Irony 3 Christmas Train. To those who have decided to peripherally monitor this train to see of it goes off the rails, I feel obligated to inform you that I am not a same time every day writer. It comes when it comes and the schedule allows. I would love to be a same time every day AM writer. Alas, there are days when I am a PM writer, and even late night writer. (In fact, that is most days) Happy Scribing.
Dec. 13/14 – Days 43 & 44 – 513 Words
Day 43 saw the beginning of chapter 9. I was away from my MC’s, developing my underneath plot points, filling in some material for the character in the scene as he does his little investigation. Was giving him reason and determination to go after the thing he was after, while mixing in a bit of back story. A workman like effort.
Things were a tad jagged, and by jagged I mean writing, deleting, writing again and deleting again, trying to get the phrasing right. Yes, a case can be made for leaving that for the rewrite, but I am of the approach that if I get it at least close to how I want it now, it will save me a bunch of rewriting time later.
I am not overly anal about it, and a few words here and there that I don’t like I let go and move on. But, a whole paragraph, or a couple of sentences strung together, I would like to flow a certain way, and I don’t like moving on until I have that flow. Because, if I have that flow, then when the rewrite does come, all I have to do is add to the decoration, as opposed to stripping it to bare bones and redecorating all over again. Why am I speaking in decorating terms? Probably due to the lighted Christmas tree staring at me to my right.
Anyway, as you probably know already if you checked the calendar, Day 44 was an off day. Did it have to be? Meh, I suppose not, but it was okay that it was and I am perfectly fine with that. Were there twinges of ‘You should have gotten it done’ in my head? Yes, but I take comfort in that it was not a decision based in any way on whether I felt like writing or not. Because, truthfully, if I didn’t feel like writing, I would have written.
It may sound strange, but I have learned that choosing those days to take off is the greatest setback to the completion of the work. Why? Heck, because those days are aplenty. When you feel like the book sucks, you don’t feel like writing. When you think you are not getting something right, and even that your whole premise is out in left field somewhere, you don’t feel like writing. And, of course, when you are tired, you don’t feel like writing.
There are a fair number of all of those days in writing a novel. If you are a writer and have never experienced them, bless your little heart (I hate you/ not really). But, it does happen to me along the way. It happened with Sticky Buns (found here and written in the first person) And also with Irony 2 (clicky link).
The point being, write through. And if you do take days off like I did with 44, try and make sure the decision is based on just taking a little break, and not immersed in a barrage of negativity toward the project.
“Whoa, did you just give writing advice? You? Who the Ernest Hemingway do you think you are?”
I am Groot.
“Groot? Who the he-- Oh, very funny, Guardians of the Galaxy reference? How original.”
I am Groot.
“Pfft! If you can’t even come up with your own material, what in Edgar Allen Poe do you think gives you the right to dispense advice?”
I am Groot.
“Staying in unoriginal character as well? You hack!”
I am Groot.
“Yeah, yeah, I think we got it. Look, you guys, thanks for stopping by and happy writing. Robert has gone off the deep end again. I keep the stick by the computer now and it looks like I am going to have to use it.”
I am Gr—Ow!
Dec. 15/16 – Day 45 & 46 – 1058 Words
This may be a short update, let’s see how it goes. (famous last words, right?) Day 45 saw the end of chapter 9 and beginning of chapter 10. If you have been a passenger on this Novel Train and are thinking ‘Wow, that fast?’ Then your wow is in the right neighborhood. Chapter 9 is a short chapter.
That’s the way it goes sometimes. A long one here, a short one there, all make up the ingredients of a book. Now, if only I could cook like I write. Oh, boy, why did I say that?
“If you cooked like you wrote, you would starve!”
Alright, that’s enough from the peanut gallery, and all joking aside, I CAN cook. Whether I can write or not is still up for grabs. Anyway, like I was saying, I am in Chap 10 land, sounding my train whistle, rolling along in my Christmas decorated train, headed for ‘The End.’
