Monday, February 28, 2011

A Bad Run Gone Positive (This is a Long One, I Hope You Like Reading)

A few weeks ago I got stuck in the driveway because of the snow. Last Friday, I got stuck in the street - again, snow. (Last Wednesday, going 10 miles an hour, I slid at a 65 degree angle off the road, downhill, and got three nice gentlemen to push my car back up onto the street.)

Last night, my fiance bribed me with Taco Bell (who can resist?!?) We had to switch our cars in the driveway because he was leaving first this morning. I tossed my keys in the cup holder of his car. (Can you see where this is going?) We took the dog. When we got home, I had the dog, and the food.

This morning, he drove away with my keys. Sigh.

He's the assistant manager. His lunch doesn't come until 3... about the time I'd get off work, anyway. When I called work, asking if I got keys if I should come in, they said no. Sigh again.

My work is going to think I fell off the planet, soon. However, my creditors will keep searching for me :P

I moped for a minute, then lifted my head high - I'm going to make the most of my unplanned free day! My goal is to finish 3k words on "Cheater's Pass". Writing it, I've already formulated a few ideas for later episodes. I'm really excited about the project, in general!

I'll share my idea with the lot of you, since you're here :)

I want to write each episode in 3 weeks (if a team of writers can write a half-hour show every week, I think I can manage 20k words in 3!). That's about 2 weeks per manuscript (@1,500k words/day) with a week for editing/revisions/cover finalization. I want to release each new episode a month apart. That gives me about an extra week between episodes to:

A: rest
B: work on a different project
C: start the next episode to get ahead/form a buffer

I have a lot of confidence in my ability, and I know with 100% certainty - I work better on a schedule. If I say, write 1.5k words/day, finish by this date, publish on this date, ect... then I feel I can really buckle down, focus my ability and build up a backlist. Backlists seem to be a big part of "making it" in self-publishing... which of course makes sense! (You have to have product, for product to be bought.) Plus, I'm a firm believer in the more you write, the better you get! Story-crafting is a skill that gets better with constant use.

I know there will be nay-sayers (You can't produce something of quality in 3 weeks!) But I will disagree with them. Yes, some authors take 6 months to write a chapter. I do not. I can write a chapter and heavily edit it 3 times in 4 days. But, as I write, I edit. I read the previous chapter, edit, write the next chapter. The next day, I read what came before, edit, write the next and so forth. I'm a rolling editor. Plus, I take what my beta readers say into consideration as I move forward. By the time I finish the story, only the last part needs severe editing - the rest has been looked over by at least 4 pairs of eyes (my own, at least 10 times). Also, when I write, I don't generally "go with it"... the ideas usually ferment in my brain and when I sit down with it, I know where it's going. I learned a long time ago that "letting characters write the story for me..." was a bad idea. My stories took weird turns, and I felt I couldn't get them back on track. It's better if I follow the pattern in my head, then flesh it out after.

And if I may make a nod at people who have already made some success - I think many people would be surprised how quickly some stories were written. I believe I read on Hocking's blog that she wrote Hollowland in about a week... and that's considerably longer than what I'm writing. I don't know her editing schedule, but I believe if you have the story, it's there, and you'll write it. I don't find writing a struggle, I find it a release. I don't get writer's block because there's always SOMETHING in there to write about! (I may get something I call writer's pause, on occasion, as I sift about for that perfect phrase.)

I'm trying to turn around my situation, one chapter at a time ;) So, let's take this unplanned free day and turn it a better life down the road!

1 comment:

  1. Nice post! My writing method is a bit different. I sit around and plan and plan, coming up with word counts and when I'll write this or that, and without fail I sabotage myself every single time.

    What works for me is assigning myself a time to write, and then sitting down and diving in. Some days I'll struggle to get a page, but most days I'll get a good 1,500 to 2,000 words.

    I read that Gibson rewrote "Neuromancer" as he went, each day revising what he did the day before. If I do this, I despair, lol. My inner critic will thrash me mercilessly into submission.

    Then my wife has to grab the spatula and scrape me out of my chair, and no one likes that.

    Bravo about turning a negative situation into a positive. This is something I've been working with on my own as well: not letting things bother me.

    - Nick