Friday, February 26, 2010

Writing - Novel 2

49445 to 51130, about 45 minutes from 11:30 to 12:15.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Writing - Novel 2

46445 to 49445 (exactly 3000, somewhat oddly). About 10:45 to 11:50am.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Writing - Novel 2

44237 to 46011, from about 11:45 to 12:35pm.

46445 after some updates to the outline, bringing the outline up to the end of the story. Yay! The story framing is done, and the writing is nearly halfway. Things should really start speeding up from here.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Writing - Novel 2

40392 to 43,277. About an hour's worth on Friday, 8pm to 9pm.

A little bit more tonight - only 15 minutes or so - up to 44,237.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Writing - Novel 2

37137 to 40392. 11:30pm to 12:30am. Good stuff, much progress!

I'm heading out on Friday night to a cabin at a nearby state park to camp out and enjoy being out in a bit more of the wilds. Hopefully I'll also get the urge to do some writing while I'm there.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Writing - Novel 2

As expected, I pulled the scene I wrote the other day. Instead, I took things in a somewhat different direction today, and got to another major milestone in the outline. Now things really start to happen in the story.

34711 (though 1700 of that doesn't count, as I just copied the cut scene off in case I wanted to use part of it later, where it fits better) to 37,137. 12:10 to 12:50, things went quickly today as I knew right where I wanted to go.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Writing - Novel 2

12:00 to 12:45, 33029 to 34711. Stopping early because I'm not sure about the scene I just wrote. It seems a bit... well, out of place or overly sappy. Might just have to do with my own emotional state of mind tonight, which is kind of a no-no as far as I'm concerned. When I let that filter into my writing, I end up with one section that has a different tone than the rest, and it always seems jarring. So I'll let it sit overnight and read it over tomorrow, and might end up chopping most of it out for a replacement. Sometimes that's how the process goes!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Writing - Novel 2

About 1:30 to 3:30, but lots of interruptions and breaks in the middle. Also includes my editing from the previous post. 31,006 to 33,029.

For reference, that also includes the outline, prologue (which will not be in the actual book) and some chopped paragraphs that might or might not get put back in later. So the actual book text is probably about 3,000 words less than that right now.

Editing - Novel 2

The scissors come out for the first time!

I took a quick pass through the first chapter and cut pretty ruthlessly. I did this with the plan of cutting the prologue entirely. Backstory - bah! I should be able to tell everything I need to as the story progresses. Besides, this lets me keep a few more mysteries for later in the story and let the protagonists figure them out as they go. Keeps things more interesting all around.

I do like this pattern, though - writing an expository prologue/intro, then going into the first few dozen pages, then going back and ripping out the exposition section. It makes things go right into more active settings, and gives me a reference background as I'm starting the story that holds more backstory detail than the outline.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Writing - Novel 2

1pm to about 2pm today. 26,672 to 29,309.

And then 1:15ish am to about 2am. 29,309 to 31,006.

Based on the outline for this story, I'd guess that I'm just shy of a third of the way through, so it looks like I'm right on target for 100,000 words or so. For reference, The Crypts of Denver came out to about 106,000.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Writing - Novel 2

Another stint of writing before I'm headed out for the weekend tomorrow (well, today now!). Started at about 11:15, went until 12:30ish. Went from 24,000 words (added some to the outline yesterday) to 26,672.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Did some writing tonight.

About 11 PM to 12:45 AM. Went from about 19,500 words on my current project to 23,661. Hit another milestone on the outline.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The mechanics of writing

I find that I have trouble writing if I'm not at least partially in the right mood. That means being relaxed, not too stressed over real life issues, and willing to be open to new ideas as they come in.

Usually when I sit down to write I'll reread the existing manuscript for at least a few pages leading in to where I'm writing. If I don't do this, I find that I have trouble keeping the same tone that has been established for the book so far. Every few writing sessions I'll go through and reread the whole thing, making small edits and consistency updates along the way. Obviously these full rereads happen less often as the manuscript grows, but they should be happening now and then all the way up until it's finished. This really makes a difference for me in making sure that I don't have problems with some detail established early on that becomes more important later in the story. I also have learned to be willing to revise existing sections - sometimes extensively - to insert a detail like this when I realize that I really needed to establish something earlier in the story.

I normally write for 1 to 2 hours at a time. In general I find that I put down approximately 2,000 words in an hour, give or take a few. This is the equivalent of typing 33 words per minute (wpm) for 60 minutes (or more) straight. In reality, it means that I'm writing in bursts of 60-70 wpm, then taking a bit to revise what I just put down or think about the next passage. There's some short breaks in that hour as well. Sometimes it goes faster, sometimes slower - you never know until it's done.

I use an HP laptop that I also use for playing games and watching movies occasionally. It's big for a laptop - I can't type effectively on anything that's less than a full-sized keyboard, thanks to my finger size - but I like being able to pick it up and move to a more comfortable place on the couch, or head out camping, or whatever when it feels right to do so.

The downside to typing on a laptop is that it's definitely less ergonomic. I have a lap bench thing I use at home, but there's no cushions for my wrists and I make sure to take frequent breaks to stretch my arms and make sure I'm not stiffening them up too much. Even so, a well set up desk would be a better setup, and at some point if I get published and move towards doing this long-term I'll probably move back to my desktop for writing when I'm at home.