Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's October As Far As I'm Concerned

I usually hold out until the last gasp of a month before I decide on my goals for the next one. But after getting my feedback on TNN from CWC last night, I know I'll need the extra day or two to get where I need to be by the next meeting.

The group did it again. I don't think there was a single suggestion that I didn't think was valid. Even if a couple might have been contradictory, I knew where each person was coming from. And either way would work. It's just down to me on how I want to go.

My goals are listed on the left. As you can see, there is a lot of prep work to do before I actually get back to work on what's next. The time line is going to be tightened, which means deciding where to start the story for the most impact. I'm adding a job for the mother and a family member. I need to draw out a floor plan for each of the 3 (possibly 4) floors in the house so that I don't gain and lose space as I'm doing now.

I would be more frustrated with myself, but I'm learning that this is all part of my process. Would it be easier if I had a clearer idea of what the whole plot was when I started? Well, of course. But I seem to need to write at least half the book before I can really decide what it's about. Maybe I'll grow out of that as a writer. I kinda hope so. But, for now at least, the gang seems to be willing to go along with me.

October is going to be crazy. I have a lot of social events to attend--I know, poor me. There's the trip to visit family and friends in the middle of the month. And we need to schedule Ali's dinner for winning the race. I'm thinking after that, NaNoWriMo is a definite pass this year. Besides, Jenny pointed out that I really need to submit a complete and revised version of MMG to the group so they can evaluate what I've done with the feedback on that. And there are two other novels waiting for revision as well. It doesn't make sense to start something new until I'm really truly done with those.

So, no pressure.

Monday, September 28, 2009

So What Have We Learned?

What did I learn from the recent contest?

--That 3,000 words a day is a lot until someone you're competing with writes 10,000.
--That you don't necessarily have to be "in the mood" or "inspired" to write.
--However, certain scenes are easier (or at least less difficult) if you are "in the mood."
--I'm competitive, but also know my limits.
--That Murphy will rear his ugly head at inopportune times.
--That eliminating contractions bumps word count without a lot of pain. Kidding! A little bit.
--That it can be very satisfying to watch a friend whup ass.
--That writing very quickly helps quiet the Inner Heckler (which I already knew).
--That writing very quickly also may mean losing track of secondary characters, subplots and (more concerning) the protagonist's voice.
--That even with some of the things I dropped along the way, I'm still liking this story and my protagonist very much.
--That when you get in the habit of writing every day, it feels weird when you don't write for a day (which I also already knew, but needed to be reminded of).
--That it's good to have a prize that everyone gets to enjoy.

I'm sure I'll discover more as I continue working on TNN and other projects. It was hard and frustrating at times, but definitely worthwhile.

So, what can you push yourself to do over the next 2 weeks?