Jan. 5th, 2010 11:06 pm

I think I'm writing erotica.

At least, that's how I feel after the one scene that anybody's read.


I've 8399 words. I'm not sure how I managed to write this much, this fast. But I shall attempt not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

According to my deadline (I had to have one to use Word Tracking in WriteWay), end of March 2011, I have to write 216 words a day, and I've been making that goal or more every day. Which is nice.


I have come upon a problem of immense size. And was laughed at by people on Twitter -- deservedly so.

The Laws of Love essentially spans 2 ten-year periods (that are separated by 30-50 years).

According to people who are better read than me, most books than compress such big timelines have come in at about 150k. (They recommended people like Michener, Clavell and Dunnett for my examples list.) In fact, they are all great big fat tomes of historical fiction.

My goal for this draft is 100k, and then to cut to 80k. Only, if the rest of the draft is anything like what I have at the moment, I'm going to be adding stuff more than cutting, I think.

WTF was I thinking?


Jan. 1st, 2010 11:28 pm
Quite a nice date.

I am re-learning how to write secondary characters. That is a problem I've been struggling with (and knew that I struggled with) for the past year. Somewhere along the way, though, I found a loose thread, and now I intend to keep tugging on it.

I am also re-learning how to write scenes with more than 2 characters. I used to write scenes with hundreds...well, at least a dozen characters. Sooper dooper long scenes, lots of words, lots of characters...not so much on the Happenings.

I think I will be happy to have this book come in under 200k, at this point. Then I'll cut cut cut cut cut Act I into 2-3 chapters, and Acts II and Acts III can have the bulk of the word count.*

Now I must go resurrect a zombie and write a Goodbye Letter.

*No, I'm not nuts. I just don't think Act I is very interesting, but I need to write it. It'll be good practice if nothing else, and then I can hope Act II and Act III will be better.
Justine Musk:
A young woman described the memoir she wanted to write.

The story gripped me: a bright and talented child struggling to assert herself against narcissistic parents, become the master of her own identity. Except every few minutes she would backtrack and say how her parents weren’t actually that bad, they had a lot of good qualities, she was grateful for the life they had given her…

When she talked like this, her body language became stiff and awkward, her voice a bit robotic.

It was like she was flipping between two personalities: the good daughter she had been trained to be, and the bad daughter, the rebel daughter, she wanted and needed to be.

I heard myself say, “You need to write like the bad daughter.”

Personally, I translate the last sentence to 'You need to be honest when you write.' 

Not just in a memoir, but when you write (fiction -- not sure it works the same way with, say, a newspaper article). 


Sep. 18th, 2009 12:58 am
I really should be asleep.

But I cannot help myself.

I used to think my prose was clean and spare -- that's my preferred sense of aesthetics.


I'll probably have another identical epiphany someday. That will be nice. It'll mean that I've improved.

Something else I've come to realise.

A character in a book has only one thought in her/his heads at a time. Kind of. I don't quite know how to articulate this epiphany. But it used to be that I struggled with the point of the scene because my POV character's thoughts wandered off track.

So the solution to that is restraint.


Sep. 17th, 2009 11:49 pm
I have maybe another scene to go.

I'm writing all this in third person. Seems to work -- I didn't want to write from the POV of a 6yo kiddle in 1st. Maybe I'll be able to continue in 3rd whenever I continue again.

Haven't yet figured out the mechanics of the next scene. Especially Where.

One of the things I'd really like to do before Nov 1st (especially since it looks like I will get a decent real hiatus at the moment) is come up with a checklist of things I Should Know before I start a scene.

Who What When Where Why is a good start. How, I figure, is redundant. If I know don't know How, then I don't have a plot.

Knowing the Conflict would be ideal, because then I can extrapolate the Outcome.



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