September 21, 2002

1175 Words and a Plan

Nice little writing day. I know. Saturday is supposed to be my day off, but I'm flipping Saturday with Sunday this week. Today's writing went well enough. Came up with an unplanned little scene that I hope will add resonance as well as give the reader a chance to see Paul's thoughts about the thing with Stephen the night before.

I've come up with a plan for writing this novel, as I've come to terms with the fact that my schedule will not allow me to finish before Christmas like I'd hoped. This plan is based on my writing six days a week, with about an hour or so a day during the five weekdays, and one open ended day on the weekend. My daily goal is 1000 words. That's my average for an hour of writing, so it should work out okay. But we all know how averages go. That's why I've also added a weekly goal of 6000 words. Anyone who's at all competent with math might wonder on the redundancy of my weekly goal, but let me explain. This means if I only manage to write 900 words each day of the week in my hour-a-day, I can pick up the change on my open ended weekend day. So in this case, on Sunday I'd write 1500 words, thus bringing my weekly total to 6000. Neat, huh? You see, my problem isn't one of getting the work done, but of having the time to do as much of the work as I would like. Granted, if I miss three days during the week, I'm not going to write 4000 words on Sunday. (I might, but I wouldn't feel I had to.) These are just rough goals to keep things steady. Which is good enough for me. This is only writing after all, not world peace negotiations.

At the same point, if I have a good week, I might be able to use my Sunday to work on rewrites of short stories and get some of those sent out. Pretty cool, eh?

September 20, 2002

959 Words

I thought I had more than that, but I guess not. Still, I wrapped up the Stephen scene and I really like what I got. Stephen's really waking up as a character for me. His scene just flowed. Unlike the Charlie/Quint scene, which pretty much sucks rocks.

Okay, there's this thing at the end of the Stephen scene that I think is pretty cool and says a lot about Stephen's relationship with his father without saying anything about it directly. So I'm going to post a snippet. Enjoy:

Dad swung the door shut hard enough to shake the house. Stephen could feel the vibrations in his feet.

"You won't listen to anything I say," Dad shouted, voice grating and wet. When he turned to face Stephen, Stephen could see the red edges of his father's eyes, the reflective glaze coating them.

Stephen had never seen his father like this. And what was this? This couldn't possibly be all because Stephen snuck out at night, could it?

Dad strode toward Stephen. Again his hands formed fists at his side, just like earlier that day. This would be the time. This would be the day his dad finally stopped breaking everything around Stephen and strike Stephen instead.

But Dad passed Stephen, didn't stop until he reached the stairs. Back to Stephen, he said, "Do whatever you want, Stephen. If that's what you want, if you want to risk your whole life for a few early thrills, obviously nothing I can do will stop you."

Stephen grit his teeth. This speech again. The guy just didn't get it, did he? How could he, though? Stephen himself didn't get it.

The urge to break something came over Stephen. Just like Dad. That thought only fed the urge. The taste of blood filled his mouth. He realized he had bitten into the inside of his cheek. Pain cried through one whole side of his face, but he didn't loosen his jaw, would have bit harder if he could.

"I hate you," Stephen said through his clenched teeth, and could feel the blood dribble on his lips.

"Fine," his dad said, still not facing him, unable to see the blood on his son's mouth. He climbed the stairs, never turning to look at Stephen.

Stephen dragged his wrist over his mouth, smearing blood over the back of his hand. Crying, he went into the kitchen and rinsed his mouth in the sink. While he rinsed he thought he heard his dad come back down the stairs, but when he turned to look, his father was not there.

September 19, 2002

Shaping Up

Today's a better day, but that might just be because it's my day off from work. But the writing went well. I got 1166 words done on Stephen's first view-point scene and I like what I've got. I'm having an easier time getting into his head than I thought I would, but realized once I started writing, that he and I have a lot of shared interests, so that helps.

In regard to yesterday's entry, I was really angry because of some personal problems. I don't know what's going to happen, but things were a little better today. But it isn't the day-by-day I'm worried about. It's the long-term scheme of things.

Anyway, this blog is officially back on topic. No more intrusions from Real Life.

September 18, 2002

Not Much Writing

Not sure of the word-count, but it couldn't have been much. Between 400-500. I dunno. I spent the second half of my writing hour sketching out what I need to do in the next scene. I hate having to start a new scene in the middle of my writing time. Always seems to trip me up. Anyway, I'm pretty sure I know how to tackle the scene, so I should have no problems tomorrow. Assuming I can get to it tomorrow. I'm behind on some things. I also have a scary feeling that my life is about to explode and get really, really ugly. I may be facing one of the worst periods of my life to date...and just when things started looking up.

It isn't going to stop my writing, though. I won't let it.

And there's that small chance things may work themselves out.

September 17, 2002

Another Almost 1000 Words

Only about 930, but that's okay. Since I only have time for an hour of writing a day, I think that's a pretty good average. I'm writing the scene that introduces Quint. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. But Quint is something of a snot, and that's just how I wanted it.

September 16, 2002

997 Words

These on the novel. Very happy with the scene I wrote today. One I hadn't planned in the outline but realized I needed for things to make sense. Scene introduces Paul's son, Stephen, and there's a nice little argument between them. Plus, a neat little thing about the clothes Stephen's wearing to foreshadow what he's up to and where he goes.

I'm messing with my schedule a bit. Now it's time for me to go for a walk/run. I bumped up my writing time to accommodate this. Hopefully it works. I need exercise.

September 15, 2002

Scene Revised and Posted

Baring only passing resemblance to the original. Some significant reworking of the first 3/4 or so of the scene, but it's much better than it was. Not sure if it's as good as I'd like, but it could be worse. We'll see what my classmates think.

By the way...I don't believe I've mentioned it before, but I recently joined the ranks of the fine moderators over at Forward Motion Writer's Community. My primary board is the Mystery & Suspense Board. You should come take a look. I'm very excited to have this opportunity to help other aspiring writers achive their writing goals.

Back to Work

Yesterday was my day off, and it was pretty rough. I have to finish revising my novel's first scene and post it today. I hope I can salvage this thing. Part of me thinks I can. A good sign, perhaps.

I'm also itching to do another revision on My Brother's Keeper after getting an excellent and really helpful critique that illuminated the faults I sensed but just couldn't see.

Meanwhile, my short story Caged remains to be revised, and an untitled short percolates in my mind and could be ready to write any day now. Just goes to show that work begets more work when it comes to writing. The more I write, the more ideas I get, the more I have to write. The more I want to write, too.

I also think I know how to revise an old SF story that made the rounds and got rejected. So I'd like to get to that sometime too. It would be nice to sell a few shorts; I could use the encouragement.