Have you heard the advice about taking a break between steps in the writing process? As with many things when it comes to matters of art making, there are multiple schools of thought on the practice. Some say it's a waste of time. Others say it's essential. Some prefer short breaks or "pauses," and others believe anything less than months at a time is the same as just plowing through.
Personally, I hold to the pause method. One, just because that's the way I've always worked on an instinctual level, but also because I've learned I need those pauses to produce better work.
Writing their rough drafts exemplify love/hate relationships for authors. When the words come easily, and the scenes blossom full of life and color, it's exhilarating. It's a rush like no other. Other times though, each scene is hazy if you can see it at all, and the words dance just out of your memory's reach. That's when composing becomes difficult and procrastination in all its forms becomes tempting.
I've hit the point where Icarus becomes hazy. Oh, I have it fully outlined. I know what is supposed to happen, but it's all new territory. For most of what I've written in the rough so far, it existed in the old version The Writer's Hood printed back when it was still a thing, or at the very least, I'd worked through scenes in my head over the decade since the e-zine's closing. Having lived for more years and seen more of the world if only through documentaries and news broadcasts changed much of what I'd planned. The entire last half of the novel is brand new, which is just part of why I hemmed and hawed so much following reaching the halfway mark.
One of the most common things I've seen writers be asked is what their writing schedule looks like. Do you write at set times? Do you have a daily word count goal? Do you write every day or when inspiration strikes?
Each writer has a different answer. We're all different people, so what works for one might not work for another.
Still, I've recently made a slight alteration to my writing schedule that's made a huge difference in my productivity, so I thought I would share.
Originally pubished on The Tekaran Lady blog April 16, 2008.
One major drawback to both my love of music and beginning the prewriting stages for The Icarus Project is that I now seem to constantly have “Never Too Late” by Three Day’s Grace stuck in my head.
Don’t get me wrong, I like the song. It’s haunting, and even more so if you’ve seen the video. I have, but I try to put the video itself out of my head. As a mother of a young girl who is expecting another daughter in a matter of weeks, I find it disconcerting to say the least.
I first heard the song, oh I guess it was about two and a half months ago now, and The Icarus Project immediately popped into my head. Those of you who read the original when it was being published on The Writer’s Hood likely remember the desperate situation of the surface survivors and the desire of the main characters to save them. As such, “Never Too Late” has embedded itself in my mind as a type of theme song for the developing series, and I can’t seem to shake the melody.
It comes in handy when I sit down to work on Icarus, but it’s rather annoying at other times, especially when I’m trying to get into the rewrites for Succession. The tone of the song doesn’t fit with that one at all.
Anyone have ideas about shoving a song out of your mind without getting another stuck in its place? I'm open to suggestions.
I thought I'd mix it up a bit this week by answering a writer's tag I found online. It just has ten simple questions, so this should be short and sweet.
1. What do you write?
A quick scroll down the categories over to the right of the page ought to prove I write speculative fiction. Spec fic covers a wide range of genres and their subgenres as well as mashups of those. I tend to stick more with science fiction, but I do dabble in fantasy now and again. And like with the Yekara series and the Myth and Science universe stories, there are times when I use both science fiction and fantasy elements in the same piece.
Hello again everyone. A new year has begun, and you know what that means. There's a new year and a new quarter, so it's time to see how I did in 2016's last quarter and set new goals for the coming year and quarter.
Once again, my results are kind of a mixed bag. I did really well reaching some goals, and some I didn't. That's just life though, I suppose. So let's take a look.
Looking back over the year is something I'm always wary about doing. I'm one of those people who set overly ambitious goals at the start of each new year, and I'm inevitably disappointed when I look back at those goals.
I did make goals for the year back in January. I managed to grow a full garden, and I've gotten close to a couple of others. But that's about it. I didn't manage to publish TIP as I wanted, and I haven't even started the prewriting process on the second Yekara novel let alone have it roughed. I'm a good thirty pounds away from the weight loss goal I'd set. Still, I have made progress.
Once again, today’s topic is one where errors tend to make me cringe. It’s to the point where C. L. makes subject verb agreement or comparatives errors on purpose to pick at me because he finds the faces I make in response hilarious. However, these kinds of mistakes irk me for a different reason than negative concord (double negatives) like we spoke about last time.
Each language has its own unique rhythm. The spoken word has been compared to music for good reason. Listening to someone speak well or reading a bit of good writing aloud plays over the ear like a melody. In that context, grammatical errors stick out like sour notes.
At least to my ears, mistakes with subject verb agreement and comparatives sound more like a woodwind squawking than a simple wrong note.
Another attempt, another year I didn't quite meet the goal for NaNoWriMo.
I'm not disappointed in that fact this year though. Yes, I didn't make the goal of 50,000 words in a month, but I managed 33,000. That's nothing to sneeze at, and to be frank, it is more than I imagined I might write in a normal month.
There's the important part. Since I wasn't starting a new rough draft this year, I decided to just count up the words in my usual creative writing load for the month. Between the weekly articles, blog posts, flash fictions, and what I added to my longer stories, I didn't do too bad.
* Originally posted on Diary of a Work-at-Home-Mom on May 3, 2010.
Nichole wrote her first book at the end of last year. She'd been entertaining C. L. and me with tales she made up for months, so I suggested making a book to give her grandparents for Christmas. She loved the idea.
Nichole told me one of her stories, and I wrote it out for her. Then, after asking for a few clarifications on the details, I drew out some rather pathetic pictures she and Brooke colored. C. L. and I scanned them into the computer and put them together into the book.
You should have seen her when her Pops and Nana and Gammy and Papa read the story. I recognized the expression. She has the bug, and she has it bad.
She's been drawing comic books and making skits ever since. (Hey, she's not even four yet and only partway to reading and writing. So, she tells her stories through pictures and actions for now.)
Yekara Series Book 2
The Icarus Project
Rough Draft Progress
68360 / 75000
Myth & Science Collection
Icarus Trilogy Book 2
Yekara Series Book 3
Myth & Science Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
Icarus Trilogy Book 3
Supers Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
Yekara Series Book 4