Write-a-thon 2013 Week One

The bad news is that I haven’t done any actual writing on my chosen project, and here it is the end of the first week of the Write-a-thon . . .  The good news (although that may be subject to debate) is that after spending some time reading the original half-finished draft of this novel, I think I’ll be using quite a bit more of it than I had thought I would.  And it’s certainly interesting to be reminded of all the work I put into it, much of which I don’t remember all that well.

The reason this might not be such good news is that it may make the process much more difficult.  Trying to decide what to keep and what not to keep–and, especially, integrating the old material in with the new material–can make putting together a solid draft far more complicated.  And after my experience with what my sister and I call the ‘Novel from Hell’, (a.k.a. the ‘NFH’), which was written and rewritten repeatedly over a shocking number of years, that’s not a situation I want to put myself in again.  It’s far easier to work with something that’s been written all at one time, because even if the material is rough and needs a lot of editing it’s going to be much more cohesive that way.  (This is one of the reasons I advocate using ‘the fast method’, as discussed in my post about “The Muse and the Editor.”)

But I can see that scratching my head about this–not to mention endlessly fiddling around with the enormous file full of outlines and notes for this project–isn’t going to get the book written.  The only thing to do is to dive in and start writing it, ignoring the clutter and confusion.  The complexities will just have to be dealt with as they come along.  (‘Damn the torpedoes’ and all that . . . ) Continue reading

The Clarion West Write-a-thon 2013

I’m gearing up for the Clarion West Write-a-thon again, but I’m afraid it’s kind of snuck up on me–a lot like Christmas always does!  It seemed like I had plenty of time–and I was planning to get the word out early–and it’s starting just next week.

The project I’ve chosen is pretty ambitious, but also something I’m so excited about that in many ways it’s better than Christmas!  I’m going to try to complete a draft of a novel I started many years ago and, as I mention on my Write-a-thon page, it’s set in what may very well be my favorite world.  Spending a lot of time there is something I’ve been looking forward to for ages.  But precisely because I know this world and these people so well, one of the challenges will be that there’s even more pressure when it comes to ‘getting it right’ and finding the words that will do them justice.