Week before last I finished taking notes on the Huntsman. I organized what I had, wrote a bunch of new scenes (and rewrote old ones) based on what my notes had told me. I then realized I was still stuck. The idea that I had for the end of the story is just not coming together the way I want. So I did a quick cleaning and sent it to my husband for an alpha read so he has a better idea of the story to help with a plan. (He’s much better at outlines than I am.)
Since that is off my plate for now while the hubby reads it, I started working more on my Blessings of the Nerial story. I once again ran into the problem of being a discovery writer who now knows enough craft that I keep trying to put the plot together as I write. And right now I have no idea if it’s helping, or just stifling my writing. I talked out some of the ideas with my hubby and realized how little of my ideas are actually solid (ie, I can explain them successfully to someone else). It’s possible that it’s always like this at the beginning of a story and I’ve just never been aware of it before. I’m still on ‘vague feelings’ and ‘this is how it would look in a movie’ stage of writing. And who knows, it’s possible this story won’t stick at all. (It’s only at 13k words, so I’m not all that deep yet) But I’m going to keep working on it until I get the Huntsman back, barring anything else unforseen.
At the end of last week, I also noticed how little I had on my timesheet related to ‘reading’. I did finish my mushroom book, which is counted as ‘research’, but that’s all I had in the past month and a half. I think part of the problem is that counting ‘reading’ time toward ‘work’ time feels like cheating, since I enjoy it so much. Like yesterday I ready Dennard’s new Witchlands novella, Sightwitch. I put down the two hours it took on my timesheet and I feel weird about it.
And yet, I feel like I haven’t been reading much of anything because I’ve been so focused on getting the hours I want for my timesheet. I do want to work on doing more in depth reading, but in order to have fodder for that, it means I need to have read the story in the first place. Obviously this is just a timesheet I keep for myself and there are no right or wrong answers. We’ll see how the data pans out in the next month or so.
I also am working on making my descriptions more descriptive. My descriptions tend to come out rather …well like I’m writing code. (I have a BS in computer science.) It’s certainly a weakness of mine, so I’ve been looking for good examples in books I’ve read and trying to see how I can improve.
Goals for the next two weeks: Keep working on Blessings of the Nerial. I’d like another 7k words. I finally think I’m starting to get a handle on Eira’s (main character) personality. Write four descriptions that I’ll post on facebook and get some feedback. Spend at least two hours on some sort of deep-reading or analyzing. Man, I am being super specific this week. We’ll see how that goes.