1. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Writing is Nessie-sary

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Tenderiser, Jul 25, 2016.

    I've had a few months off. I'm forced to admit that if I want to finish my Loch Ness book by October I have to actually write it. Life is so unfair.

    My old journal thread is large and unwieldy so here's my punilicious new one.

    Today I have 5,125 words. I need 80,000 by the end of September/10 weeks. Considering I'll probably end up closer to 90k, that means writing roughly 8,000 words a week.

    Hold me accountable, forum friends. If I procrastinate more, slap me down. Insult me. Remind me E L James has written more novels than me (technically). Whatever it takes.

    I'm not responsible or disciplined enough to motivate myself, after all...
     
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  2. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    1140 words a day. Hmm.
     
  3. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    More like 500 for the whole of Monday-Friday and 7,500 at the weekend. I'm an inconsistent writer. :D
     
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  4. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think my record was 2500 in one day
     
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  5. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Um... yikes!

    I mean...

    You can do it! Go, go, go! Yay! Piece of cake, no worries, you got this...

    I'm getting tired, so I'll these guys take over.
     
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  6. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    :cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::write::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader:
     
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  7. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Holy moly, that was a hard slog today. Writing felt like wading through treacle, but I pushed on. 8,092 words in total and two chapters done. I'm not sure if today's work was terrible or if it just feels terrible because of how much it didn't flow, but I'm sure my critique partners will tell me. :D

    The next chapter is a tricky one. The two MCs will meet and have to dislike each other without the reader disliking either of them. A challenge, but hopefully a fun one.
     
  8. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    14,097 words. I've met my target this week, even though I only had half a weekend as I spent Saturday with a friend AND I have Lyme disease AND am on antibiotics that are destroying my oesophagus. So you know, well done me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
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  9. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow. Good going. When I get sick, I'm totally useless. But then, being a man, I suppose that's normal.

    How the hell did you contract Lyme disease? Is that the one you get from ticks?
     
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  10. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    @Sack-a-Doo! Yup, I removed the tick a few weeks ago and thought I was fine. But Lyme doesn't kick in for a while. The GP said it's becoming more common in the UK, especially in the south where we have warm weather.
     
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  11. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Bummer. Get better soon.
     
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  12. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It's been a slow week. I've had four job interviews on top of everything else. So far I've written 1,126 words. 6,874 left to do this weekend.

    I also had an idea for a short horror story and I'm really tempted to work on that which I KNOW is not what I need to be doing right now. Anyway I want to submit it to Cemetery Dance and they aren't taking submissions at the moment. So slap me down if I start talking about writing horror before October.
     
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  13. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Frustrating Saturday, good Sunday. Spent about six hours rewriting the same scene over and over because I knew it wasn't right, until I was finally happy enough to send it to a critique partner.

    Today was much easier, even though much of the dialogue will need to be rewritten in my edit. Right now it's not tight and smart, and if I have a style I think the core of it is tight, smart dialogue.

    So I end this week with 24,783 words - a total of 10,686 new words.
     
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  14. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Last week was equal parts maddening and satisfying.

    I tried really, really hard to plough through a first draft without editing but... I failed. I just knew a bunch of stuff was wrong, and there was no point having my CPs read it when I knew it would change massively. So I spend the weekend rewriting, and rewriting, and rewriting again. It's still not quite there but I'm close, which is the satisfying part.

    The maddening part is that I don't have much to show for two solid days of scribbling. I think I'm up to just over 28k, so about 3.5k new words.

    I'll make up for it but... I'M ANNOYED. I always understood there's a limit to how much I can plan and how much I can only find out once I begin writing, but I'm starting to accept that the limit is a lot lower than I would like. :( Would @Sack-a-Doo! or @Sifunkle like to donate their brains to a worthy cause? I'm very worthy, I promise...
     
  15. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    I'm not using it, go ahead!

    Which limit are you saying is lower: planning or not-planning? (I assume planning from name-dropping me?) Sounds like you're making some progress, so don't get too greedy ;) But happy to help in any way I can.

