsequent work, but keeping at it through that many books fits with the 10,000 hours of practice/learning as described by Malcolm Gladwell in his book.

It may not be necessary to write 10 novels before you have one good enough to send to an editor or agent, but if you are dedicated to doing that if necessary, you are more likely to achieve your writing goals. It may be the dedication that matters as much as the word count.

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LDWriter2
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quote:
Originally posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury:
Not a statistic, more of a factoid:

I understand that Brandon Sanderson completed 10 novels before he felt he had written one that might sell. And all that practice did him a world of good.

I believe he may have been able to go back and use things from those first 10 novels in his subsequent work, but keeping at it through that many books fits with the 10,000 hours of practice/learning as described by Malcolm Gladwell in his book.

It may not be necessary to write 10 novels before you have one good enough to send to an editor or agent, but if you are dedicated to doing that if necessary, you are more likely to achieve your writing goals. It may be the dedication that matters as much as the word count.

As I have heard he isn't the only one with that idea even though, most don't wait until the 11th book to feel that way. I know you are not suggesting we do wait that long but you are right about keeping the goal of writing in front of us is good, and practicing as you learn is also good.

Of course then there are those of us who feel that way with book one.

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Robert Nowall
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Gotta wonder whether he submitted them or not.
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extrinsic
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Stephen King's four Richard Bachman novels were published after his ascendance though initially drafted before he became an accomplished writer. King notes that those drafts were substantively revised before publication.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
Gotta wonder whether he submitted them or not.

Sanderson? I don't think he has, though, as I mentioned, he may have mined from the earlier attempts.
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Robert Nowall
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Well, when I've just finished (or abandoned) something, it burns a hole in my pocket till I send it off---even though I don't think much of it, or think it's really bad...
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LDWriter2
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
Well, when I've just finished (or abandoned) something, it burns a hole in my pocket till I send it off---even though I don't think much of it, or think it's really bad...

I used to be the same way but now I revise them and use them for a freebie on Google+ Some of them, others I still want to send out, if I ever get to that again.
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Reziac
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Got involved in a SecretProject with a NameBrandWriter and did about 10,000 words for that. Otherwise, not so much.
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