Thursday, November 21, 2013
Discipline is what it takes to put pen to paper or your fingers to the keys. not when you feel like it, because as I have discovered there will be times when you most certainly DO NOT FEEL LIKE IT.
The important thing is that writing is not about feelings. Writing, whether it is a novel, screenplay, short story, blog or anything else you choose to do is not about your feelings. Its not about starting the project. Writers have great ideas about things we can start. Writing is about FINISHING. Its about writing until it surpasses good and becomes great. Its about getting the first, second, third, and how ever many you need drafts done. Then when you finish that its about editing and polish. Its about having relationships in the world with people who love to read, who may want to read your work. Its about going into this with both eyes open. DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE. It's never easy but it is always worth it.
I have 16k left to get to in 9 days, even though the story I'm writing is considerably longer than 50k. I will arrive at 50k in few days. I'm smiling as I write this because that in itself is an accomplishment. It is only the beginning. Remember it takes discipline.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I write this because many times we think as writers that we need to deprive ourselves of things in order to be good writers. I disagree. I think the more we take care of ourselves the better our writing. This doesn't mean we spend all day at a spa ( although that sounds like a great idea), but it does mean that every so often we indulge in those things we enjoy. I don't subscribe to the tortured artist ideal, I think its pointless. Besides life has enough unpleasantness in it ( just turn on the news if you're unsure of what I mean) I don't need to add more to it.
Taking care of yourself also means taking care of your body. I exercise regularly and watch what I eat. The motivation for this is that I want to be around to torture my own children when they have kids. I will certainly be the grandfather that spoils kids, undermines their parents, gets them the gifts that are not allowed and gives them more money than they will ever get on an allowance. Torturing my kids will be hard work, that requires that I be healthy and fit.
My other motivation in regards to writing is a bit more mundane. I cant write well if I feel horrible. Lack of sleep, poor eating, no exercise, and abusing my body harms me and my writing.
This lesson has really hit home this month with Nano going full swing (20k and going strong). I have realized that I need to pace myself. That writing 10k in one day, while a worthwhile goal is difficult with a house full of kids, a business to run and a body to take care of. Yesterday I managed 4k because I took Sunday off to relax and it felt great.
It all comes down to choice. Taking care of yourself should be a priority, no matter what you do.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Actually its a great experience so far. The story which I outlined loosely in October, but has been harassing me since early September, is flowing. Granted this is a zero draft because I'm just writing and not giving much thought to finer details. I'm just getting the story on the page. I'll pull out the scythe on the next pass and the pass after that.
Also this is the first time I'm taking on typing the book as I write. I usually write my books longhand, yes its a long process-hence the smoldering brain. I wanted to attempt typing this time for several reasons. I wanted to hone the typing skills and I wanted a way to keep an accurate track of word count which is not easily done longhand.
At this rate I have been doing about 2k a day for the last 5 days. I find if I do my writing early in the day it works. Also late at night seems to be a good time, when the little ones are in bed. Middle of the day, not so much. Too distracted with other things pulling ion my time.
Will keep you posted.
Monday, November 4, 2013
At first I thought 2k? No problem. Then I realized I had a life, a wife to keep happy or at least not irate, a tribe of kids, a school to run, two weekly blogs, a book in beta reader stage which will come back needing rewriting, and other projects to write. What the hell was I thinking?
So for your reading pleasure here is the chapter of Sepia Blue-Origins, enjoy! This is a zero draft so it rough but I wanted to share it with all of you.
Her body slammed into the wall cracking brick and ribs. The impact forced the breath from her body in a violent gasp. Heat flushed her body the next moment as she felt her ink flare, muting the pain, knitting bone and tissue. The meaty hand around her neck began to squeeze. Part of her brain informs her that this is a very bad situation, she ignores it. Always stating the obvious-she thought as her vision begins to tunnel in. Taking a moment to orient herself, she looks up the arm of the mountain that just tried to crush her into a wall. He bares his teeth in what she can only imagine is a smile. Brutes are not known for their intelligence. They were big, strong, fast, and almost impossible to kill. She was glad there was only one.
“I have a clear shot.” said the voice over her com link.
“No! Cade I got this.” She planted her feet against the wall and pushed, forcing the Brute to step back and loosening his grip for a second. A second is all she needs as she reaches up and pulls back on his hand and breaking the thumb, compromising the stranglehold around her neck. It was so sudden the pain doesn't register for a moment. She hears Cade, cursing under his breath.
“Sepia let me end him, he didn't even feel that, the bastard.” She crouches under the hay-maker that would have removed her head from her body had it connected. Realizing that Cade is right-the Brute isn't fazed by a broken finger, she’s not surprised.
“I need information Cade; I can’t get it if it’s dead.
“Better it than you.”
She rolls behind the Brute as it delivers a stomp that crushes the wall behind her. This was turning into a bad night. She wanted to take this thing down without killing it, and she wasn’t seeing a way to do it. She turned to the Brute as it was advancing.
“If you tell me why you are so far from home I promise not to kill you.” she said.
“Hunter dies tonight.” The Brute’s voice was a rasp. The words like the grinding of two boulders, all jagged edges and pain.
“What the fu-“Cade was mid-sentence when the head shot took down the Brute. There was a look of shock mixed with surprise on the Brute’s face. It took one more step before crashing to the ground.
“Goddamn it Cade, I told you no killing.” She rolled the Brute over to check the body, finding nothing of importance. What was it doing so far downtown? Who had sent it? Did it really speak to her? Could the Unholy be intelligent? So many questions and no answers.
“That wasn’t me Sepia, and since when did they learn to speak? I’ve never heard one of them speak, ever.” She turned, scanning the rooftops as she answered.
“Me either, I didn’t even think they had language. He was clear on the message though. Someone wants me dead.” said Sepia.
“If it wasn’t you, then someone is piggybacking us.” She knew Cade well enough to know he would never kill unless she was in real danger. No this was someone else. Someone was trying to make a point.
“Let’s see how good they are Cade.”
“I’m already moving.”
“Meet you there.
She had a rough idea of where the shooter would set up judging from the trajectory of the shot. She ran towards the building she thought the sniper had used. The streets in lower New York were a labyrinth, thanks to the English. She reached the rooftop at the same time as Cade scaled over the edge.
“Whoever they were, they’re good. That’s easily a four hundred yard shot.” said Cade as he paced around the roof taking in vantage points.
“Good, but not as good as you. How many gunners can make that shot you think?” Sepia was looking over the edge of the roof trying to gauge how high up they were.
“We’re about forty feet up. How many? All of them. At least all the ones I know.” Cade was crouched over the edge.
“He took the shot from here, not bad. Far enough to be difficult close enough to hide.”
“This smells Cade, it smells wrong.”
“If you had let me take my shot-“She glared at him.
“Sepia you can’t keep doing this, these principles or ideals or whatever you want to call them are going to get you killed. You have to eliminate them; it’s the only way you get to go home at the end of your tour. You know I’m right.”
“No Cade, all life is sacred even unholy life.” she said as she jumped off the side of the building onto the street below.
The deserted street swallowed her footsteps as she walked away.You are in the wrong line of work little girl, and it’s going to get you and me killed one day. Cade thought as scaled the metal railing of the fire escape, down to the street continuing their patrol.