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Noveling in March - Page 2

post #21 of 129
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoetryLover View Post
Is there a certain number of pages per day that I should strive for or a period of time? I always wonder how most writers organize these things.
Every writer is different. There are some that set a time to write each day. Say 1/2 to 4 hours. Others have a number of pages each day. Others just write when they feel it. That's what I did before babies. Now, being a mother to young children, I've done it when my husband was available to babysit. For me it looks like it will be Saturday afternoons. Before the baby was born I used to go to a cafe at 8:30 at night when our son went to bed a couple nights a week. That just doesn't work any more.

It's up to each person, their personality, and their life commitments.
post #22 of 129
I think I'll give myself a time to write in the beginning and see how it flows.

Thanks so much.
post #23 of 129
Wow, this thread's really exploding this week! I didn't expect so many replies... I'm off to a 5-day "writing retreat" this afternoon where I will hopefully get a substantial start on the sequel to the novel I just finished... if morning sickness will let me concentrate long enough. I'll see if I can get some replies in before my ride shows up in a few minutes....
post #24 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by mybabysmama View Post
Grammar's fine in the book. It's all the pretty stuff that makes writing draw you in versus, say, reading the manual for a new TV.
Ahha! I misunderstood. So you want to make your writing richer, rather than "correct" it. I'm TERRIBLE about adding sensory detail, myself, and I have a hard time finding the fine line between "too much" and "too little".

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmaze View Post
I'm re-writing right now. I've been doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, nanowrimo.org) for the last two years. It's been great.

Plus, I love the forums at nanowrimo.org, there are some great writers on there.
I did NaNo this year too... it was fun! I really enjoyed the forums during November but they're so much slower now.. it's sad. I got some great ideas there and some really, really random questions answered.

If I can get online from the retreat (crossing my fingers... there MIGHT be wireless in the hotel lobby, I'm told) I'll find an excerpt to post when I get there...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mybabysmama View Post
Since I can't find this guy, I think I'll just try these next steps. I really like this story and it's the first time I've worked and worked at something. In the past I had too fragile an ego to re-write. (I used to think I was a failure if I didn't get it right the first time.) Now I just want results.
Revising is tough. I read some advice from a pro writer recently that was along the lines of "write it, revise it once, send it out"... revise it ONCE? I would like to be that good someday!
post #25 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by mybabysmama View Post
Anyway, for those of you who haven't been to conferences, beyond "show, don't tell," another one is "kill your darlings." Those sections of the book that you absolutely love but that don't advance the story at all. Gotta get rid of them.
One of the ways I've heard this phrase more concretely is that every scene must advance the plot or develop character... if it doesn't serve either purpose, you probably don't need it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mybabysmama View Post
Also, I know absolutely nothing about water stains so I could never publish this (not that I'm going to) because I'd have to research water stains.
For something "common" like water stains, I think you could simply have a couple other people read it and see if it sticks out or strikes them as wrong. I could tell you know that I have an old, beat-up wooden kitchen table that my parents used when I was a kid, with TONS of stains on it. I wouldn't have batted an eye at the description you used. (I've been told that peanut butter will get water stains out of wood, FWIW, but I wouldn't except someone to know that offhand... I only read that recently. I was going to try it on a chair that DD had spilled some water onto and let sit, but it didn't end up staining!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by desertdessert View Post
ps, mybabysmama, i generally prefer dark to sunny. so i liked your vignette. my own writing can get downright morbid and is often disturbing.
Me, too. Real life is not always sunny, and when it is, it's not always interesting.

(And for the record, my protagonist kills 5 people in the first 15 chapters of my novel.... He gets better, though. )
post #26 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoetryLover View Post
I'm an aspiring novelist for so long--but I'm just terrified to begin. I guess I'm just afraid that I'm not good enough after all. Writing is the only thing I want to do, though, really and truly. It's the only thing I'm passionate about where work is concerned. I tend to journal a lot. My husband asked why I don't spend some of that time doing other types of writing. Also, for my novel ideas, I am intimidated by not knowing where to begin. I've heard people say to just jump in. Maybe, too, (this is especially the case with my memoir and poetry) I'm afraid of what will be brought to the surface and afraid I'm not strong enough to handle the material.

Oh, this is great. You are me three weeks ago, fantasizing about getting started! Now it's like being in love --- my characters are always spinning around my head. I made myself start writing with no ideas at all (except "light fiction," because - like you - I wanted to avoid my demons) but my characters seem darker than I planned. Why does that happen?

Sometimes my writing muse is flowing, other times I can feel how forced and mechanical the process is --- with very poor (ugh!) results.

I hope that in time my self-esteem becomes less attached to the results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoetryLover View Post
Should I just force myself to write *anything* for a certain amount of time or a certain number of pages every day?

On average, I'm writing 30-60 minutes a day, and I wish it were more, but my 2 and 4 year olds have other ideas. I've given up trying to write unless they are in their daddy's care because I get frustrated with them when I cannot focus on my characters.

And yikes, I think I already have a lot of "darlings!" Not much looking forward to murder.....

Jenny
post #27 of 129
I'm so glad to hear other moms are writing!!!

I'm in need of energy to write. I'm an artist and I'm trying to finsih some sketchs today for a client. But I want to write!!! Agh!

