Monday, December 29, 2008

Filling the Page

I got some more words done yesterday. Not as many as I would have liked, but still... Part of my problem is "holding back." I usually tend to write "short," and subconsciously I think I am afraid of running out of story before I've filled enough manuscript pages.

But going back over what I've already written, I realize my second draft will be longer as I layer in things I've overlooked--scene setting here, internalizations there. My first draft is relatively bare bones in most places. I guess I need to get the story down and first and then go back and fill in the details.

I'm trying to push myself to finish by the end of January. I'm anxious to get started in a critique group to see what they think of this mess...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Are We Stressed Yet?

I've been hideously stressed lately. No, not the usual holiday stuff, worse than that. I can handle the holiday rigamarole with one hand tied behind my back. No, make that *both* hands tied behind my back! So not many words have hit the page partly because of the time sucking holiday run-around and partly because of the stress.

However...last night when I woke up in the middle of the night for the thousandth time and began to fret and worry and whimper in the dark...I turned my attention to my wip. And lo and behold I got a couple of good ideas! And I remembered most of them come morning...I still think there's one that got away but perhaps when I start scribbling some notes, I can grab hold of its elusive tendrils and bring it back into focus. Meanwhile, I'm pleased with the bonanza of the other ideas.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Panic at the Computer

Had a moment of panic yesterday when strange things began happening to my manuscript (as saved on my flash drive). Lines appeared in the wrong places, some lines were only half visible (as in the bottom half of the letters), etc. I'd save the manuscript on my home computer but there were around 7 or 8 pages that I didn't have anywhere except on the flash drive.

All is well, though. I added the new pages to the manuscript on my hard drive and saved all to both places. I think I messed it up when I pulled out the flash drive and then closed the manuscript--when it tried to "save" there was no where to save it I put the flash back in, and something weird happened.

Finished another scene, and I'm happy about that. Not sure what scene comes next...have to noodle a bit on that one. I'm making slow and somewhat steady progress minus the Thanksgiving holidays.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Home for the Holidays

Like so many others, I will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week, and I doubt I will get any writing done...some thinking--maybe. We are headed back home to NJ (from MI) where it will be a whirlwind of seeing relatives and friends plus my daughter is coming down from Boston where she is at BU!! I am so excited. Haven't seen her since August. It was too expensive to fly her home for four days at Thanksgiving, especially with Christmas coming right afterwards, so we decided we'd all meet in NJ! Yeah!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chipping Away

I'm not setting any records with words-per-day lately, but I am continuing to chip away at the story. It's growing daily which is all I can ask for. And I find that the more I get into it, the more ideas I have. I would do love so have this completed by January! Then I could jump into revision and possibly be looking at querying by as early as February.

Time to get the fingers on the keys...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Yesterday at lunch I cranked out 350 words. Rather pitiful since I didn't write last night. What did I do? Read a bit. Had a late dinner. Had to sign some papers for investment man. Somehow the evening got away from me. Oh, yes, there was the puppy cam, too. Fortunately the pups are almost ready to go to their new homes so no more distractions from them!

The night before I read the new book I received via Barnes & Noble's used book service (in great shape except it SMELLS like mildew. Have to hold it far away from my nose.) It's Plot & Structure by James Bell (I think he has a middle name in there, but I've forgotten what it is.) Some really interesting tips for brainstorming and enhancing creativity. Can't wait to try some of them. He recommends setting aside a certain amount of time per week to get ideas. Lots of them. So when you pick one, you know it's one you're really in love with.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Last night I was really smoking. The words were coming so fast and furious I could hardly type fast enough to keep up (and I can type REALLY fast). It was great! The scene isn't quite finished yet, but hopefully at lunch today I'll be able to hammer out the ending. Had a lunch meeting yesterday so I didn't get any words done then, but I did put down almost 900 words last night! WooHoo!

I might actually finish this manuscript yet!

I'm also finding that the more involved I become with it on a consistent basis, the more ideas float to the top of my subconscious--usually to be harvested while showering. What is it about water anyway? I'm not much of a swimmer, but perhaps I should go do some laps and see if pool water works as well as shower water.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Talk Amongst Yourselves

Finished a scene at lunch yesterday. Didn't do a massive amount of writing, but I did some at least.

