WCFC Submission

I’m happy to say that despite all the complications, the busyness, I’m wrapping up my first submission for Write Club Fight Club.   It’s not as perfect as I would like, but that is a topic all it’s own and probably familiar to most writers.  With the time and energy I had to put into the project I think it turned out alright.

There were several guidelines for the submission:

Story begins with “It began last Fall in the woods”, it has to be involve revenge, must be below 8,000 words and the word “said” is not supposed to be used.  Full rules can be found on the post Hit the Gym.

Writing the piece was a lot of fun and definitely made me flex some writing muscles.  It would be nice to win my first bout but I’m less concerned with that than having a good time.  It’ll also be really interesting to see what all the other writers came up with.

Battles start September 29th.  Each day for the following week two pieces will be put up against each other.  My battle will be on October 2nd, I’m up against N. J. Layouni.

The fun has just begun, stay tuned here and on WCFC.

 

Pantser Slump

The greatest pleasure I derive from writing is also my greatest curse.

There are two general types of writers; plotters and pantsers.

Plotters are kind of the Type-A personalities of the writing world.  They have an idea, they plan out the characters, and lay out the plot line in great detail.  Then when they write all they have to do is connect the dots.

Pantsers are those who write “by the seat of their pants”.  They start with an interesting idea, a character, and they just write.  It’s a very organic process, they just see where the characters take them.  Planning is usually limited to a couple chapters ahead.

I am an unashamed pantser.  What drives me to write is curiosity.  Usually I start with a hook and I’m genuinely curious where the story is going to go.  How is the manly man going to react when he has to direct his daughter’s play?  I don’t know but I really want to find out.  Every story is a puzzle that I really want to solve.

As much fun as that is, it’s also my biggest hurdle towards becoming a novelist.

You see, as long as I don’t know what’s going to happen I’m hooked by my own story, but there’s always a point (around 80% done) when I figure out how it’s going to end.  I can see how the last little bit plays out.  The puzzle is solved but the draft isn’t finished.  Suddenly, I don’t have any motivation at all to finish the last 20% or so.  It’s work, it’s trudging, it’s painfully boring.

When I get bored, my attention starts to wander toward other story ideas, until I drop the original project and start something new.  The new project gets to about 80%, puzzle solved, and my attention starts to wander again.

Right now, I’ve got two books 80% finished and I’m struggling to maintain my focus on them instead of the flashier, new ideas that have been cropping up.  I really, really want to be a published author but there are so many difficulties that I never anticipated, this being one of many.

So, I desperately need to work on my writing discipline.  Not just in hours/words per day but in finishing what I start.  Even then, I can only imagine how painful it’s going to be to do the multiple cycles of revision to make the story readable.

I keep telling myself, “if it was easy, everyone would do it.”   Pantser or not, I’m working on it.

 

Started a new project

(Image from an interesting post on Good E Reads)

I hadn’t realized how tied up my brain is with my daughter’s book until last night.

I was really trudging through my writing time, just struggling to add a couple new pages to her story.  It wasn’t writer’s block, nothing that serious, but it was work.  The words were reluctant, difficult, and stubborn.  I got my pages done and then closed the word processor with relief.  Done for the day, whew.

But there was another document open. Continue reading “Started a new project”

Two Miles to Humility

(I wrote this right after it happened in 2008, I had plenty of time off my feet to work on it.  Enjoy!  WordPress didn’t like my formatting, so it’s a little off.)
Two Miles to Humility
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I’d like to think that I have reached the point in my life where there aren’t too many big life lessons left to learn.  However, it’s when you think you don’t have much left to learn that you end up being forcibly shown how little you actually know.
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My wife, Carrie, is an amazingly gifted woman.  I say this with some confidence because I’m fairly gifted and she is far more talented and gifted than I am.  When applying for a University, eight years after High School, I was required to retake the SATs.  I studied for two weeks and scored a 1390, two hundred points higher than I had almost a decade before.  I’ve learned through the years that given a little time and effort I can truly accomplish anything I put my mind to.  My wife, on the other hand, can match any accomplishment of mine almost instantly, and with little discernible effort.

Continue reading “Two Miles to Humility”