Day 46 saw further travel into the heart of chapter 10 land. I am at the point where one of my subsidiary MC’s is going for a big reveal, and my head MC, (that’s main character as opposed to master of ceremonies) in about a day or so in book time, is about have a ‘get the book juices flowing’ meeting with Fergus Gulliver, his conspiracy theorist next door neighbor. Following that, there are a number of ways I can go. Right into the action, moving things quickly toward a 50-60k word book; or further develop some things and write the 75-90k book I planned.
Hmm. Okay, I have decided. I am going to write the book as it comes, period. If it goes shorter, it does. Longer? I am okay with that too. I am indie right now and not on deadline. If things were different, I would adjust my writing accordingly and try and channel it faster. (Week 5/day 32) With that said, I am going to wrap this puppy blog post up and--
“What about that casserole you made last week? It tasted like wet cardboard. I had to drown every bite in ketchup to keep from gagging—“
--wish you happy and productive writing. :)
Dec. 17/18 – Day 47 & 48 – 1023 Words
Day 47 & 48, wow, has it been that many already? Yep, I looked again at the numbers and it has. Seems like only yesterday that I pulled out of the station on this Novel Train. I can hear the Nano-Wrimers laughing at me. “We finished almost three weeks ago. What’s the holdup, buddy?” Yeah, well, I guess you can just call me turtle-man, plodding along at a snail’s pace.
“If you’re at a snail’s pace, then wouldn’t that make you snail-man instead of turtle-man?”
Anyway, these two days saw me leading up to two things I already mentioned. A reveal by a subsidiary MC, and my head MC meeting with conspiracy guy to give the book a shot of adrenalin. I am still playing with the setup, trying to pull it off in an amusing way. The reveal by my sub MC should come in the next writing day, or close to it. The conspiracy guy meeting will happen the next day (book time) and I will take it from there.
It’s not easy being cheesy. What does that mean? Other than that the brand advertising worked on me? It means that writing is hard work. What brought it up? I was just thinking that someone may be thinking, “Geez, why not just dive right into it. Do the two things that you say are coming and be done with it. Why string it out over so many days and words?”
Firstly, though 500 words is a nice even noble goal, in reality, it is not a lot of words. So, it is more than likely that one scene will span several writing sessions. And, second, I am no authority, aside from experience and what works for me, but I do feel that setup is important. For instance, I decided to give my MC a pet he doesn’t have yet. (Mentioned Week 5/Day 30)
Do I just throw the pet into his life? I could, but to me that would be gimmicky. Yes, it IS a gimmick to add personality to the book, but I don’t want it to seem like it. Or, even if it does, I want to do it right. So, what I did was retreat and insert a backstory where he regularly meets with the pet (a stray) feeding it odd things and what not, and then one day it is no longer in its usual place waiting for his treats. (Has this scenario been done to extinction? Obviously not ;p)
Gimmicky? To add an emotional reunion, and reluctant-hero adoption, to hopefully bond readers to my character for taking the animal in? That may have been my thought, um, I don't know. *Innocent Look* As for how it happens, well, you will have to read the book for that. What was my point? Oh, yeah, writing be hard work, and it’s not easy being cheesy. Happy writing people.
See Calendar on Contact Page for blurb.
Dec. 19 – Day 49 – 505 Words
End of another writing week and this Novel Train is cruising on into week 8; whistle blaring, steam blowing out the stack, passengers dining on 500 word meals, and the engineer trying not to go off the rails. Hmm, what to say about today’s writing session? Um, it came after yesterday’s but before tomorrow’s? That about covers it, I suppose. I had some banter fun between book siblings, advanced the story, and away we go. I don’t know if there is much more I can say. I could just go on and on with whatever pops into my head, endlessly droning on about this, that, or the other.
“Well, it is nice of you to finally share your novel writing style with us.”
I am not at all amused
”If I wrote like you did, I wouldn’t be either. Incidentally, I need to re-light the oven pilot, can you hand me that copy of Irony over there collecting dust.”
And your authored books are where?
“I have no books. I am an imaginary antagonistic character.”
Exactly, and if you want to stay imaginary, and not extinctionary, then you know what is good for you.
“Robert Shroud is the greatest author who ever lived!”
Okay, people, I have to go, he just blew enough smoke to singe my cheeks, and the oven pilot does need relighting. Happy writing.
See Calendar on Contact Page for blurb.