Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Ragnarok Facebook party last night. Smart, clever people, and of course, halfway through my session, my portion disappears.

Just staring at blank screen.

So I start up again, but not much gets going. Sort of like I walked into a party and fell flat on my face.

Then again, it was kind of liberating. When the worst happens, then you just roll with it.

I wish I knew why so many things happen at the same time. The announcement of selling "Snaked" to Cohesion Press, the Ragnarok Party, the rollout of "Tuskers III," and hopefully soon the paperback of "The Darkness You Fear." After several months of nothing happening at all.

Well, the writing is the most important thing. I'll cross 60K words today on "Fires of Allah."  I've fucked up the timeline as usual. That's going to take some jiggering when I'm done. But I like the overall flow of the story. It's mostly action scenes from here on out, just concluding the four or five separate storylines.

I have a whole lot of characters in this book, so one of the main jobs in the rewrite will be to make them distinct, or to relegate them to the background, one of the two.

As far as I'm concerned, I've cleared the schedule for next year. I've got two books coming out for sure, I plan to go ahead and publish Gargoyle Dreams in March. I'm going to finish "Fires of Allah" and send it around, and then if I get no nibbles, go supernatural on it, and try again. Either that, or just publish it myself.

I want to continue writing a Virginia Reed book once a year, but other than that, I don't have a particular plans for the next book.

I'm sure it will come to me. It would probably behoove me to come up with another creature book, since that seems to be what I'm successful at. I also have a huge backlog of unfinished books, and I keep wavering as to whether I should be trying to revive them or just move on.

New challenges are more fun, but then again...I hate to waste what I've already done.


Dave Cline said...

I managed to write my first (and only) novel in 90 days this summer, 1000 words a day. Of course that was the average, but if that holds true, and I've read you're trying to shoot for such a number, does that mean you can write four novels per year? Consistently?

I was working full time at the time, so, do you think you can compress that? 2000 words a day in 45 days? (Assuming 90k words is like a general optimum length.)

I had two 5000 word days and a number of 3000 word days. But mostly it was 500-1000. Do such number enter into your future plans?

I had a recommendation to read "Write Great Fiction - Plot & Structure" and I was able to check it out from my library online. 10,000 hours, here I come.

Dave Cline said...

Let me me ask that a different way without all my personal detritus messing up the train of thought: Does a periodic word count quota enter into your goals and or targets for writing your stories?

Additionally, do you shoot for x number of words per story? And are you able to plan for calendar completions? And lastly, is this, in general, how professionals like yourself approach the work?

(Having written software for 25+ years, making estimates of work comes with the territory. I'm not sure if this applies to writing too -- and so the questions.)

Duncan McGeary said...

My usual pace is 2000 words a day, on average. I can do more than that, but I purposely slow myself down a little. (I think I wrote 8K one day, and I've done many 6K days). So yeah, a book every couple months, with rewriting of two weeks. Some of my novels are in the 60K range--the Tuskers books, for instance. (Nowadays, I shoot for 80K or more.)

I've written a lot over the last 4 years. Because I do spend all my time doing it. I just work one day a week at the store, and don't have much of a social life, and it's what I do.

Personally, I don't see 2000 words a day as being outrageous if I'm devoting 10 hours a day to it. In fact, once I'm in the flow I think it is dangerous NOT to write the story down.

Writing a book in two months only works when the book comes out well, though. Usually, I have to set it aside and come back to it. Some never do quite pan out.

Like I said, I've got maybe 10 books I've written (some from my previous career in the 80's), that may never see the light of day because getting them good enough would take at least as long as for me to write a new book, and since I'm a better writer now, it makes more sense to write the new book.

Someday, if I run out of ideas, I may go back to those earlier books.

Be careful with the advice from books.

Duncan McGeary said...

I really how no idea how the "pros" do it. I'm pretty isolated.

I used to worry about my books being long enough, and that made me force some questionable stuff, but found that if I trusted my subconscious the book would be the right length. I've always found it possible to add material if necessary, but it usually isn't.

The word count is somewhat arbitrary--2000 words because that is comfortable and gets me somewhere and leaves me something to work with the next day.

What I found the most important was trying to create a "work process" or an atmosphere and routine that coaxes the creative part.

Words or time?


I give myself the entire day, pretty much. Sometimes it happens fast and other times I don't finally get to it until the end of the day. So I guess you would call that discipline in that I create the setting and I stick with it until I'm done. Lately, most of my writing is done on my daily 4 mile walk in the woods. (Actually, it's become both a crutch and a trigger.)

I read each day's writing to Linda. I also manage to read about half of every book to my writer's group, which meets every two weeks. 2 or 3 chapters at a time. Reading aloud to other people is helpful.

I long ago burned out second readers.

I try to write a first draft fairly quickly, without interfering with myself, then set it aside to let it stew. Come back to it, force myself to do as much rewriting as I can (I really don't like rewriting and am always afraid I'm going to mess it up.) I have an editor who I pay to go through the book, look for inconsistencies, etc.

The deadlines are self-imposed but still real. I learned that from being self-employed, I guess. (In truth, of course, no one cares.) Heh.

Dave Cline said...

Wow! Thanks Duncan. Understanding your process helps considerably.

Dave Cline said...

I received this email from a writing workshop site:

and the "Interview" within that link (which may or may not work due to it being an email archive), is truly useful.

The woman, Susan May Warren, and her Story Equation and Dark Moment Story concepts, had some great insight.