Archive for the ‘how to write ten pages a day’ Tag

18 days, 70,000 words   Leave a comment

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This is where evil lurks in shadowy rooms at four in the morning

I’m getting close to wrapping up this project, and I felt like making a quick post about this. I’m trying to connect with people more closely as I’m doing these kinds of projects, and many of you who read the blog know i’ve been posting regularly about the ups and downs i’ve had with this writing process.

I started the novel about the 11th of October, and had a burst where I did one hundred pages in twelve days, took a week to clear my head and then did the next fifty or so in the last week. So in terms of actual writing time, it has taken me 18 or 19 days to reach this goal. As i’ve said before, I figure this book will end at around 80,000 words, a similar length to Sex, Drugs and Jerk Chicken.

So I wrote a post about being a 10 page a day writer, and here i’m sort of demonstrating aspects of the way I mapped stuff out. My hurdles (the blank week) were a result of some pretty heavy character conflicts that arose in the middle of writing (it happens). Working this quickly had nothing to do with any sort of competition, but I set a goal to release two novels this year, and that more than anything gave me the fuel to really ramp up the output for this project. It has been mostly fun writing it, because once the universe you create becomes vivid and you have a VERY clear idea of where things are going, you can play around with different possible outcomes in your mind and weigh the possible emotional consequences on the reader. Then, after that’s done you can dive back into it.

So i’m thinking of releasing a snippet of what i’ve written to far, but i’m not sure yet. As much as I’m exposing my stuff to the world right now, I think i’ll put out a piece of the book when I start doing promo for the release date, so it is a more logical strategy. In fact, I’m probably going to write an article on how designing my book covers are a big part of how I write the novel, so more to come soon. So, guess i’m on to the next 10,000 or so words.

cheers

 

Writing ramble and the Kindle Gamble   3 comments

ALANBLOGPIC

Today was one of those days I wrote (so far) about 11 pages of a short story. I’ve been really working on getting back into the mental wagon of writing, and mainly this involves writing a lot more. That probably sounds pretty simple, but for anyone who does active writing, its not necessarily “easy” to write frequently, if you don’t have topics that motivate or interest you. For me, my attention floats between writing about language learning and then writing about observations of my daily life or things I feel might be of interest to people. Since I haven’t actively blogged on this site for quite some time (leading up to the release of my new novel), that means in a way that I wasn’t very interested in sharing much for a while. Regardless of that, i’ve been doing more writing across different lines, and i’ve noticed a few things.

It doesn’t matter what I write.

This adage seems to make sense, because writing is simply a function. I don’t really need to write swaths of epic prose to feel like i’m gaining momentum. The occassional blog post or lengthy e-mail does wonders to get the brain back into gear. What daily/almost daily writing does is just get me back into  the habit of seeing writing to be a normal thing. I doubt i could have woken up at 4 a.m written for two and a half hours one month ago because I wasn’t actively writing (I was working on editing the book and doing the launch). But now, I feel more in tune with just diving in, and i’m hoping to get a couple other projects out of the way and have more “product” out there.

Old projects are good kickstarters.

This comes from me digging up some very interesting short story projects I had either started, or made a basic concept of. In my post about a week or so ago, I wrote about how to be a ten page a day writer. I explained quite clearly my method, and it has a lot of do with a certain clarity about what you are writing. The picture above is about a page and a half description of a short story/short film concept i had. It clearly illustrated basic character motivations, scenes and the general flow from A to B of the idea. After mulling it over in my brain for a few hours, a stream of thought hit me and I started writing the first draft non-stop until I hit eleven pages. What was funny about this project is that I COMPLETELY forgot I even wrote this idea down!  I call this “mad scientist fuge state”, where I have a cool project idea, blaze out a detailed concept and then forget it soon after.

Working on this is a welcome sort of break as I slowly push my novel, Sex, Drugs and Jerk Chicken.  It is a little tricky to be doing all the PR and online interviews and marketing for your own book, and I felt that I need to be getting a project or two off the ground during this process. I’m looking at doing some “Kindle Singles” as a way of sharpening my writing again and hopefully gaining some exposure if the editors at Amazon find my work interesting. I spent all of Saturday morning designing a Kindle Single cover for a story of mine “Misses Cats”, and I felt like polishing another two or three stories (just in case) I decide to do a bigger submission. It’s been about two and a half years since I’ve actively written on a blog (other than my language blogs) and this feels interesting again. I think i’m getting back into it, but i don’t want to talk too soon. What has definitely changed in my self-perception on what i can do as a writer. Releasing a novel gave me a small kick in the gonads, but hasn’t left me with a massive ego either.

Big goals can help push smaller goals.

This is what i’ve observed about how I am mentally thinking about structured projects after releasing my novel. Years ago, I made plans to release a book of short stories based in different locales. I even sent out the top 7 stories i’d written up to that point, got a set of quality readers, gauged their interest and found the top contenders. Then, after doing that, my readers unanimously selected “Gaijin Girl” as their favourite written story, and eventually, it was published in an eidtion of Yomimono, a Japanese literary journal. Later, another story from that set, “Sleep” would be published again in the same journal two years later. Now, I’m about to push a third story, “Misses Cats” from that set as a Kindle Single. Sometimes you have these awesome writing periods, and you don’t realize the gems you are mentally creating when you are in the zone. So, in this scenario, the “bigger goal” was the novel I recently released, which was a bigger mental hurdle than say, releasing a book of short stories. But either goal felt quite daunting a year ago, but only two weeks after releasing the novel, doing the short story thing doesn’t seem like a big deal, and what’s cool is that I have loads of content. From my previous short story projects, I think I might already have about fifty plus pages of content for a collection of short stories. Because i’m sort of getting into the zone, I think with some effort I can start popping out a few more stories, or fleshing out stuff i’d already started. So this is my Monday morning ramble about writing and my current process. I’ll get back into my “journeyman” introspective babble at some point, but these days I can’t really bother to blog about “real life” since my mind isn’t focused in that way.

I guess i’m back in writer mode for the time being.

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