Saturday, September 26, 2009

CONF 605: THE PLAN

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Starting over is so hard! Reading one too many 'how to plot' books & trying out Scrivener meant that when it came to writing word 1 of Chapter 1 yesterday (the previous 1,000 words long since abandoned), it took most of the day just untangling myself from myself.

One of the big problems of being self-employed, or self-unemployed in my case, is structuring the day. With writing it's so easy to fall into staring at the computer screen for hours, clicking backwards and forwards, literally wasting the day away. Because there's the need to get on with it, in my case to give this writing a novel business one last shot - to get up and do something else produces nothing but guilt. Yet to stay with it when you're still finding your way in is just misery. I start clicking between Twitter, Facebook, email et al wondering why I'm not more popular, why so and so hasn't replied/followed me, why I'm not as witty/funny as everybody else etc etc which is just the pits. NO MORE!

Finally got 500 words down yesterday and 500 this morning and I'm now on the way. The characters, setting and plot skeleton are all there. I'm going with Evan Marshall's Novel Writing 16 Steps to Success method of Action/Reaction section sheets, and my first 14 scenes are ready to go. I've also got one of the big 3 surprises, an evocative end setting and a theme. With the theme I'm following the advice of, I think it was Charles Palliser in his BBC writing course, who said, 'think very hard about what you want to say and then try not to say it.' And so I have my secret word which I will try not to say but will be there throughout, I hope not too obviously until the end or days after the end.

Despite yesterday's glums, am determined to enjoy it this time. I'm going to limit myself to 500 good words a day and get them done in the morning, finishing half way through a sentence and then leaving the rest of the day for things other than sitting at the computer screen. I'll print out as I go. Before each new scene I'll study the next action/reaction card ready for the following day. Oh good intentions and all, but still, will see.... Now I'm going to shut down the computer and go for a walk.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

2 comments:

pundy said...

Those first two paragraphs really strike a chord. Been there all right. In fact I'm still there.

I wouldn't worry too much about 500GOOD words. Five hundred words of any kind should suffice for the first draft.

Anyway, good luck and don't give up whatever happens.

Amanda Mann said...

Thanks!