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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What Works for Me

I've found my comfort zone where my writing's concerned. My target is to write 500 words a day /3,500 a week on my WIP. No matter how hard it is for the words to come I know that this is achievable.

I've learned (the hard way as usual!) that when I have a
bad writing day - when the words just will not flow - it's usually because there's something wrong with my plan/outline. For example, the thing that I planned is going to happen, doesn't, and this is often because it's wrong for the character.

, even on a bad day, if I force myself to spend time working on the problem, I've discovered that I can often turn bad into productive - and this in turn can lead to the next few days being good days.

Take the past two days for example. I've been letting fear of hitting the
sagging middle freeze my brain. I refused to put fingers to keyboard/voice to software/pen to paper (I'm a typical stubborn Taurean) until I was clear what I had to do to avoid the sagging middle becoming part of my next chapter. Trish Wylie helped by talking about this on her Blog last Friday.

So, I've written very little on my wip
but I've kept my head in the story. And, I've finally realised that this is the key. Even these non-writing days haven't been wasted because my subconscious has been working on the problem 24/7. And I now have a plan. I know with a certain amount of confidence that I have enough to take me through the next chapter, and before I get to the end of that chapter I should have a fair idea about the next.

As you can see, I've spent the best part of today establishing this. I then procrastinated some more and worked out just how long it'll take me to finish my first draft working on the 500 words a day scenario:


For the eagle-eyed among you (*cough* Gray *cough*) you will have noticed that I've tampered a tiny bit with my word counter. I've suddenly lost 2,000 words and gained 1% into the bargain - how did that happen?! *whistling innocently*

There IS a perfectly logical reason for this. I've figured I only need 48,000 words for my first draft because I need to leave room for plenty of rewriting/layering on the polished version. Makes sense, right?


swilliam said...

I wish I could say that. When I have a bad day, it comes unexpectedly.

Jessica Raymond said...

I admire you so much for pushing through the bad writing days, Sue. Unfortunately I find it all too easy to give up, close the laptop and think "I'll try again tomorrow". Not a v. professional attitude, I think you'll agree!

Jess x

Cole said...

You have so beautifully summed up my own thoughts on this as of late... whenever I seem to not be able to 'get' to my writing it always turns out there is a reason-- a wrong turn in the plot/writing. So I have just decided to do as you say... work on it... admit that has to be the issue and look for it. :)


Melissa Marsh said...

Yes! Keeping your head in the story is the key to moving forward on it. Otherwise, you start feeling overwhelmed by trying to remember everything again and again.

500 words a day is definitely do-able and a good goal!