Monday, April 30, 2007

Today's Efforts

Absolutely abyssmal. I got nothing accomplished. Days like this are such a frustrating waste.


There is an author's board I frequent that has had an ongoing post about whether or not to use outlines in your writing. General consensus seems to be, if it feels good, do it.

I did not have an outline when I started writing this book. I barely had a complete storyline in mind. Mostly, I had a character in mind, and the story has kind of written itself around her. However, due to my out-of-order writing technique with this one, as I near the end I found myself in need of an outline to see JUST where I had holes to fill.

So, one day in a meeting here at work (while I should have been taking notes instead) I scribbled one down. And now I sit here, looking at this now-tattered piece of paper that has been highlighted and whited-out and scribbled on and crossed out and... Oi. I see at least three chapters marked "Something needs to happen here" with no idea WHAT. I just know there needs to be a break in the previous action. A literary breather, so to speak. There are five more chapters that are half written, and have the basic sequence of events at least in my head. And sadly, in one of the two big climactic chapters, though I know what needs to happen... It is still largely a vague fog.

I am not going to have this book finished by my self-imposed deadline of April 30th. This obviously means I must pick a new deadline. How does June 30th sound? Only six months after my original deadline of Christmas '06.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Today's Efforts

Well, I finished the "filler" that was driving me batty all day. So, that's the second half of a truly irritating chapter done. I have about another chapter and a half to write, and that will mean I have the first 18 consecutive* chapters done.

*realize that I have found that writing the book totally out of order** is the best way for me to prevent writer's block. So, though I have 28 out of 35 chapters done, there are gaping holes in the middle that prevent the novel from being complete. I'm at the stage of patching those holes, now.

**yes, this does present some revision issues when I realize that the chapter 26 that I wrote last month was totally just superseded by the chapter 13 I cranked out yesterday. But I'm making do.


Today, I struggle with filler. These are the paragraphs/scenes/chapters that need to take place, either because information needs to be relayed, time needs to pass, or because your characters (and readers) simply need a chance to take a breath. But there are no large plot developments, no sweeping action sequences, no key piece to the mystery to make it exciting. At best, it is used to further character development in an unguarded moment, or a bout of nostalgia as they remember the past.

I hate filler.

I know it needs to happen, and I know I can relay some very good information and depth in those pieces, but I still have this lingering suspicion that some one is going to read this and think "Boooooring!" I think it's boring, and I wrote it!

Still, as Chie keeps telling me, crap can be revised. Blank pages cannot.

In the Beginning

Here I am, Loquacious Me. Wife, mother, author in progress. See how I tackle runaway characters (damn that free will!)! Marvel as I conquer habitual grammatical errors (damn that comma splice!)! Boggle as I babble incessantly on my various neuroses (one of which is trying to identify just what really is wrong with me)!

(Ponder how my beta readers can stand to be around me for more than three minutes sat a time! Everyone say hi to Oria, Theo and Chie. Hi, guys!)

As it stands, I am 8-ish chapters and polish away from finishing my first novel. This means I currently have 71,575 words of brain spew on paper. (well...on harddrive) The goal is approximately 100,000 words, and/or 35 chapters. It remains to be seen how close I fall to that goal, considering that earlier this week I deleted an entire chapter and rearranged three others because one of my characters threw a tantrum (Primadonna. Oi.).

If I can complete this one, it will be the first in a trilogy. I intend to write the second one while in the process of doing agent queries and the like on the first. I have picked out my Dream Agency that I would like to represent me, the Holy Grail of agents, as it were. Most likely, once I get a rejection letter from them, I will pick a new Dream Agency. I am nothing if not practical. (Buy that? Nah, neither did I)

At any rate, this is my blog. Yet another thing to do instead of doing my Real Job (tm).