The first part of the week was spent saying, “Um…this is hard again…it was supposed to get easier after book-2…” and struggling to reach 1k a day. Then around Thursday, I figured out the central conflict of book-3, and the words flowed very easily. I wrote 3k on Friday, 3k on Saturday, which means everything before Friday is sort of embarrassing, huh?
Witness the power of posting your weekly/monthly word counts.
I mean, I just wrote this big fancy thing on how I’d survived writer’s block — how embarrassing if I was stuck with it again, hmm? So I got up every morning, put my butt in the chair and did the best I could…and like most people who occasionally get lucky, I put myself in a position to receive enlightenment.
Last night, I finished recording an interview with TJ Redig of Scrivener Soapbox, set to air sometime in December. I spent the week listening to his other podcasts and guess what? They were great. Totally adding him in to my weekly self-pub podcasts. TJ’s a very cool guy and a great interviewer. Very friendly, which reminds me: haven’t you always wondered what happens after the recording ends? Does each side hang up? Do they sing songs and tell knock-knock jokes? Actually, we talked about movies a little, and also about TJ’s own writing. No knock-knock jokes — and you found that out here at john-l-monk.com!
So today, my guest post on writer’s block went live over at the Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast site. If you’re reading my blog instead of writing, why not go have a look? 🙂
* Update * — I think my heading is a little misleading. 48k total for my work in progress, up from 37k last week, so my “word count” for the week is actually 11k. I’ll make it more obvious next week.
I’m actually writing this on Saturday night, but whatever, life’s too short — unless you’re Dan Jenkins.
This week has been amazing, from a word count perspective. No beta reading, just a little Koontz to keep my “random seed” fresh. And at the end of the week I’m sitting on 48k of fun for the whole family.
For those of you with writer’s block, here’s how I’ve been dealing with mine:
1) I’m in charge, not the manuscript.
2) All that expectation that the next book has to be perfect or I’ll go to 1-star prison? Whatever, talk to the hand, I’m in charge of this ship, and if I want to ram it into that reef over there that’s my business.
3) What else do I have to do today? Hmm, guess I’ll write.
4) Oh yeah, when I’m stumped for a thousand words, drink something with alcohol in it — it helps. (not a long-term solution of course)
Last week: 37,000
This week: 48,000
For me: wow.
Is it wrong that I’ve started playing Fallout 3 again?
And is it wrong that I’ve downloaded a strategy guide designed to max me out in all my S.P.E.C.I.A.L attributes, as well as max out all my skills and optimize my perks?
Is it wrong that I have the Game Of The Year edition, loaded with all 5 expansion packs, including the Broken Steel add-on that raises the level cap from 20 to 30?
And let me ask you, since you know so damn much: is it wrong that I’m going to maximize unarmed combat to save ammunition when I finally start using energy weapons, because microfusion cells are so damn hard to come by?!
Only after all of these questions are answered will I write the next Great American Novel…
Ok, so here I am writing at 105 miles an hour and along comes the reality police to ruin all my fun. The problem is, I’ve only been to a few countries, and my main character isn’t traveling to any of those. Now I’m going back and forth between YouTube and Google images and satellite maps and travel guides, trying to get my guy believably from point A to B and one day maybe to Z, and I hate that I had to slow down. The good news is it seems to be coming together–not too technical, not too wordy, not looking like I’m getting it all from Google and/or travel books. My strategy is to get enough in there so I don’t have to keep it up. Just enough believability so I can get to what really matters: the story.
My main enemies:
- Local rules and behavior
- Local prices
- Finding pictures of the places I want to see.
I shouldn’t complain–we’re really pampered these days with all the technology at our fingertips.
I don’t get it. When I wrote my first novel (working on an agent now), it took me 2 years and every sentence was like pulling teeth, most of the time. Now I’m 60 TNR pages into my next book after about 3 weeks and every time I sit down the words just spill forth. I know exactly where I’m going and I just go there, taking various happy detours along the way and all that. I’m getting easily a thousand words a day, sometimes more, and twice that on the weekends. My wife thinks I’m avoiding her and all I do is research my book at work (it’s a caper).
Since I’m the writer, all I can do is hope it’s good 🙂