I have embarked upon every author’s favorite task—editing. Insert sarcasm here, please. So far I have uncovered one continuity error that I knew was there during the entire writing process but didn’t bother to fix. It has now been altered. I found the usual amount of typos, but also a first for myself: places where the word is so far off the mark that I have no clue what I originally intended to write. Anyway, in those cases I had to look at the context of either the sentence or the passage and hope for the best. I’ve never written anything—yet—that turned my stomach afterward and required a complete deletion, but I have to say that I really like the chemistry between the characters in this novel. It’s fun to watch their story unfold yet again.
Monday, December 2, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013
At Day 21 of this month, after a writing marathon that spanned the better part of twenty-four hours, I completed my novel at 72, 406 words—far past the NaNoWriMo challenge of 50,000 words. This amount of writing marks a personal best for me. I had previously written a 70,000 word novel in thirty days—the book which provided the seed for this most recent one—but I blew through all of my expectations for NaNoWriMo. I hadn’t written in close to three months prior to beginning this novel, and I had an irrational fear that I wouldn’t even remember how to form a sentence, much less an entire book. Throughout the course of the project, I pushed myself to write past my limits, to think critically about my characters and further explore what went on inside their heads, what made them tick, and what they were afraid of. In the course of this, I think I discovered something about myself: for as long as I enjoy writing, I will do it, regardless of the number of readers I reach. Writing is a task that fosters creativity, personal growth, and introspection, three things I need in my life.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Last night I blasted past 62,000 words, but I couldn’t tell you whether or not this is a good thing. We tend to have a jaundiced eye toward lack of quality when it comes to our own work. As my friend and fellow Nano participant, Amanda told me, we are so involved in the process that it is difficult to actually see anything but the novel. In my case I blasted through the 50,000 word challenge so quickly that I literally wasn’t seeing anything else. As I have emphasized before, finishing a novel becomes a challenge, because you want every single thread, every drop of paint, to form a tapestry, a masterpiece of words and emotions. And as with everything else in life, this is much easier said than done. You may have to complete the work and remove yourself from it, stepping back out of the pond and letting the ripples fade to nothing, before you can truly see your work for what it is. When I next post this blog, I hope to have completed the novel’s rough draft. We’ll see how it goes.
Friday, November 15, 2013
As of this writing, I have completed more than 45,000 words of this novel. My standard operating practice involves no going back and editing until the work is done, and I plan to do the same here. My goal, again, is to blow past the 50,000 words that are required and get at least 70,000 before I put this one to bed. Writing this novel with such speed, at such a torrid pace, was completely unexpected for me. As I try to rake leaves and dodge snow, and do laundry and clean house and get myself ready for Christmas, I leave ample time every day to work on my novel. I continue to learn that writing is about pushing yourself and cranking out story even when you’re not feeling one-hundred percent. When you push yourself past your limits, to the edge of your expectations and over the cliff, you find out how bad you want to cross the finish line and what you’ll do to get there. As far as the novel is concerned, I have altered some plot points since I wrote my summary, but the basic story is unchanged.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
If writing is like exercise and a skill that must be practiced, then I allowed myself to atrophy and weaken in the two months while I took a sabbatical from the whole business of conceiving novels. The good news is that I was able to slip back into a familiar routine and push myself to craft and create and image. In the first week of this project, I have written upwards of 14,000 words, and while I am not sure if this is a personal best, it does prove that I remember something about how to lay out my thoughts. I’m sure it also helps that this is a sequel to the last novel I completed as well as a story idea that I rendered in my head, figuring and refiguring and wondering about constantly. This novel feels like it’s headed somewhere, and I have plans to write another, unrelated one next month if everything pans out the way I hope.
Friday, October 18, 2013
Yesterday morning, I contemplated not getting out of bed. Oh, I would have had to eventually—I require food like everyone else—but it was rainy, and cold, and the sun was nowhere near ready to come out. Finally, though, I had to do it. Sometimes in life we delay the inevitable, and no one is better at procrastination than I am. Laundry won’t do itself. Someone had to vacuum. Someone had to answer my emails, none of which are ever important. At any rate, procrastination will never help me get another book written, though it does feel odd to be waiting for NaNoWriMo to start rather than writing on my own schedule. That’s the biggest change.
Friday, October 11, 2013
In my humble opinion, the best show on network television is Castle. I can’t speak for cable or premium channels, but for me, Castle is it. Oddly enough, in spite of my past viewings of Nathan Fillion on both Pasadena and Desperate Housewives, I might not have tuned into the show were it not for Susan Sullivan, who I love in, well, anything. The soap star guest spots helped, too. One problem I had was the time conflict with Hawaii Five-0 on CBS, and for a while I tried to watch both, which was hilarious. I don’t have DVR or any of that voodoo TV stuff, and I don’t have the spare cash to buy DVD releases. Thankfully I was given a reprieve—TNT put both shows into syndication and CBS moved H50 to Friday nights where it airs before another favorite, Blue Bloods. But I’m getting off-track. Thanks to the marathons I was able to catch up on Castle in a hurry. It’s an interesting mix of crime, romance, drama, and humor. I mean, I can’t think of many shows where you can genuinely laugh not five seconds after seeing a gruesome murder scene. Either the show is funny, or I’m twisted. Maybe both. I’m also a sucker for the Castle-Beckett romance. You can tell people have become impatient—four seasons of waiting for an admission of love, plus one more season before the next step toward commitment, nearly did a lot of fans in. I think the romance has been nicely developed, and seeing them together is fun because the actors have a palpable chemistry when the show takes a romantic slant. Television is more expensive than it used to be and shows have a shorter shelf-life. I have ideas about how I would like Castle to progress, but I’m also eager to see how it all plays out. It’s easily the best part of Monday.