Thinking on The New Year

Well it’s been a while, hasn’t it? After NaNo ended, I had little time to even think to come up with something for here. Sure, I got a snarky little piece up at Gnarrative and entered a contest over at Scribophile but other than that? Not much. Does it bother me? Nope. I guess that makes me a bad writer that I don’t adhere to a certain word count per day. Whatever.

I’ve looked at my passion for writing. Yes, I’m still going to call it a passion even as those word count enthusiasts grasp at their chests in revolt over my lax behavior. I see out there on the internet, and even in some guide to writing books, you should cut a good chunk of your ‘masterpiece’ down, sometimes as high as fifty percent. I have to ask one simple question:

Why?

Why are you wasting your time pounding at the keys or slathering ink on paper if you’re going to go happy with the delete key or heat your home? To me, it doesn’t make sense. It’s not being efficient. With the exception of NaNo—which is all about word count—I don’t put anymore words down than necessary. My rough draft, as I call it, is bare bones. My thoughts on the current idea furiously put down before it wanders away to pee on the neighbor’s prized rose bush. Once that process is completed, I can go back and expand where necessary. Again, the expansion isn’t about word count++. It’s about describing the scene or throwing a little more human aspect. Sometimes it’s PoV issues. I’m not into the character’s head for a particular scene and need to refocus the piece through their eyes.

So while the word count heroes scoff at my tall grass field running ways, I’m going to stay true to what works for me. The experts can try to sway you but in the end, you can’t take fate behind the shed to the wood chipper. You can’t stop being what’s inside you and so long as you see progress, and I believe I have, keep going on. No one can truly stop the train but you.

I’ve learned I can’t always take the laptop out for a go at the keys. Inspiration can hit at any time. I think I’ve mentioned that I keep a small spiral notebook in my purse to jot things down. I’ve come to take a shoulder bag with my current project in it along with a three subject notebook. In this notebook, I have one for the current novel in progress, one for my NaNo 2010 project, and one for short stories. I’ve gone back to using pen to paper and transferring it when I have the time. I used to do this only for editing but it works. I don’t have to worry if my thumbstick won’t work in a computer either.

In the short stories department, I’ve decided to try my hand in a few contests. I’m not looking for much on this because honestly, unless it’s published and you got paid for it, other publishers could care less if you won a contest to be the next Stephanie Meyers to defile a legendary mythical creature. Most contests are nothing more than popularity contests and if you’re one of those people who pay for it—more’s the pity for you.

Let’s talk about some loose goals, shall we? Just because I don’t hammer the keys doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing anything. I plan on finding out about two short stories I haven’t heard anything from the editor on and I plan to crank out a few more short stories to send out. That’s my goal. Short stories. I don’t have a number in mind but that is my goal. The more I get published (noticed how I don’t say out on the market) the better chance I got of someone taking in interest on a novel. On the novel side, I’m going to concentrate on getting The Romance Novel Book Club finished. I think there’s a market for it so I want to get it nice and shiny before I submit the small portion most publishers ask for.

That’s about all the time I have to blather about my self-importance. Until next time.

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