julian_griffith: (Default)
Project: Unnamed Christmas story
Market: Storm Moon Press, "22 Days of Yule" open anthology call
Deadline: October 15, 2012
Required length:15-20K
Previous wordcount: 7918
New words written today: 1568 that are actual narrative
Present total wordcount: 10048 if you include the outline I put in
Mean things: Rockingham's Grandmama is a right bitch sometimes
Fun things: Rockingham's Grandmama is a right bitch sometimes
Stimulants: The smug glow of responsibility that comes from not neglecting laundry or dishes, and far too much tea
Reason for stopping: Brain's kinda done, and I owe lainathiel a LOT of commentary 

Most people, I am given to understand, write their outline before they write the story.

I have yet to be able to do so.

I know my characters, and I know my setting, and I generally have an idea of what needs to happen in the story as a CONCEPT, but it's certainly not scene-by-scene at that point.

If I try to write an outline at that point, I wind up concluding that I have hopeless writer's block.

What seems to work is if I wind up the characters and put them through their paces on an ordinary day, around when I think the Plot Thing will happen. And I start inching towards it, one painful 20-minute sprint after another. Or 100-word written?kitten! chunks, sometimes. But my current method is just Unfucking My Wordcount in 20/10s.

Usually, at some point when I'm vamping around like that, waiting for the plot to come 'round on the git-tar, as Arlo Guthrie would say, my id will kick in and insist on supplying me with a sex scene. Or two. In rather a lot of detail. And if I don't write it down, I get NOTHING else done.

So then I go back to inching towards the plot, now knowing that there is Plot scheduled between wherever I am then and the Sex Scene. Which is a nice incentive, because I very much want to hook the sex scene into its sequential place in the narrative.

jAnd I keep doing that, and eventually I catch the plot and start reeling it in, and the pace picks up, and all of a sudden I know What Happens Next. For all values of Next. So, when I reach a nice stopping point in my dialogue-and-narrative words for the day, I stick a whole lot of short sentences and sentence fragments in list form after where I stopped. With fully-written sex scenes interrupting them.

And that's my outline.

In the novel, it wasn't just sex scenes that I was hooking in, but Emotionally Dramatic Moments as well. My brain likes writing from the emotional centers outward.

And I didn't get the novel outline all at once like that, either. But I got SECTIONS of it like that, with bits I had to drag out in timed chunks until the Outline thing happened again.

This is a very weird process, I think.

But it gets me Story.
julian_griffith: (Default)
Project: someday this romance novel is going to need a name
Deadline: haven't got one
New words written: 2455
Present total word count: 27016
Reason for stopping: end of scene and should go to the grocery store
Mean things: hip sockets aren't supposed to DO that
Stimulants: apparently carbonated hormones
Words Word don't know: dammit, do NOT correct "all right" to "alright," EVER, unless I am writing about a certain song/album by the Who

I am facing the prospect of having reached the Dreaded Middle of the Book. This is probably why my brain keeps insisting on writing things from the second half. Yesterday and today went like this:

Muse: You're gonna write the wedding night scene.
Me: Really? Shouldn't we actually sort out the lieutenant's Ma and getting the boys to Portsmouth? That really does have to happen, you know.
Muse: Whatever. It'll happen. But I've got the wedding night ALL WORKED OUT.
Me: Yeah, and? I've known what it has to get across for ages. Pretty much a given.
Muse: But I've got DETAILS.
Me: ...you certainly do.
Muse: Write the wedding night, or not only will I make it impossible to write any other scene, I'm gonna make it impossible for you to remember to eat lunch. Or dinner. We'll see who blinks first.
Me: Okay, okay, I'm writing.
Muse: *is extraordinarily vivid*
Me: *writes*
Muse: There, isn't that better? Just look at that wordcount! And that may be the last of the narratively necessary sex scenes in the book. Now I can let you get on with other things.
Me: All right. How about working on the way the boys deal with a lack of coffee?
Muse: Don't push your luck.

And now I need to see about the grocery store, and dishes, and maybe a late lunch. Or an early dinner. I kinda want to grab a sandwich from Subway. I feel like I deserve it.

August 2013

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