Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday Writer's Report

Pace was down this week. It wasn't so much that life got in the way, it's moreso that I let it. If it is my intention to be a writer, I'm going to have to learn to live with Crohn's Disease, and keep writing in spite of "uncomfortable" days. Additionally, even *I* watched some football on Sunday with friends, then there were some family things that required my time.

Mostly just distractions that pushed at the heart of what I'm facing. I have two critical scenes that were pivotal in steering towards the events of the climax. I've had some misgivings about my characters and those are starting to show up now. Glancing up, I see that my word count may come in a bit high for what the story is. I managed to do one of the scenes, and the other is staring at me like a homeless guy in a downtown crosswalk.

The food for thought, this week, is that when you're facing difficulties, it is easier to find reasons not to write. I certainly didn't have to spend an hour watching the Fox Fall Party Webcast, in spite of my eager anticipation for season 7 of House. The misconception is that the scenes have to be great - and they don't - they just have to get written.

Rule # 4: Write now, Edit later. (I may have mentioned this last week, huh?)

So my answer has been to break up my routine, which I started on Monday, and it seems to be working. Previous to now, I had one writing session per day, and that session would go until I concluded a scene, a chapter, whatever my daily goal was. It was never about word count, it was about completing it in bits and pieces.

Mostly, that works for me. However, this week I've started two writing sessions a day. The first is 250 words or thereabouts, early in the day, before my internal editor comes online. The second, in the evenings, picks up where that left off and finishes the scene, and keeps going until I'm out of brain juice.

I share that with you because I know Brian and Luna are writing as well. And the following is for your benefit, too.

Rather randomly, I glanced over at the Suvudu thread of unread posts, found something that caught my eye, and that led to another blog, which led me to Jim Butcher's Live Journal, which he hasn't updated in over two years.

I haven't read the Dresden Files (yet), for which he is more well known, but I am doing a reread of his Codex Alera next month. It's not a bad epic tale, and I think more people should learn about it.

Butcher's LJ has only about 15 posts, and most of those are to do with craft. Oddly, many of his suggestions are ones that I was already doing (particularly where concerned the "Great Swampy Middle"), but there were plenty of things I haven't paid enough attention to. Well worth the couple hours (or less), it took to read through his advice.

Aside, I know it's been quiet here lately. I'm holding off until I recapture my pace, before I post the few things I've set aside for now. I'm sure you understand.

Raine, I know, has started a new job and other things going on in her household, plus I think she told me the last book she read wasn't worth a review. Gotta love that. Once she gets her schedule settled, I'm sure she'll be back in action.

This is a picture of my favorite dog, Rocky, who belongs to some friends of mine. He is a male Bull Boxer.

What I'm doing is showing the size of his gigantic melon-sized head by holding it next to a regulation size tennis ball.

Big, monstrous dogs make me happy, and they're fun to write. Truth is stranger than fiction.


  1. You have my sympathies when it comes to your Crohn's Disease, Bill. I never really knew what that was, but a read on wikipedia was enlightening as to how "uncomfortable" such a recurring autoimmune disease could be. It must make things difficult at times, but I do admire your resilience in spite of the adversity it must present.

    As of yet, I have not established a reliable pattern for content creation or writing. This is something I should probably try to remedy sometime. Like you mentioned in an earlier post, sometimes the act of consciously deciding that you're going to write something can help in the formation of thoughts related to it.

    I have had friends tell me that Jim Butcher's Dresden Files are quite good! I will have to take a look at his Live Journal posts that you linked to soon. I find pretty much any advice from established writers that I admire to be worth at least a look, usually helping me reevaluate my own creative processes.

    Anyways, no need to apologize for your absence and Raine's. We all have lives to live outside of the reach of our technology and its social networks. Even though with the advent of more and more technology that allows us mobility within its confines, this line is growing increasingly blurred. A person can now post comments on their Facebook or Twitter anywhere they can get a cell phone signal, no matter whether they are eating lunch at a trendy new restaurant or touring new sights and locations.

    I see it as a good thing in that it allows us to share our experiences more readily, but I'm actually one of the few philistines who does not have a cell phone yet. Which is a bit ironic considering how large a proponent I am of technology and its ability to improve quality of life.

    Rocky does look like a great dog! I love animals, even though the last time I visited a friend with a small West Highland White Terrier, the little devil attempted to abscond a piece of my pants leg (while I was still wearing said pants - fortunately, his attempt failed despite his *ahem* vigor). I found it humorous, but if the dog had been Rocky's size, I probably would have been forced to resort to the Beeblebrox Method of Conflict Disentanglement.

    "Zaphod did not want to tangle with them and, deciding that just as discretion was the better part of valour, so was cowardice the better part of discretion, he valiantly hid himself in the cupboard." (p. 164)- Life, The Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams

  2. I don't write too much about the Crohn's, although it puts me in a position to be able to write more fluidly about pain. I follow the 'aspiring writer' medical program, and have been, for the past many years, in that I'm uninsured, and unmedicated, and I wing it.

    But I don't want this blog to be about "poor me" - ugh, please. Everyone has their own issues, and to succeed in anything, there has to be the will to overcome.

    That noted, I was embarassed by the reduced pace, and had my go-to excuse. Now I've used it, I'll be out of excuses! ;-)

    Everything I've read, from agents to editors to published authors - they all suggest setting aside that time of day, making it part of the routine. I have to say, 4 days into it, it's coming together.

    The other thing I've tried doing is rewarding myself with results. So, like, starting a new book or doing a review post, are my rewards for completing scene goals.

    You're not the only one without a cell phone. When I was in FL, I was a buyer for a big Italian restaurant, so I needed the phone for work, "OMG we ran out of olive oil, send a truck!", but when I moved up here, I didn't have those kinds of responsibilities. I have a phone and answering machine, and most of the calls I get are bill collectors. LOL.

    I do like canines, always have. Ironically, the pseudonym is a coincidence because it's actually a familial name. I have found that the smaller dogs can be a bit more aggressive than the big ole behemoths with the scary features.

    But, dogs do some crazy things, and they are by far the oldest domesticated animal in history - even if originally, their presence was as a scavenger that followed nomadic human tribes.

    A dog, at one moment, can be so innocuous and lovable, and the next, can be the most ferocious of defenders. Dunno how well I will translate that into the story when the time comes, but it's gotta be in there.

    I see you're a big fan of Adams. I may have to put him in the TBR pile, it's been years since I've read his material.

    Thanks for the comment, Brian. Take care. :-)

  3. That dog is a total meathead!

    Yep last book was so crap I can't even admit to having brought it (it was chick lit and not the good kind, im hanging my head in shame).

    I'm back on the good stuff now though with some GRR Martin and Siri Hudsvedt on the go. Should be up to some reviews soon!


  4. LOL. Meathead! I love UK slang.

    I'm up on my word count, right back on pace, but I don't want to stop now. I'll make it up later, I've even got some notes on things I wanna post about.


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