Monday, April 23, 2012

Dispatch from the Deadline!



Hi world! Above, presented by little friend, the days remaining in April to finish writing Days of Blood & Starlight, with two May days (mayday!) graciously provided by Alvina who will not begin editing until then. This is one of my tracking devices. I also have a print out of the sections remaining to be written, each assigned a day, with some grace days and a few days at the end for tightening before sending it off.

Right now I am in REALLY good spirits about the whole thing because the last few days have been great. Two 3000-word days in a row (a VAST LOT for me!) and the realization AT LAST of the scene that was the A-HA! moment for the whole book, way back when it was first germinating in my brain well over a year ago. And yesterday I was so ahead of my schedule I was able to take Clementine on secret errands for Jim's birthday and then go to bed at 10. Like, three hours earlier than usual.

Maybe I should have used the time to get ahead, but I don't like starting new scenes at night with muzzy brain. Also, Clementine was showing signs of a cough coming, so I thought I might need the sleep. Bless her, she slept the WHOLE NIGHT. Kiss kiss.

So, today back to the work schedule, another big scene to tackle. Here's been my plan of attack to try to avoid my usual pitfalls (of writing too slowly, working at a kind of sentence-level that should be reserved for revisions):



APRIL 23 (for example)
beginning word count: 
final word count: 
goal: 
goat met? 

1st: write a plan for the day’s writing; get my mind around it.
2nd: write a 15-minute zero draft of the entire thing; don’t read, just highlight interesting things
3rd: get to work. Write the scene for real.



To tell the truth, I haven't been seeing (2) through because what's been happening is I start the zero draft thing then find my way into (3) and just go with it. Usually the zero draft (so rough it doesn't even get to be called a first draft) is an unsticking mechanisms, for idea generation, but if I don't need it I don't do it. Because it is no fun to write such unrewarding mess!

Okay. To the scene at hand, then. Here's me on the walk to the cafe this morning. Tall:



Portland thinks it's summer, but don't be fooled. It's a trick of spring meant to break our hearts when the rain returns. As it will.


Happy day!

6 comments:

June G said...

It was cool to see some of your writing process. Can you do more posts like this? Thanks! Writers and aspiring authors want to know! Lol...

DANI HARPER said...

Really liked your idea on tracking your progress -- thanks for sharing and also for the beautiful pic of flowers - a tulip tree? Magnolias? Love it whatever it is.

Laurence King said...

Love your plan of attack, Laini! I, too, love to get insights into your writing process. Thank you! And that long shadow of yours, it's you about to conquer those final days of writing and coming out triumphant!!!

pdxjess said...

As T.S. Eliot said, "April is the cruelest month." While I've appreciated every single one of these pre-summer Portland days...I know my heart is going to break when the sunshine leaves to flirt with another mistress.

Irene said...

Nice pictures, and please, don't drop dead, because I am dying to find out what happens next. :-)

tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

When I read about novel writing plotting methods, my braine explodes. But I found this plan of attack is very helpful, because I myself fall into those very same pitfalls ~ writing too slowly, getting stuck at the level of the sentence, and even word. Thank you for this ...

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