Sunday, March 11, 2012

ROW80 Update - Spring Ahead? Seriously?

Holy Moly, it's Daylight Savings Time again. The day when the number heart attacks are on the rise, and productivity drops for at least a week. (And unfortunately, this goes for Fall Back too.)

For this reason, I'm calling it a day a little early, even though I think I'm probably not done for the day.

A Round of Words in 80 Days Update

Wed-thurs Day 66-67 - I took a vacation. I didn't really mean to, but I had to work and do things and I am tired.

However, I can't say it was completely a vacation, because my busy little mind has been working on the opening for the next book, and I really really like where it's going.

Friday Day 68 - 40 minutes. I did more brainstorming on the next book, and also organized the bits of what I have on this one. I have about 24k words. I was hoping for close to 50k, but I can't tell at the moment whether I'll get there. I'll be reasonably happy with a long novella -- whatever length it wants to be.

Saturday Day 69 - 82 minutes. Did some nice work on The Serial early today. I was thinking about the convenience of Alex' magic ring, and decided to let it get stolen (and worse, accidentally exchanged for the real MacGuffin of the series -- so that neither Alex nor the thief know just what they each have in their hands). This brings everything back to non-magic, which I want. AND it gave me a lot of thoughts about back story-- who Alex really is, for instance. AND it gave me a good idea for a nice introduction to Commander Zuzo which will set up later developments.

Then I got some really good sessions in on the work-in-progress. They were short, but productive, and set me up for some fun writing sessions tomorrow. Mick and Casey take on yet another job, which Mick likes even less than the several jobs they've taken on up to this point.

Sprints and 'Ventures

I did the math and I think, for the first time in my life it almost works. My problem has always been that I have way too much on my plate all the time. Too many stories clamoring to be written. Too much work to be done on each of them.

Lately I've been doing a lot more brainstorming, and then only writing in little, enthusiastic sprints. These have been fruitful. Very fruitful. I figured out that if I do three of these sessions a day, I can get more done than in a day of working normally. This works because I'm actually spending a lot of time getting ready for the sprint, and so when I do sprint, it's incredibly productive. 600+ words in a 20 minute session.

So three of those a day covers my real productivity needs.

In the meantime, I've been doing more stories for the Daring Adventure Stories blog. I've got a fun one which is scheduled to post Sunday night. In The King Row is a story of a robbery at an isolated railroad junction station, and a critical game of checkers played by telegraph. It was written by Lovell Coombs, but I don't know who the illustrator was. It was published in Top-Notch Magazine, March 1, 1913.

See you in the funny papers.


KM Huber said...

I agree about your brainstorming-sprint strategy; began this about a month ago, I think. Have been amazed at my productivity, frankly surprised.
As for DST, I changed my clocks a day early. Goofy as that sounds, it was better.


The Daring Novelist said...

I haven't turned it into real productivity yet. But in a way I'm experimenting this round.

I established some habits last quarter. This quarter, I played around with finding my best working patterns -- but lost some of the good habits. Summer, though, I have more time and less money -- and I hope to bring all of this together for those rounds. (Although third quarter may be more slacking -- we'll see.)

Heather Kelly said...

The brainstorm-sprint idea sounds awesome! I am a pantser, but find if I sketch out scenes before hand, I can write tons and tons of words (words that stick, in fact!).

So maybe I'm not a pantser after all...

So glad that you are finding a technique which is so productive for you!

The Daring Novelist said...

I think everybody starts out a pantser, because that's how we experience stories when we read: we discover as we go.

I do think that what works for us is always evolving, and it comes only partly from our inborn style of thinking. It is also affected by the habits and skills we develop over time.

For me, right now, it really helps to play the story a lot in my head (and when I say "play" I mean like "play pretend") and then when I sit down to do it, it feels like pantsing, because I can go in any creative direction which strikes me with confidence that it's going somewhere.