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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

I may have lost my mind. We’ll see. I went and got another dog on Saturday. She’s a real sweetheart–very, very good with people.

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Interactions with my resident dog still a work in progress.

Digital Camera

Digital Camera

However, she’s way too interested in the resident feral cats (fed by my nephew) and a couple of small dogs we’ve passed on our walks (three so far).

Needless to say, I haven’t gotten any writing done since Friday–when I did finish a chapter of BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING and figure out how many more chapters there are in that section I’ve been working on.

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It’s slow still, and perhaps a little painful, but I am breaking through that block of uncertainty and forging ahead on the first draft of BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

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I have no idea if any of this will remain in the final version. But that’s not the question right now. The point is to keep writing and moving the story forward. And that’s what I’m doing, slowly but surely.

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You know, that title could apply to the plot of a story. But in this case, it’s about my goals–and obstacles–in getting the story done. I’m still in that nebulous part of the BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING

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where I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to get from here to the next major plot point or how many chapters it’ll take to get there. Progress has been slow. Too slow.

There’s less than a month left before school starts up again and I go back to work. My goal was to have this first draft done. I think that’s highly unlikely now.

But what I need to do now is just write. It’s a first draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t even have to be something that will be in the final draft. There’s a high probability that some of it will be cut or substantially changed. That’s okay. That’s what a rough draft is for. But I need to start pushing myself to at least keep this story moving toward a completed first draft.

This one is taking much longer than it should.

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For me, anyway. My “day job” is only for the school year (roughly the second week of September through the third week in June, here). It’s way too easy to loose track of time when I don’t have any real schedule. Which, in part, explains the lateness of this post. (Part of it is wasting time playing a stupid computer game. (Tip: If you’re a writer of stories, don’t get involved in any game that has a story as part of the game.)

In spite of the wasted time, I’ve been making steady–if occasionally slow–progress on the first draft of BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

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But the time isn’t really wasted. Since, as I mentioned in my last post, I don’t have as good a feel for these next couple of chapters as I usually do . . . well, sometimes, it’s necessary to pause for a bit and let my subconscious catch up.

Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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I’m a discovery writer. I don’t outline–not the whole story before I start. But I usually have something like a rolling outline for the next few chapters from where I currently am in the first draft.

Right now, I’m approaching what should be the midpoint of BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

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I know what that point is, but these next few chapters . . . I know broadly what needs to be there. It’s important, because this is the place to really show what my main character has to lose–right before he loses it, in a way. But I don’t even have a good feel for how many chapters this will be.

Of course, it’s still just a first draft, a rough draft. And it certainly doesn’t have to be perfect on the first go round. In fact, it would be astonishing if it was. But this does feel a little like stepping off a cliff in the dark and hoping the ground’s not too far away, or at least soft. Still, the only way is forward.


There’s still a little time to enter the audiobook giveaway. You really don’t want to miss this one.

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It’s hot and humid here, which is not normal. So, a good day to let everything else go and just stay in front of the computer. And, unlike the last few days, the words are flowing pretty well.

So, I’m spending my writing time working on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING and I’ve very nearly finished that chapter that I was briefly stuck on a few days ago.

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Because, sometimes you have to just grab a handle and stay on the roller coaster as long as it keeps moving.

I’m approaching the midpoint, which should be interesting, though there are a few chapters to get through before then. And, in one of them, my weasel of an antagonist is going to get taken down a peg or two–which will set him up to want a bit of revenge. That hasn’t been what he’s been playing for up until now. But . . . things change.

Don’t forget to enter the audiobook giveaway. Someone will win an audiobook of THE SHAMAN’S CURSE. Or one of the other eight audiobooks. Some lucky someone will win all nine.

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Do it now, before you forget. 🙂

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My (mostly) unbreakable rule about first drafts is that they have to go in only one direction–forward. If I let my editor brain get involved in fixing things during the first draft–well, I just might never get to The End. Early on, I had to force myself into this by writing out the first draft long hand.

After all, first drafts aren’t supposed to be perfect.

Normally, I only permit myself to go backward to make a note of something I need to set up earlier or some other change that will be necessary–in the revisions. And, usually, those changes are relatively small. Often, it only requires a line or two to set something up. For instance, in BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING, I’m quite likely going to decide that one character needs to have a small scar from an earlier encounter.

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I’ll just make a note that I need to set that up in some way. (Not having him have a habit of rubbing that scar. I already have a character–in a different story–who has that particular tic, so I’ll have to come up with something else.)

But . . . some things need a little more set up than that. And I’ve recently realized that one of the reasons I was having a bit of difficulty getting into one scene is that it really needs some earlier set up that will increase the tension. Set up that will also help to show my antagonist at his weaselly worst. (This antagonist also featured in the small extract I shared a couple of weeks ago.)

So, I’ve gone back to add two scenes to an earlier chapter. Since they are entirely new scenes, not revisions, it doesn’t really quite break my rule. Just bends it.

 

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