Monday, August 2, 2010

August 02, 2010, Did You Write?

August 02, 2010, Did You Write?

Here is a place to brag about your accomplishment, cry about your failures, and otherwise tell about what is going on in your life.
By reporting, good or bad, how you did with your writing, this note will become a prompt to get you to write weekly, rather than a bunch of writing one month, and then nothing for three months before you write again. Knowing this note is coming up each week may get you to open your work in progress just so that you can report that you wrote something. That might, over time, become a habit, to lead to getting a couple projects finished and possibly published.
As a group we write different things. I don't distinguish types of writing. Any new writing, of course is writing. But editing is also writing. We will harp about word counts added, but in editing, especially for the chance of publication, one might actually be working if you are slicing off wordage to fit within the maximum word count.
editing, even if it is not yours, critiquing, poetry, writing assignments, technical writing, blogging, article writing, world or character development, are all writing. E-mails can be writing if they are wordy and pertain to writing or story. If you have to ask if it is writing, we say the answer is yes.

I have been writing. I had a piece that was 25707 words and had to cut it down to 15000 words. With a large number of passes through the work, time available due to vehicle problems, I was able to cut it down to the 14942 words, and fire it off to my writing partner. She read about 10 of the 24 pages and I see I need to rework it. It still does not get to the "story" soon enough. Luckily, I would do a pass or two and then save it with the date in the name and then continue in the original files. I think about 20 thousand words was where it was the best. I will see which version was the best writing and story, and hack off the beginning and see how that effects the word count.

On the story idea front, I have really cut down on how much I've written in the story ideas. I am keeping up with the ideas, but am not writing them as fully as I used to. In March, for example, I had 58 pages of writing in the 31 story ideas of that month this month I have only 38 pages of writing. A few really deserved more words to be put into them, but I could not spend that time on it as I have real writing projects that have precedence.
On coming up with story ideas, the past couple weeks has been a little dry. the last time I counted my ideas was the end of June, and had 58 story ideas in my compost pile. I did my count here and had 54 ideas in the compost pile. that sounds good, except I came up with like six new ideas this weekend. I had dug a little deeper into the compost pile this past week. when they are not right on top, they tend to end up not being very good, or are very difficult to write. I do have a few excellent ones but they deserve some work to do them right. I have one with a Sherlock Holmes type character. It should be written in that style. I am not that good, and it would lose something if just told like what I am doing now.

I finally got my truck on the road yesterday. The problem we were having was caused by a mistake of the manufacturer. They skipped a step in the finishing and that ended up causing us all sorts of problems in getting the transmission back in place. Luckily, my brother is learning machining and was able to solve the problem. We almost needed to go buy a special tool, when my brother figured out he could make it himself. Really simple concept, easy fabrication. All you needed was the concept.
I had the advantage that my company was willing to loan me a truck. On the last day of work for the week, I could not borrow a truck for the weekend, so I walked part way home. I took a bus part way and a cab at the end, but walked less than four miles. It had been a couple decades since I walked that far. I have some medical insoles to correct a foot problem and since I have gotten myself in condition to walk a mile, my feet did excellent over the distance I walked. I did suffer later, and it took me two days to fully recover, but I was able to cover the distance.

The last reminded me of a question I have asked in some places before. We make our characters better than normal so they can survive in the situations we put them in.
With the precise knowledge, experience, skills, and physical condition, could you survive in one of your stories?
My answer for me is no, I could not, not one of them. I cannot walk more than four miles in a day. Give me a pack and I would travel even less (my recent story) I know nothing about horses or space ships. I would be lucky to hit the broad side of a barn at ten paces, and would tire swinging a sword or a rifle for longer than a couple minutes. What I know and can do in machining or wood working, would be really useless in a real life situation and could never make a living doing it.
I cannot even lift my weight or even hold it for more than a minute or two, especially if the surface is rough. I have little or no fighting skills or experience.
The story idea to write, is to actually place yourself in one of your stories, not improving your skills at all. You may have to try what you write about, to see if you could actually do it. Would your character survive? How would you make them survive.

As to the question of the week,



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