1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

One week to go

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Incanus, Sep 4, 2015.

  1. Incanus

    Incanus Archmage

    996
    411
    63
    I'm planning on starting my novel next friday evening. Think I'll splurge on some nice sushi right after work, and then get an early start on it. Very excited.

    Not entirely sure what to expect--I've never actually tried writing 'unpolished' prose before. I think I now have the proper willpower to simply plow ahead, but I'm not certain. I'm not expecting to suddenly take to it right away, so I'm keeping my expectations necessarily low.

    Excited, nervous, anxious, thrilled, wary, hopeful, realistic, scared--I'm a bundle of contradictions.
     
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    5,555
    3,546
    313
    Best of luck, and happy plowing! Just make sure you put your inner-editor in a deep dungeon. I call mine Wormtongue, because if I'm not careful he leaves me looking like King Theoden.
     
    Incanus and Ireth like this.
  3. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

    2,995
    1,727
    163
    Good luck. Keep this in mind as you write.

    1)The words you put down right now may not be perfect, but always know you can always make them better--later. Much later.

    2)Also if/when you struggle to find the words, focus on the heart and emotion of what you're trying to say and get the essence of that onto the page no matter how awful you think it's worded. See 1 for reason.

    Never give up. Never surrender.
     
    Incanus likes this.
  4. stephenspower

    stephenspower Inkling

    486
    159
    43
    Next Friday? The world could end on Thursday. Start today. Just a line to tide you over. Or a paragraph to get the juices flowing. Use Google Docs so you can take the ms anywhere and keep at it wherever you happen to be. Go go go!
     
    Incanus and Ireth like this.
  5. MineOwnKing

    MineOwnKing Maester

    621
    174
    43
    Just quite your day job and you will find all the inspiration/motivation you need.

    Sometimes listening to Reggae helps.
     
    Incanus likes this.
  6. Incanus

    Incanus Archmage

    996
    411
    63
    Thanks for the inspiration and good advice.

    Yes, I think getting that inner-editor to stay the hell out of the way for now is going to be the single biggest thing for me to deal with. I've had a bigger-picture plan for dealing with this. I worked on shorts for the last year to learn and build up some chops and get generally comfortable writing most every day. Now, building squarely upon that foundation, I intend to let my intuition take over--in the hopes that it has more experience and background material on which to draw.

    And yes, I almost could have begun anytime in the last couple of weeks or so. But I went out of town this last weekend, partially to simply have a few moments of calm and peace before the chaos begins. The weeks and weekends ahead are now all free of most non-writing obligations. I wanted to make sure I had a good chunk of time ahead of me for the novel kick-off. Should be good to go. Can't wait for Friday!!
     
  7. Russ

    Russ Istar

    2,163
    1,127
    163
    Good luck with it. I have a feeling you are going to like the results once you get used to the method.
     
    Incanus likes this.
  8. Incanus

    Incanus Archmage

    996
    411
    63
    It will be a little strange at first, but I've 'gotten used to' so many things in life by this point, I think I can see myself through one more.

    Getting close now. I'm going to take the night off tonight. It'll be the last free night for months ahead, may as well enjoy it.
     
  9. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

    4,044
    1,918
    163
    Some more advice, in addition to the above, if it fits:
    1) Form a habit. Try to write in the same place, at the same time every day. Habit, over time, can influence your mind to be creative at that place, at that time. The muse can be chained to the desk by habit alone, which is far more dependable than occasional bouts of inspiration.
    Understand that it takes most people about 60 days to form a habit. Once formed though, habit is a powerful motivator.

    2) Start with small, daily goals. I'm a firm believer that any endeavor can be undertaken successfully if you break large tasks into manageable chunks. Start with a goal that's easily attainable. Add to that gradually, as you form your writing habit. Be flexible though. You may need to decrease or increase your daily goals depending on life's demands.

    3) Track your work. Make a document to track daily production. There's several reasons for this tracking:

    A. The mind only focuses naturally on where you currently are in development. We have difficulty keeping the point where we started in mind. A document, updated daily, keeps our history at our fingertips. We can readily see our improvement, and that is encouraging.

    B. You'll be amazed at how fast those small bits of incremental effort add up. 250 words a day is a complete novel in a year. Chuck Palahniuk wrote Fight Club in an hour a day, at lunch, in a year.

    C. Accountability. Once you start tracking your progress, the act of tracking by itself holds us accountable to maintain our habit or suffer the consequences...primarily blank spots in our production that eat away at our egos.

    At least, that's been my experience. Good luck.
     
    Incanus likes this.
  10. stephenspower

    stephenspower Inkling

    486
    159
    43
    Hemingway's best advice: Have a daily goal. Once you reach it, you get to go fishing. If that's at 10am, great!. If it's at 6pm, damn.
     
  11. Incanus

    Incanus Archmage

    996
    411
    63
    Thanks stephenspower. There is a lot in this approach that won't fit me very well, though. For one thing, I'm a nightowl and a nighttime writer, starting most sessions somewhere around 8-9 PM. Also, I don't think daily goals, and a reward system, are going to work for me. Not likely to do much fishing at midnight on a weekday! The daily goal will simply be putting in the time.

