#ROW80: Post-Snowmageddon edition

As most of you probably know, we had 2.6 inches of snow in the Atlanta area on Tuesday which brought the city to a standstill, stranding motorists on the Interstates (we have three, I-75, I-85, and I-20, plus I-285, a bypass known as “the Perimeter,” made famous by former Braves pitcher Pascual Perez), kids at school, and had people sleeping on the floors at Home Depots and Walmarts all over town. They mayor of Atlanta and the Governor of Georgia both claim that they had no idea it was coming until it got here, never acknowledging the fact that the National Weather Service (which has a regional office here) and The Weather Channel (based in the Atlanta metro area) had been talking about snow coming to Atlanta for at least three days and the NWS issuing a Winter Storm Watch Monday afternoon, upgrading it first to a Winter Weather Advisory at 1 AM Tuesday and a Winter Storm Warning at 4 AM, leaving plenty of time for the Powers That Be to close the schools and prepare what little snow removal equipment we have here in order to mitigate whatever problems would be caused by the snow. Big Al Roker had plenty to say about the mess:

On the bright side, when it snows, we stay home and don’t venture outside until it is mostly melted. Meaning that I got a lot done.

Click on the picture to link to the website!
Click on the picture to link to the website!

The update:

  • Write 30 minutes a day: Went well over this, as I wrote approximately 12K words on the story I started last week. The story isn’t quite that long, or won’t be when I get finished. As I threatened to do last Wednesday, I hauled Scrivener out of mothballs, imported the story and split it into individual scenes. I wrote several new scenes, rewrote several of them, and experimented with a few alternate endings. The “production” version is now close to 8100 words, and there’s more to do. I’m having a blast, and I’m not done. I’ll talk about some of the things I learned after I finish the update.
  • Read 30 minutes a day: Even managed this most days.
  • Clean the office: Remember last week, when I said that I was going to change this to “Make an even bigger mess of my office,” because maybe I’d do the opposite? Didn’t work.

The things I’ve learned from writing this story:

  1. It’s easiest to import into Scrivener from a plain text file. At least, it waas for me. I tried importing from Rich Text, and I didn’t like the results.
  2. Re the “plot vs. pants” argument: What works for me is to write a rough draft of the story first, and use that as a starting point for an outline. Using Scrivener and the technique I discussed earlier (importing from a word processor and breaking it up) allows me to see what I need and insert it where it belongs. I’m calling this technique “plantsing.” It would be pretty hard to do something like this for a full novel, but I’m doing short tories, remember?
  3. My brain keeps writing, or rather re-writing, even after I’ve shut down for the night. I swear that it’s happening in my sleep. Several times this week, I’ve woken with a whole new idea for how to do something. And, at the risk of sounding like a commercial for Scrivener, I’ve found that I can remove and replace scenes without overwriting them.
  4. This is the most important one: “The Committee” (which includes Sister Antagonista Mary and my mother) keeps telling me that the story sucks, and I’ve been giving them the finger and continuing.

So, do we have any more “plantsers” out there?

Have a good week, and straight ahead.

11 thoughts on “#ROW80: Post-Snowmageddon edition

  1. Plantsing . . . I like it. I love to jump right in and write the story but have been learning the benefits of extensive plotting. I think you may have struck on a happy medium. All the best for the remainder of Round 1.

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  2. Here in Ohio, we were just amazed at the mess down south… glad to see you weren’t in it! And glad to see such great progress in your writing. Sounds like you’re finding a process that works for you, except that you need to lock the Committee out of your office!

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    1. We get a snowstorm like last week’s about every 2-3 years and it’s always a mess. Every year tey claim they learned new things from this storm, and the next time it happens they’re caught by surprise again. I came from Chicago, where 2″ of snow is nothing, but 2″ where it’s nice and level is a whole lot different than the same amount where there are hills all over the place, with drivers who think that they can drive on it the same way they drive on dry pavement, and where the prevailing attitude is to wait until it melts. Next time we have snow like that, I’m sending The Committee out to shovel.

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  3. That ploy to tidy up was never going to work, never. . . 🙂

    Scrivener is great isn’t it? – Took me a while to get to grips, but use it all the time now. I’m a bit of both – I find writing plot/outlining almost impossible however it is all plotted in my head, I have thought about it for ages before I begin writing.

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    1. I think I was trying too hard to adapt my way of writing to the way Scrivener wants me to write, rather than adapting Scrivener to the way I write. Doing the former was frustrating me, and I’d end up saying “screw this” and go back to the way I was doing things. Also, I do a lot of writing at Starbucks, and my “road” computer runs with Windows, and I didn’t want to pay the money for the Windows version (and potentially end up with different versions on different computers). I now object less to writing in Google Drive and downloading a plain text file to import into whatever story I’m writing in Scrivener, because I have a general strategy for dealing with that scenario (and it was so simple… I’m supposed to be the technical one here 🙂 ).

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  4. It looks like you had a great writing/reading week. 🙂

    Our county was unprepared for the snow, too…even though my Weather Channel phone app plainly said it was coming. They salt the roads when there’s a tiny chance of snow, they DON’T when there’s a big chance.

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    1. We live in Cobb, notorious for closing the schools if there’s even a vague chance of snow, and for some reason they didn’t cancel until the snow had already started and there was about an inch on the roads. If there was a day to close the schools, Tuesday would have been it.

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