Erin, I'm so jealous of your 5 day writing retreat! That sound AMAZING!

I am so nervous to have anyone read my writing, but yet, I know thats the only way I'll ever know if I can do it. It's hard- I'm so critical of my artwork, and now I'm carrying that into my writing. Yikes.
post #28 of 129
You've got to be very honest with yourself when it comes to setting writing goals. I used to determine I'd write X number of pages, and then simply not make time to do it & feel bad. I do better when I set myself a certain amount of time, but only if I'm really feeling the work. Right now, with my schedule, my goal is to simply write in between classes, and often/usually during my 50-min. break between the first two (but sometimes I want to read, or eat, & I let myself do that). I'm making slow progress, but I am making progress, and that feels good.

Quote:
"She took off her shoes and left them in the kitchen because she was too tired to put them away like she usually does."
What I would do with this--completely off the cuff, mind you:

I stumbled into the kitchen and kicked my shoes off. The microwave clock told me it was nearing two a.m. That trip out to Poteet had been a poor choice. Bellamy limped in behind me. He looked at my shoes, and opened his mouth, but then shut it again. I didn't need to see the red aura spikes to know he was in pain. He dropped onto the bench in the breakfast nook and let his head fall onto his arms on the table.

"Never let me do that again."


That's with my current characters...

I let my best friend, who is my usual first reader, read some of my novel Saturday. He laughed in all the right places. Sometimes I wonder if my humor will come across.
post #29 of 129
We've had our first meeting with my new writing moms group, and I just realized that I've added over 7K words to my novel so far (about half way) since starting revisions. I'll probably add twice that in the second half (something about having outlined the first act in the most detail before starting, and doing it for NaNo a few years back ). So that would put me at approaching 80K total... and then I'll have to cut mercilessly. But this is starting to shape up like a real book!

I seem to have the problem of over-writing. Metaphors and similes in every paragraph, details descriptions of little movements during conversations. I'm learning as I write, so I figure I'll put it all in and then experiment with how to convey character and relationships and all that. I worry mostly about having active, powerful, and concise language. But hey, not every fantasy is written that way, right? :P
post #30 of 129
I have to say the 5-day retreat is really more like 3.5 days, since we didn't really do anything but arrive yesterday and we leave at noon on Sunday. BUT! So far it's been good. We had two organized lecture/discussions today, a semi-group breakfast, and much free time. The "resort" has a restaurant and lounge that are only open 4pm-9pm, and the writing retreaters have basically taken over the lounge part 20 hours a day for writing. So here we sit, surrounded by science fiction & fantasy writers and Pacific Indian artwork, watched over by the glassy-eyed stuffed heads of local dead animals.


Margaret -- one of the discussions here today was about self-editing, and the discussion leader and serveral other published writers highly recommended Ken Rand's "The 10% Solution" for learning to clean and tighten your prose. Useful tip: you can buy it new more cheaply by ordering directly from fairwoodpress.com rather than going through amazon.com.
post #31 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by JennyClaire View Post
On average, I'm writing 30-60 minutes a day, and I wish it were more, but my 2 and 4 year olds have other ideas. I've given up trying to write unless they are in their daddy's care because I get frustrated with them when I cannot focus on my characters.
I had to go to this type of system too - my DC always interrupted me at the most inopportune times (love scenes)...and then, when I just wrote albeit them in the room with me or in my lap, the writing really stunk...

it's a hobby that costs NO $$$, just time.
post #32 of 129
when you can't sleep...start editing! :
post #33 of 129
If you keep track of your word count - do you count the words in the outlines, and character descriptions that are not meant for the final copy?

Just curious.
post #34 of 129
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
If you keep track of your word count - do you count the words in the outlines, and character descriptions that are not meant for the final copy?

Just curious.
Nope. Just word count of what would go in a publication.
post #35 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
If you keep track of your word count - do you count the words in the outlines, and character descriptions that are not meant for the final copy?

Just curious.
would you want anyone to see/read it?!?! I wouldn't include it. It's just you thinking out loud on paper.
post #36 of 129
someone mentioned in a writing class that you can see what your 'readability' level is in MS Word, but I don't see where the function is in the drop down menus...any clue?
post #37 of 129
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyHawk View Post
would you want anyone to see/read it?!?! I wouldn't include it. It's just you thinking out loud on paper.
You include it when you submit for (hoped for) publication so the editor knows how long the piece is.
post #38 of 129
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyHawk View Post
I don't get it. I thought a synopsis + word count = how long it is and how it gets there... now I need to polish up my outline too???

dude...whatever happened to just writing a story, start to finish!??!
I'm confused. I assume you have a completed manuscript with a word count that you submit.

As I recall, usually you submit first 50 or so pages plus synopsis plus outline.
post #39 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by mybabysmama View Post
You include it when you submit for (hoped for) publication so the editor knows how long the piece is.
I don't get it. I thought a synopsis + word count = how long it is and how it gets there... now I need to polish up my outline too???

dude...whatever happened to just writing a story, start to finish!??!
post #40 of 129
Oh, no no... what I meant is...
I have a daily word goal for writing, but not all things that I write are part of the novel itself. If we assume that the word count goal is 1000 words a day, would you give yourself a break, if you spent 600 words on the outline? Or would you expect of yourself to write 600 words in the outline AND 1000 words for the novel itself?
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