#ROW80: What’s it look like?

You know something, I think I’m getting the hang of this writing thing. I’ve been faithfully cranking out my thousand or so words a day (three weeks now!), starting with my 750 “morning pages” words, copying them to another document, and dashing off from there. I find that I’m writing a couple of hours a day, more if I can get it. And, as I was telling Eden in my response to her comment on last week’s status report, things are coming together. It’s possible that I’ll have the outline for at least a collection of short stories, maybe a full-length novel that I can start writing in November. Who knows?

I’m having a lot of fun with what I’m writing. That’s the important thing, at least I would think at this stage. That doesn’t mean that I’m not running into difficulties, mostly self-imposed. The big thing is that I’m so busy telling the story that I’m not stopping to look around and tell the reader what anything looks like. I’ve got stick figures playing against a blank background. What I might do with some of my time this week is go back through some of the pieces that I’ve written so far and see how hard it is to retrofit them with description. More on that as it becomes available.

So, that’s the scoop for this week. Hope everyone’s having a great time. Go you!

11 thoughts on “#ROW80: What’s it look like?

  1. Your first draft is sounding a lot like my first drafts. I have more than one printout that a beta reader returned to me with a “Where are they? What are they doing? I have no sense of location” (and other such notes). I don’t know if this is the way a first draft should be, but I have found it’s pretty easy to fill in the details afterward when asked. And details don’t have to be line after line of purple prose–a few carefully placed words. Did you see that article Stephen King wrote about setting and description? It’s all about giving the reader just enough so that s/he can create the image him/herself: http://www.wordplayer.com/pros/pr13.King.Stephen.html

    Keep having fun with it, John.

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  2. my first drafts are stick-insects in a desert but getting the plot/emotion/events/actions help me find the overall consistent descriptions in the next draft – I find it works for me, the description then is chosen to enhance/explain/soften/heighten the sticks – we all have different ways of conveying a story – but enjoyment I beleive should feature in the process – all the best:)

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  3. Hello, John. I’m glad that 750words.com is working for you. It distracted me more because last month I was entirely focused on editing rather than writing. But this month . . . . we shall see. I think you’re on the right track to simply tell story and plan on looping back to fill in setting. Why do people read? Isn’t it for the emotional tension between characters and the resolution of conflict? So often I’m writing historical fiction, the setting comes slowly as I write and revise and revise. But you nailed it when you said you’re having fun with the writing. Yes! that’s the point! Write on!

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    1. Going back through a lot of the things that I’ve read, I noticed that there isn’t much attention paid to the setting. There isn’t a lot of description, for example, in police procedural novels, unless it tells part of the story, where the police are questioning a suspect, for example. Maybe I’m making more of it than there is…

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Congrats on being able to meet your goals!

    I remember reading a blog that Patricia Wrede posted (or it could have been a different writer… I can’t find it unfortunately) that said that the first draft for some writers is exactly what you described – just stick figures moving ahead, with barely any or no description at all. If it’s too hard to go back and edit description in at this point, you can always wait until it’s time for your second draft.

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    1. Thanks for telling me that. I’m adding description in some cases as I go with the first draft, and will likely add the description when I get to the second. I just got the impression that was weird…

      Thanks for stopping by!

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