Writing Strategy Update: a Week of Fail

I had a great start to my write-a-lot-of-little-snatches experiment last weekend. I managed to keep the momentum up through Tuesday over my lunch break. Then I just got slammed with a series of evening events and busy days at work and cases of the after-the-day tireds so bad I didn’t even remember I’m writing a novel, much less attempt to work on it.

This weekend I tried again, managing to accomplish about 3K of words with very little time spent “writing” that wasn’t actual words onto screen. So, in the sense of words-per-minute-at-my-document, efficiency is up. In terms of overall words produced, about standard for me on a weekend that I am not doing anything else particularly, but also one that I did not particularly devote to writing.

The story is over 18,000 words now, about a quarter of the way done based on my initial word-count projection. The place I have reached in my rough outline jibes with that, as well, so I feel good.

A quarter through does mean that I am about to enter the mushy middle third. At least this time I should be able to entertain myself with the sexual dynamic between the couple, since this is a story that starts with marriage rather than leading up to it.

A surprising refrain has popped into my head when I feel stuck – just write the next sentence. Not one of DWS’s more helpful aphorisms, on the surface, but yet…it is in practice.

I am also taking another piece of DWS advice and stating (to myself) a particular thing that I am practicing with this story. This time I am practicing pacing, how to keep from getting bogged down in endless detailed scenes. For some stories that’s appropriate, but not for all, and this one has enough events that I want to get to that I don’t want to waste time moving at a molasses-like crawl. Perhaps, as well, having actual events in the middle instead of extended set-up will also help keep that part from going so slowly.

Remains to be seen. Tomorrow I try anew at writing in short bursts at lunch and after work. Expect in another week a post hissing about how awful the middle act is, how I can just scrawl “Lucifer Emerges” over that part of my outline, how I am treading water in a stagnant plot-lagoon, etc., etc. But for today, this story is cruising and me with it, and I am pleased.



Filed under Housekeeping, Writing

2 responses to “Writing Strategy Update: a Week of Fail

  1. I always find that — for me — the difficulty with the next sentence is having the stillness of mind to hear it. Slowing down the mental hamster-on-a-wheel enough that I can concentrate on it. All of those metaphors. Just… take a breath and it will come.


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