But then last night when I should have been writing, I was watching Dancing with the Stars instead. Which I've never seen before. But I was so intrigued that I had temporarily managed to keep hubby from clicking the remote and changing the channel that I sat there dumbfounded. He wasn't even *holding* the remote!

I finally shook myself free of the fascination and headed to the computer where I accomplished nothing. Nada. Zilch. Didn't even open my manuscript. Sigh. It's starting a new scene and the first word blues. It's going to need to be another one of those "everyone sits around and discusses the clues" type of scene. I can't afford another tea drinking scene--this one has to be more active. The characters have to be *doing* something besides talking. Maybe I'll set it in the theater. And maybe they think they've been overheard. Make it a little spooky. Yeah, that's the ticket. Ooooh, now I can't wait for lunch to sketch this out!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Giants, Desperate Housewives and Writing

Despite the distractions of the evening Giants game, a really dishy Desperate Housewives and this live "puppy cam" my daughter turned me onto, I managed to get some words down last night! Go, me. Even better, I had fun with it. I love when you know you need a minor character, he/she could be almost anything/anyone (in this case I needed a managing editor for a small town newspaper to impart some information to my protag) and they spring to life in front of your eyes. Devon Singleton turned out to be young (to the surprise of both me and my protag), a new father, a graduate of BU (no surprise there since that's where my daughter is going to school!), have spikey black hair and a hole in his jeans. I thought he was going to be old with hair coming out of his ears, but he just didn't want to be!

Tomorrow starts the 70 Days of Sweat challenge. I'm up for it. Are you?

Friday, November 7, 2008

i DID it

Sat in front of the computer last night, and I WROTE! I have 800 new words in the last three days. Yeah, that's not going to set any records, but I'm getting there. And the 77 days of sweat challenge hasn't even started yet.

Got some good ideas in the shower, too (best place for ideas, I swear, try it, you'll see.) I was thinking about my last scene, two characters are talking. Now you can't have talking heads so they're doing stuff. Ordinary stuff. Then I realized I could use those little break-up-the-dialogue-gestures to say a lot more about the character. Like instead of having Sienna turn her mug of tea (yes, it's a tea drinking scene! Cozies are allowed to have one or two!) around and around in her hands, what if she fiddles with a loose sequin on the long, gauzy skirt she's wearing? Or tucks her hands into the belled sleeves of her diaphonous blouse (AFTER she puts down the mug of tea, of course.) Doesn't that give you a better visual of the character without a lot of tedious description?

Okay, it's not earth shattering. Not rocket science. I'm a slow learner sometimes. And sometimes I reach for what's easy and expedient instead of trying to go deeper. Fortunately I usually make it better in the rewrites. But how cool to get it better in the first draft!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

So Shoot Me

Okay, I didn't make my 500 words. Not even 250. More like 150. So shoot me. I coulda, shoulda, woulda done it but...was in a funk. Feeling sorry for myself. Ended up reading instead. So not a total waste...reading Lisa Scottoline for the first time. Wow, great, fresh language.

Today, I promise, going to work hard. Came up with a great plot twist in the shower.

I'm off to write. See 'ya.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bad Day

Bad day. No words day. I was too preoccupied with the election to get anything done. Today is another day. I promise myself at least 250 words. No, make that 500.

Let's see what happens.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Adding Words One-by-One

This whole 77 days of sweat thing has me going. I did a little noodling on my wip on my lunch hour AND I also dragged it out after dinner and spent an hour finishing a scene! I'm really pleased with myself. Now let's see how tonight goes...I hate starting a new scene. Until I can get that first sentence down I'm paralyzed. It's like starting the book all over again. I'm going to try to think about it during the day while doing other mundane things--maybe my subconscious will come up with that first line for me...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I know. It's been a while. So what has motivated me to post again? I've signed up for the 70 (actually 77) days of sweat challenge. And they ask for your blog. So this seemed the perfect time to (figuratively) pick up the old pen again and blog.

I have a wip that is stalled at around 30,000 words. Not quite half way there. I need between 70K and 75K. So I'm thinking this 70 day sweat thing might just be what I need to get the thing DONE!

I've always wanted to do NaNo but November is just not the right time for something like that with Thanksgiving and all the cooking, guests, etc. But this 77 day thing gives you time off for the holidays. Plus I'm not committing to a full manuscript--just to completing my wip.

Wish me luck, okay?