    Hemingway has some cool things to say about writing, but, for whatever reason, I cordially dislike his writing (with the one possible exception of 'Old Man and the Sea').

    Still on schedule! One day to go!
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2015
  12. Incanus

    Incanus Archmage

    996
    411
    63
    Yay!!!!

    Today is the big day. Here is my plan:

    --Finish my work-day.

    --Splurge on sushi.

    --get an early start (before 8:00 pm) and write the first word of the first scene of the first chapter of my first novel. (Not my first attempt at a novel, but that's another story.)

    --keep adding words to the first one. (Well, duh!)

    --NO EDITING WHAT I HAVE ALREADY WRITTEN (could prove difficult for me, but I think I can do it.)

    Pretty straight forward, really. It should work in theory. In practice? We'll see.
     
  13. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

    4,044
    1,918
    163
    I recently switched to the No-Editing-While-Drafting camp. Here's a method that's helped me stick to that:

    If I think of something that needs changing along the way, I simply keep revision notes at the bottom of the page, or at the end of the scene or chapter.

    Then, I continue as if that revision was already written or cut.

    Keep moving forward.
     
    Russ likes this.
  14. Incanus

    Incanus Archmage

    996
    411
    63
    I've been thinking about how to deal with this situation more and more lately. Even when trying to write polished from the get-go, I end up with things I need to include in the already-written material. In those instances I have done very much what you described above, putting notes at the end of the doc, or in notebooks.

    This time, however, I anticipate having many more such occurrences. Like at least 2 or 3 times as many. I think, due to the sloppy nature of this style of drafting, that I will write the stuff in the order it occurs to me, with appropriate notes about how and where to incorporate it into the revision.

    This WILL work. I will make it work, I declare!!!

    Chomping at the bit here. My excitment is escalating...
     
  15. stephenspower

    stephenspower Inkling

    486
    159
    43
    I kind of work it back and forth: What I write at night I try to get to a general place I like, then the next morning I start by going through, revising, so that I've built up a head of steam when I get to the new stuff I have to write.

    The trouble with this system is that the early parts of a story get revised more than end. So with a recent story, once it was done, I've started to do a revision backwards, that is, starting from the final paragraph, then doing the penultimate, etc. to see if it all fits together. Call is the Check your Math strategy, for how you check an equation's results by reversing it.
     
  16. Incanus

    Incanus Archmage

    996
    411
    63
    So--sort of mixed results for the first few sessions: I was able to write a little more than my previous first draft attempts, but it wasn't exactly phenomenal either.

    Still, a good start. Something to build on.
     
  17. stephenspower

    stephenspower Inkling

    486
    159
    43
    Keep at it. I came here today just to see where you are.

    To share, I'm on the third outline of the sequel to Dragon Round, The Dragon Tower (I write increasingly detailed outlines until the fourth functions as a first draft). Last night I figured out where to start (one of four possible places) and wrote a paragraph: yea! This morning I realized that the paragraph was really too much packed together, so today I wrote another, better paragraph: double yea! but I see where to go. 1.1 is taking shape. I think I may be working on an actual draft, actually. We'll see once I loosen up a bit and just run with things some more.

    I'm also going to start outline #2 of another novel in a second series, The Dragons of America, but having just finished a short story set in the world, the impetus for the whole thing, I'm a bit burned out on it. So I'll do chapter one of that once I finish chapter one of DT. A reward and a a break, with DT becoming the reward and break from it.
     
    Incanus likes this.
  18. Incanus

    Incanus Archmage

    996
    411
    63
    Cool stephen, and thank you for sharing your process. I find it interesting how different writers approach their craft.

    I've heard of backward outlining before, particularly by whodunnit mystery writers, but backward revision? It seems like it would be difficult to keep track of the cumulative build up of the action/drama doing it that way. I guess it depends upon the nature of the story.

    For the novel I just started, I didn't do a lot of outlining for the middle to late-middle portions. Though I have an end in mind, I'm leaving some of the plot to 'discovery' writing. I can't say I'd always do this, but in this case it makes a certain amount of sense (due to the main plot).

    So, you have more than one project going at a time then? Also, I'm wondering about how long it takes you to go from 'the first idea for a story' to your third outline. A week? A year? Probably somewher in between.
     
  19. stephenspower

    stephenspower Inkling

    486
    159
    43
    I've only done it once so a year or 18 months till I'm done. I'm shooting for 9 months for at least a first draft of DT. Of course this week was a disaster because the story that supposed to launch Dragons of America came back from F&SF with a great review: first two parts awesome, last part needs work at the ending, but the third part Charlie totally didn't like, so I've been rewriting that. Hopefully I can get it done in the next couple of days. It's only 800 words I have left to write. I have a template. Surely I can get it done? [So why are you here on Mythic Scribes instead of writing?]
     
Loading...

Share This Page