August 20, 2014 § 3 Comments
Whee! Coming along. Getting there . . .
. . . you’ll notice the green tags 41 to 68. Those are chapters I haven’t written yet. I’m not absolutely sure all are necessary. All but chapter 41 are near the end of the book, pretty much right in a row (73 chapters total). Thinking they’ll be short, maybe combined somehow into four or five. Don’t know. But at this point psychologically?–I need to move on. So I’m going to punch holes in this draft, stick it in a notebook for easier reading, tweaking and tagging, and by next week I’ll be calling it working DRAFT #4.
Also exciting is the word count: 52,846 so far. That’s a NA-NO!
This novel in the photo didn’t begin as a NaNoWriMo (writing 50,000 words in 30 days the month of November), as I may have mentioned, but I’ve been a NaNoWriMo “winner” four years in a row with other novel beginnings, so I can say with complete confidence it’s a good way to start writing one.
TIP: Get it all out of your head and down on paper any way you can.
That’s what I’m doing with the green-tagged chapters now. I have crazy wild sentences typed out that go with each chapter title to get me started again. So when I return to reading through the draft I’m not hit with a neon blank page. Who knows? More sentences might fall off the top of my head when I get there.
XO – Pierr
August 13, 2014 § 2 Comments
TIP: Take time to see important stuff.
August 6, 2014 § Leave a comment
Pauline – my ’89 Honda Civic – turned 370,000 miles yesterday. A 5-speed still getting the mileage other models only dream about. And though she’s not doing long road trips anymore – to write in the Iowa Summer Writing Festival or in New Mexico with Natalie Goldberg, and slows from 70 to 40 mph up those long gradual climbs not far north to Bellingham to browse Village Books in Fairhaven or east over Snoqualmie Pass to ski, then on down into Ellensburg to see a genuine Old Rodeo, Pauline’s still going strong.
Novel progress this last week has been slow, so I’m sure you’ll guess where I’m headed with this mileage thing. Sometimes Pauline doesn’t go anywhere for a week or two. Living downtown I can walk to most everything I need and this we both really like. She can rest next to the hedge where the raccoons play. But she’s here. So am I.
TIP: Go the distance. xo Pierr
July 30, 2014 § Leave a comment
Naa…it’s not the whole draft yet. I’m trying a little visual psychology to excite the brain to cross the finish line. But even with this third draft ‘finished’ the novel isn’t done yet. See the blue and green tags? Once I have the last section of this third draft completed, I will read through it and tag it as I’ve tagged these two sections alerting me to spots where a certain plot element would fit nicely. Then my task – to call it a fourth draft – is to actually write in those spots a little something of that plot element.
You see how I’m working in the future here…not having actually completed the two tasks I’ve just described. The power of a blog is to keep a person accountable I guess. That’s what I’m up to, anyway. Oo – but look at these pages from the side . . .
Impressive, eh? Now that looks like a book!
“What we intend has a very high probability of actually occurring.” – Martha Beck
TIP: Fill your eyes with the final vision – heart & mind are sure to follow.
July 22, 2014 § 6 Comments
Personality-type wise, I’m someone who likes to make lists. Have a plan to ford.
There are all kinds of ways to plan things out on the computer these days – charts and graphs and Scrivener has a fabulous ‘Binder’ feature and virtual cork board where you can post index cards. I’ve been typing this third draft up in Scrivener, its chapters all organized and tidy, but there comes a point where I need to touch a real piece of paper, chart a course with a real pen and pencil. Use real Post-Its and highlighter pens on a big paper map.
From the start, I knew the novel would take place over 12 specific days in one particular month. My rough draft wasn’t written with the kind of detail you see in the photo above at all. My only plan was to write 300 pages, getting it down any way I could. It was all over the place. And that was a good thing. First and second draft I honed things in a bit, deciding what I liked and what might keep the plot rolling along. In fact, at that point I was thinking I could skip the writing of five days in the last week because once I had the narrator’s routine down for the reader, I figured no use repeating herself, right? Well, that may end up being true, but now – in this third draft – I’m feeling the need to know every detail of these 12 days so if/when I cut stuff in a fourth draft, I will know and understand what I’m leaving out rather than feel as if I’m lying to the reader somehow. Withholding.
In other words, at this point in the process I’m seeing how important it is to know the back story and the consequences of choices the narrator makes even if the writing of them never appears in the final draft. Maybe that’s why it takes so long to birth one of these (at least for me).
TIP: You gotta know.
xo – Pierr
July 17, 2014 § 4 Comments
My desert writing getaway was glorious.
Filled the feeders daily…
Sat out under the terra cotta umbrella reading and revising novel chapters till temp hit 90 (usually by 9 am)
At which time I moved indoors, up a story, with another amazing view…
My goal this trip was to read through the entire novel again from page 1, making changes on the pages. I brought pens and pencils and Post-It tags. The blue and green tags = tweaks & cuts. The yellow & purple tags = tracking 2 main plot elements. Orange & hot pink tags = major changes needed…meaning, gonna-have-to-slow-way-down-to-figure-these-out.
Later in the day the brain shut down and nothing but a dip in the pool and siesta would revive it. (I never actually wrote by the pool on a towel – this chapter was styled like this to impress you.)
Now I’m back home in the NW where temps have been pretty impressive. I’ve attempted to recreate the desert on my deck. It’s not the same, of course, but I’m still in a daily rhythm with the novel, now typing into the computer all the changes I made while away from electronics, creating what will be draft #3 once I print it out. I have at least two more to go, won’t be surprised at a 6th & 7th.
TIP: Write something you like to read…over and over and over and over and…