Archive for the ‘Reaper’ Category

This is a post I wanted to write last night at around 9:30pm but realized my brain was too far gone for anything that seemed even roughly cognizant. There were ideas, but no flow to the thoughts. It is my hope that I can bring some form of clarity to those thoughts today, but I’m just so stoked I may be a bit discombobulated.

I did it.

50,000 words: Finished

A Novel: Finished…more or less. I’m sitting at around 75,000 for the complete rough draft of my Twelve Dancing Princesses novel including what I wrote before and during Nano. Yes, I’ve been working on this story since before CampNano started, for about a year now all things told. Yes, I was working as a rebel spy. It was a trap! But I’m happy I wasn’t starting from the beginning because there’s no way I would have finished the plot in a month’s time and that would have made me sad. As it stands, there’s still some scenes that I have to fill in, timelines that need to be tweaked, dialogue that needs to be fleshed out. (Do you ever find yourself, in the stream of consciousness of writing, that words sometimes escape you and you start typing in expletives as adjectives because you’re too lazy to think of anything better at that moment and don’t want to pause to think of it? Yea, I have some of those going on in the manuscript. They will be going away when not completely appropriate. Okay in dialogue? Perhaps. Okay in narrative? Not so much.)

This is the first time the story has sat in any form of completion. It’s all there more or less. Scenes that haven’t been written have at least been made note of that they need to be added, but nothing that disrupts the actual story is missing. For sure, I need to go through it and rewrite it to something that resembles what I’d like it to be, but for now I bask. I bask in the afterglow of accomplishing something that at times seemed impossible. I bask in the glow of something that I was too close to accomplishing to just sit back and accept defeat. I bask in the glow of being one step further to a finished product.

The plan is to bask for a week and then the writer in me will demand I accomplish something. Already my mind has started to think of edits and additions. I tell my mind to shut up. I want to let it sit and rest and just exist before I toy with it some more. The question is: how long do I let it sit?

Right now I can’t even look at it. The thought of writing so many words (almost 85 pages typed in word) and then diving right into editing them just makes me too sad. The parts that really need to be worked will need more than a few tweaks. Some edits could be massive like Godzilla. After a week I may feel differently, and then it comes into question of what’s best for the story. Is it better to go back at it while everything’s fresh in my mind, to toil onward until I have a manuscript that is very close to finished or do I take a break? I’m not going to lie, I’ve got in mind a storyline about Grim Reapers that is just killing me to get out but I put it on hold until I finished Twelve. I think it might be time to work on a new project, and when that project is finished I can look at Twelve again with a fresh eye and work on that while Reaper sits and chills out.

I kind of like the idea of staggering the work, always having two projects. One to edit, one to create.

We shall see what happens. For now, I BASK!

They aren’t really enemies, but I feel like anything that sticks a time-frame to novel writing must be philosophically at odds. Nanoers will say they only need 30, this book says you can create something in 90, and I’m sure I’ve seen something entitled “The year you write your novel” or something like that.

Anyways, I was tooling around my local library yesterday and came upon a book that I hadn’t really looked at before. I’d seen it on the shelf but told myself it wasn’t for me, at least not at that juncture. The book in question is a writing workshop book entitled the 90-day novel by Alan Watt. Typically I’ve passed this book over because I didn’t have the time, I wasn’t interested in conforming to someone else’s writing schedule, and I thought it would be the same kinds of things you see in those books they force you to work out of during creative writing class. (You know the type of book I’m talking about, each chapter devoted to an aspect of literature that you can analyze in other people’s work and then be assigned to write something that focuses on that attribute…the things that are nice if you want to do a general study of writing but doesn’t help you actually put anything together.) That was during the school year when I had a clear-cut idea of what I was doing with myself and what story I was working on. I mean, I’ve been working on Twelve for almost a year, I know that I just have to put my nose to the grinding stone and write it (I’m at about 31,000 words now and realizing it’s far more complex than I originally gave it credit for, but I digress).

However, I’ve had another story in mind about a Grim Reaper for almost as long and I’ve written almost nothing of it. The problem that I’ve had with my Grim Reaper story is that I have a basic idea but I don’t know where to go with it. Twelve has a clear cut start to finish idea but Grim Reaper is just a concept. Enter 90-Day Novel.

Now that summer is upon us I have a LOT of free time. I’m a school year employee so summer I’m at my leisure and limited budgeting skills. I figure why not use it to better myself and do all the writing that I’ve had to put on the back burner. Likewise, I do a lot of reading during the school year, and now that it’s summer I’m looking for shorter snippets instead of the long novel to read. I meandered around the library yesterday waiting for books to catch my eye. The winners include a dictionary of superstitions, a book about a woman who remembers everything since she was 13, WWII facts, and the 90-day novel. I figured I’d give this self-help book a shot just to see how the author planned to get people to write a book in 90 days. I know it’s possible to do in the span of a month if your nose is to the grinding stone, I just wanted to know what exactly was going on in this book other than “get your butt in a chair and do it.”

As it turns out, every day has a short few paragraphs of informative opener and writing exercises. The goal is to build the characters and the world as free-writing exercises, exploring the possibilities for almost a month before even attempting to write the story. The prompts for these free-writes are fantastic, and there’s more in the back of the book for the reader to utilize as they continue to explore. The goal is to write for about 2 hours every day exploring characters, setting, visuals, whatever you’d like to think about without committing to anything. After a month of exploration you outline and set out on your first draft, each day having encouraging snippets to motivate you to continue towards your final product.

I’ve decided to give this a whirl, see what it produces, and let you know how it all turns out. I’m excited to be working on the bones for another project while continuing on the first and with the time set at 90 days I’ll finish just after the beginning of the new school year (provided everything goes according to plan). This means, potentially, I’ll be sitting on two manuscripts to edit and rework when my brain is mush from interpreting all day. This is exciting. It’ll be interesting to see what develops and how exploring the world via free-writes will impact the ease of transitioning to a draft. I’ve never planned a whole lot. I’ve always taken an idea, ran with it, and worked through problems as they come along. So this will be a whole new experience for me. If I’m happy with the results I’ll probably pick up the sequel, which is called the 90-day rewrite.

This is day 2 of the 90-day novel, so I’ll let you know on day 7 if things are really going as well as I could hope.