Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Behind the Scenes: Word Count

It may not be too exciting, but the past nine days I've been plugging away at my realistic and self assigned word count schedule for "30 Days of Writing".

It has definitely been a help to have the accountability of other writers, during these early stages. Getting stuck and wanting to just "can" it and try to think of something the next day doesn't work, when you need to check in for your daily achievements!

In fact, if I DON'T check in then I get a pleasant little e-mail saying "How are you doing on your word count, I didn't hear from you yesterday?" It's so sweet and benign to hear from our leader, Lacy, but yet so SEARING for the writer's conscience! So we are all getting ourselves in shape pretty fast. 

I'm actually writing less than I was last spring on a daily basis. Back then my quota was 500 words a day on anything, just to get in the habit of writing daily and consistently. That was good, but it's another form of new development to write a specific amount now, specifically on my book daily. That's a little harder, because let's face it some days I wake up not as "inspired" in where to go next with my story, as others. 

So far my WIP (work- in-progress) word count for October is 2,620! That's not a lot since I will be writing upwards of 1-2,000 words a day by the end of the novel, but for now it's a VERY good start!  Most of it was further developing my main characters and finalizing the cast of secondary characters to include. I also spent a day doing some fun research this week, but that will be for my next blog...

My non-writing challenge for YOU this week: Learn how to make Pasta from scratch!! (WE ARE in my cooking class tomorrow)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Unveiled and Exposed!

NO, that is NOT the name of my book in progress...
rather, it is announcing a new recurring topic for my blog. Along with an ongoing candid look at the life and process of creating a "maiden" novel, I am finally announcing the title I've given this work in progress!!

The red curtain swings open, revealing....

"Passport to Paris"

A talented British Intelligence Operative is left with
her past, the present, and a passport to Paris...
Texas that is!

Well, that's where I am right now, getting ready to schedule a trip to Paris, Texas!
There's not much to tell you about the writing stages I've gone through so far. Plenty of reading, endless studying, pages of writing, that haven't amounted to anything much yet.

After attending the conference last month, I narrowed down my next plan of action and took certain nuggets to heart...

Susan Meissner shared in her workshop, "300 Pages in 30 Days", that the best thing to do in your prewriting stages, is to get all of the "obstacles" out of the way! Meaning have your research done on anything and everything imaginable beforehand, have a general "map" of where you want to go, and get your characters fully worked up-they are what drives the story and draws your readers in.

---I heard it more than once over the weekend, but it was the single piece of advice that was urged during a brief conversation with
Jim Bell. "You just need to get it all out... write the whole thing down start to finish... you can deal with it from there."

Deb Raney I learned that it's ok to be afraid, and not to worry about "wanting to quit". "One page a day means you'll have a 365 page novel at the end of a year!"

My goals then?

Not to quit (yet)
Complete my prewriting (ie. obstacles gone) by the end of the year.
To write the
whole thing down no matter how good or bad!
Finishing studying the stack of books on my desk (starting with
Plot & Structure--what else do you advise, Jim?)

Anyhow, I'm sure it will be either painful or encouraging to watch, depending on your bent. If you're so inclined, please accept an invitation to view the inside workings of early novel writing, as I endeavor to expose the intimate details of my journey.

If you're a writer trying to get a fresh start on your word count hurry and join a group of like-minded individuals as we participate in Novel Inspirations
"30 Days of Writing" with Lacy Williams. If you need sound tidbits of writers' advice sign up for Susan May Warren and Rachael Hauck's "Book Therapy" blog.