Archive for January, 2010

Plot? What Plot?

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Post ImageTwo things amazed me about my writing progress last year: 1) that I was actually doing it; and 2) that I managed to write over four hundred pages without even the slightest hint of a plot. This is okay for forty pages or so, you know, just introducing the characters, setting, and what not. Maybe eighty if you're particularly gifted with adjectives. Maybe even two hundred pages, if you have the luxury of forcing all your readers to enjoy your work at gunpoint. But never, ever four hundred pages.

Yes, yes, I realized I touched on all this in the last book update. Today I just want to dig into the whole concept a bit more.

Not every book actually needs a plot. Travel books, memoirs, dictionaries, — all of these have the ability to fill hundreds of pages without even the merest threat of a twist ending. However, unlike the other books I've written, this one is fiction. As I got to the point where I realized the book might never end, it dawned on me that I might not be the only one to notice the problem.


Posted in On Writing |

Book One, Update Two

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Post ImageI'm still surprised I made it as far as I did last year on the first draft of the manuscript. Back when I made my 2009 New Year Resolutions, I promised myself I'd finish the first draft by year's end. And, back in January 2009, I actually thought that might happen. After all, I was already in my second month of writing and had a vast, expanse of time ahead of me. Twelve whole months! What couldn't be done in twelve whole months?

Little did I know I'd be starting over during the year and wouldn't begin writing again until August 1. Finishing a first draft by year's end seemed mathematically impossible. NaNoWriMo helped me make up some serious time. By the end of the writing year (December 21) the draft hit 122,475 words. (I know that word counts can be a bit difficult to grasp: click here for a few reference points).

I didn't begin writing again until January 5, when I added a whopping 159 words. The next day I did barely better, adding only 310 words. In short, things were getting pathetic: a far cry from NaNoWriMo days where my daily average was over 2,200 words. (And my most productive day was 7,453 words. Ahhhh, those were the days.)


Posted in Progress |