Flying fingers

Yesterday: 3200 words. I didn’t have the time or energy to write a blog post.

Today, at 2:30: 1400 words of story, plus another 600 or so of simply letting my fingers go when I started feeling stuck. Those words aren’t usable, they’re more of a conversation with myself about what I wanted to accomplish in the chapter and where I needed to go and what was happening. They did the trick. I was stuck and then I wasn’t stuck anymore.

So, after five days of writing: 11,200 words. Compared to a current 7000 in Ghosts of Belize which I’ve been working on for, well, months. The thing that’s definitely helping the most is to keep reminding myself that it’s a first draft, it can be fixed later, but it also helps that I’ve got no worries about meeting other people’s expectations in the back of my brain. This is a different book, so maybe it’ll disappoint people who wanted more Tassamara but it just feels different. Anyway, I’ll put the back of my brain to work on figuring out why that is so and write more about it later, but right now, I’m ready to take a break, maybe a nap, and then get back to work. The fingers are tired, but I’m not ready to give up the momentum. I want to get the next chapter started and moving. It’s a pity I don’t really know what’s going to happen in it.

A pity and also an adventure.

Busy, busy, busy

2000 words yesterday, 1900 today. It’s not the perfect trend, but it’s still pretty satisfying to hit those numbers.

I also spent a big chunk of yesterday browsing cover designs, and wrote a 2400 word cover design brief today. Yep, I’ve taken the plunge. I’m getting the covers of all the books re-designed by a professional designer. It might seem strange that I decided to pay to have the covers redesigned after so recently raving about how much I loved the cover of A Gift of Time, but that’s actually almost why I did it. I do love the cover, but I also know that it’s not quite good enough. It’s like loving a story while wishing I hadn’t written it with quite so many adverbs. I’ll see how it goes, I guess, but fingers crossed I fall just as much in love with the new covers. The designer knows ALL about my tastes now (2400 words worth) so we’ll see. 🙂

Goal for the rest of today: let my hands and arms rest. I’m feeling the tension in my wrists of an extremely extended World of Warcraft day. Not good. But tomorrow–or maybe even after dinner–I’ll be back with Fen. I’m looking forward to it!

2600 words

Yep. Best writing day in weeks, when I finally gave up on writing what I thought I ought to be writing and wrote what I felt like writing instead. And–ironically–the character leading the way in this story has a filthy mouth. Brief clip:

And with his dark eyes, shaggy hair, excellent ass—yeah, the guy was hot, even if she was so not his type.

Still, he’d definitely flirted back. Maybe for him she had the good-girl appeal, the neat and proper bookstore clerk, working nine-to-five, studying six-to-twelve. Or maybe he’d seen the hint of the bad girl she’d once been under the surface.

Maybe he’d caught a glimpse of one of her tattoos. The one twining close to her collar bone sometimes peeked out under her button-down collars, and in summer, when she didn’t wear tights under her skirts, the ivy pattern up the back of her leg was easy to spot.

Still, why he’d liked her wasn’t the point. He had liked her. He did like her. No way was he agreeing to this bullshit.

 

Poor Fen is being murdered. I wrote 2600 words and they flowed like water. With lots of cuss words, lots of possibly not quite coherent bits, I just let go. Didn’t read it before I posted it to fictionpress, don’t intend to. I want to write this book in fast-forward, revisit it when it’s done.

And for the first time in days, I had fun–really, delightful, awesome, crazy fun–while writing. The scene was as clear to me as if I were watching it on a movie. A character that I knew was a bit player turned into a psychopathic charmer who didn’t die when he was supposed to, another character who was supposed to be mild turned out to be a formerly suicidal, tattooed, cutting-experienced survivor, and the shallow boy love interest turned out to be Anakin Skywalker. Oh, so fun, fun, fun.

Lesson to be learned: write what you feel like writing, whatever it is.

Lesson I most likely have learned: nothing.

I will forget this. I’ll keep going back to things I “ought” to write. But damn it, when the fingers are allowed freedom they do good stuff. I really wanted to write good “shit” there–that’s because Fen is still controlling my fingers and she seriously swears a lot. An effing lot, and I just had to battle with her to make that effing instead of fucking, which is what she wanted. Jeez.

Characters should be allowed to roam free, even when they swear a lot! I know it in my head, I wish I could learn it in my fingers.

A real business

My business is starting to feel like a real business, because somehow it’s almost 2 o’clock and all I’ve succeeded in doing this morning was email. And on a Saturday! But there’s something very satisfying about that. I did get off to a late start, so that probably has something to do with it, too. (I made myself a shrimp and egg breakfast burrito with sauteed red onion, shrimp, jerk seasoning, salsa, scrambled egg, cheese, and avocado. It was meant to be an omelet but didn’t work out that way–the fillings were too heavy for the egg. And while delicious, it wound up being one of those meals that dirties far more dishes than it’s worth.)

Anyway, writing yesterday was some words–probably about 500. And then I reached the end of a scene and wasn’t sure where to go next. The story beats concept is sort of working, but I need to detail my transitions a little better. At the moment, it feels seriously jumpy to me, and I sort of seem to be writing “time passes” material without getting anywhere. One of the other pieces of writing instruction that I’ve got in the back of my head is that every scene should have a goal and, at the moment, my goals seem a little clear. Or rather my character’s goals seem unclear. My goal is still setting up the story, but my character doesn’t have a goal. I think I’ll bear that in mind today.

Goal: Keep writing. One word at a time today!

 

One step backward…

…but two steps forward. Managed almost 800 words yesterday, but deleted 300 of them this morning. I don’t know where I was going, but it wasn’t on a path that I feel like staying on. 

I did read a couple useful things yesterday, though. One was a writer on reddit talking about letting her inner teenager get free. Something about the image resonated with me. The other was a line from the book Write. Publish. Repeat. I’m basically skimming the book–the authors take an awful lot of words to say even the simplest thing–but I highlighted this paragraph:

Writing fast helps you to capture your most natural voice. Done well, it also leaves you with copy that’s easy to edit. Manipulating your thoughts into elegant prose takes a long time. Capturing unedited thoughts as they fly through your mind, however, can yield clean, concise copy with clarity and voice as is the case with Johnny. (Johnny’s note: Sean added that flattering sentence, but for some reason I can’t bring myself to remove it.)

So today I’ll see what I can do with writing fast.

 

Story beating

Today’s story beat is one line: NIGHTMARE

Did I somehow imagine that I would get 1000 words out of that? It seems like an awfully long nightmare.

Yesterday’s free-flowing, “just write whatever” approach worked. I managed to break through and actually did finish the day over 1000 usable words. Even, dare I say, reasonably entertaining words. So today I’m going to try again, using my single word beat as my starting point and seeing how it goes.

Boring, boring, boringest

Yesterday, at about 6:45, writing devolved into a stream of consciousness that included, “And this is totally boring. Like totes boring. Like the boring-est thing ever written.”

In other words, not the best writing day. But I started a company, which was fun–bought a domain name, filed out a DBA, submitted an ad to the Orlando Sentinel, began building a website. $150 later, I’m a publisher. 🙂  

I found a website template that I really liked. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to add submenus to it, so I’m not sure it will work for me in the long run. I may just have to decide to keep the color combos (black, grey, and a bright raspberry that I like because it looks like a rose) and find another one, but the template search is time consuming. I’m not going to start that today until after I stream-of-consciousness myself out of my stuck place and into something better.

Today’s goal: 1000 words, even if they’re terrible and nonsensical and will all have to be cut. My fingers just need to start moving.