Wednesday, July 10, 2013

ROW80 Check In 3 - What's Next?

This is the wrap up for Experiment Novelette #1.  At this point, it's hard to track word count because I'm putting the pieces together and backfilling small gaps and cutting redundancies and trying to make it all work together.

Sunday, Day 7 - Not a Clue.  Today I re-outlined and knitted together what I had. I realized that the best of the material from the cut first chapter can work with Chapter 3.  (I really think we have to meet the count before the end.)

Monday, Day 8 - More than 1000 words.  But I really don't know how much because it's mostly knitting and backfilling.  A hundred words here, fifty words there.  A thousand words there, but then a eight hundred words cut.

Tuesday, Day 9 - Okay, I had a good start on my backfilling, etc., but I didn't get anywhere near as far as I wanted to.  Still I'm going to work a little further on it tonight, and then stick a fork in it.  I think I have a total of about 10k and it will probably end up with another 2-3k when I come back and finish it.

What Next?

Okay, I "finished" a story.  It needs work, but I have declared the rough draft done.  I didn't even think about what I'd do next while I wrote it.  I had some vague ideas that I ought to do more of the same in this genre, and maybe this book would have a sequel or two. It has some possibilities as a series, even if it is romance.

This, I realize, could be a problem for my plan.

For the original Dean Wesley Smith plan, it's not a problem because short stories are a kind of "make it up and go" length.  But that's exactly why I don't like writing that length except for microfiction.  If I'm going to sit down and just write something off the cuff, I want to have it finished when I get up from that writing session.

I like novelettes because they have more plot to them, more complex movement. They have things to weave together.  They require a little more thought ahead.  And to successfully write 2000 or more words in a day, I have to have a sense of where I am going.

I have considered the following:

*Take the few days off to "fill the well" -- develop up a few more of these ideas and then dive in on Sunday.

Why I don't want to do that one: I'm trying to develop better habits here.  I'm just getting on a roll.  It is not time to take a break.  That's why I'm sticking a fork in the current story!  To force myself to keep moving.

*Don't give in! -- Write the 2000 words a day (Or 1500 or whatever I decide to set) on anything at all, including major novels I won't be working on for some time in the future, while I figure out what I'll do for my next project. Then dive into the next story on Sunday.

Why I don't want to do that one: This one is tempting, and was my actual plan until yesterday, but I know myself, and if I do this I will get scattered and actually accomplish nothing.

What I'm actually going to do:

*Recognize that I actually have several stories in a pile waiting to be written -- even if I had lost interest or confidence in them while writing a different genre. Even if they were turning out "too long" for this experiment. 

Lost Interest? I've written something very different in between, I am refreshed for a contemporary romantic suspense again.

Lost Confidence? That's the other thing this experiment is about.  It's part of the point of writing a bunch of short fiction.  If it sucks, or I'm doing the wrong genre, it will be over soon, and there are a bunch more stories to write that won't suck and will be in the right genre (whatever that is).

Too long?  Hey, at least they are ready to write.  No need to take time off to come up with a different, shorter idea.  They aren't that much longer.

When I'm done with these two stories, then maybe I'll have been at this long enough to take a few days off to brainstorm new ideas, or flesh out some partial ideas. And when I do that, I'll have three new novelettes/novellas under my belt!

See you in the funny papers.


Jae said...

Sounds like you're moving right along with your goals. Well done! :)

Dawn Montgomery said...

Doing great! :D

Lee McAulay said...

Blast your hide, madam, I was just going to leave an ordinary comment and then got too wordy and ended up with a blog post of my own on productivity and kanban...
Which is here, btw:
Keep up the good work. Your posts on blogging, writing, keeping the popcorn kittens on a leash - keep me motivated. And I'm glad you're back on ROW80 too.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell said...

I found your counter-arguments, thought-provoking, Camille. I often choose one of those paths, without investigating the down side to it. You done well to see which down sides (such as length) don't really matter, and which ones will stymie you in some way.

Hurrah for better habits, and hurrrah for things waiting in the wings.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell said...

Sorry for the typos and incoherence--24 hours driving in the past three days have fried my brain!

"counterarguments" and ""You've" Sheesh!

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks Jae and Dawn.

Lee: Glad to inspire. It's interesting to see everyone's different approaches. (And interesting how many people are inspired by DWS's productivity.)

Elizabeth: the big irony here is.... I ended up doing none of the above and opting for "make it up and go" short stories. (More about that on Sunday.)

Unknown said...

Ditto the thoughts on counterarguments. Thinking abut your writing process is a huge step in being able to move forward and not get stuck next time. Well done.