    Sidenote: once again the 'stalk' function on the forum has let me down as I wasn't aware of your new progress journal until right now.
     
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  16. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Planning. :( I plan and the sequence of events seems perfectly logical, and then I start writing and realise it's not consistent for the characters to do what I'd planned them to do. I don't think I can predict that until I write them, so I'm always going to end up with a draft and then another a draft and then a polish rather than a draft and polish. That annoys me.

    I don't think the stalk function actually does anything except show you someone's avatar in the 'who's online?' bit on the front page. What kind of half-arsed stalking is that?!
     
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  17. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    T'ain't easy, that's true. It's one of the reasons I make absolutely no decisions about who a character is or what s/he will think/do/etc. until the story is in draft. But then, it doesn't sound like that'll help with what you're facing.

    Better than eight drafts. :)

    I shall speak to the moderators about getting that whole-assed stalking button installed.

    But seriously...

    If you want help with laying out a plan, email me. I'll be more than happy to help.
     
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  18. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you're running into what I'm coming to see as the true division between plot-centric and character-centric writing. If you're plot-centric you adapt/mould your characters to fit the plot, as @Sack-a-Doo says; if you're character-centric, it's the other way around.

    For what it's worth, I think character-centric is the best way to go for contemporary romance--the books are essentially 80K word characters studies dressed up with people doing some stuff.

    And being frustrated and having to change your plot means you're staying true to your characters, which is good. Hang in there!
     
  19. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    And that may be far better help than anything I could throw your way... not being a romance writer.

    I must admit to having winged the romance in Aliens. Then again, maybe that's why I'm into the 8th draft... because for me, winging it is such a foreign way to go at it.
     
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  20. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Thank you for the encouragement, both! Maybe this is my professional writing life seeping into my fiction one--at work I have to plan, I have to have structure, I have rigid rules to follow dictating what I write and when I have to write it by and how many words I can do it in. Rewriting is wasted time and wasted efficiency and I can't help feeling the same about fiction, even though it's a totally different ball game.

    I have to switch my frame of mind and see the first draft as an extension of my plan. :)
     
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  21. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Perhaps you won't wanna hear this, but it seems to me that since you're good at this approach at work (because if you weren't, you wouldn't have the job, right?) you'd wanna use those strengths for your avocation as well. You're shortchanging yourself otherwise... aren't you?
     
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  22. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe she's good at more than one thing!
     
  23. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It doesn't work like that though. :( At work if the client asks how we're going to help them fulfill their duties under the CDM Regulations 2015 in no more than two pages of A4, Arial size 11, I have to do it. If I don't, we're disqualified. With fiction, I could set myself equally rigid targets but where's the motivation to actually do it? If I tell myself that X must happen in Chapter 3, but when I'm writing I know it's wrong, it would be ridiculous to force it.

    It's a bit like a client telling me write 2 pages of A4 on whatever I like, and then they'll tell me the question. I would have to rewrite in that case as well!
     
  24. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    And also be careful about unrealistic expectations - most of the people on this board have, it seems, been working on the same project since I joined (almost two years ago!). You've been here half that time and you've completed at least a couple novels, writing at a level that earned you a reputable agent. Do you really think you need to write faster and more efficiently? I know there's a frustration when things seem like they should be easier than they are, but... you're doing pretty well, even at the not-as-easy-as-it-should-be speed.
     
  25. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    When I say efficiency I mean best use of time rather than doing it quicker, if that makes sense? I don't have any particular desire to write faster; it already looks like I'm going to have a big 'ole backlog of books when (if) the first one sells. But rewriting just feels... annoying. Efficiency has always brought me great satisfaction for whatever reason. Like when I'm cooking, I get a pathetic little kick about using the minimum number of saucepans required, draining one of vegetables and then using it to make the sauce instead of getting a new one out, when most people wouldn't bother. It's not about saving time but I don't know what it is about. Part of my control freak nature?

    ...this is a therapy session, isn't it?
     
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