Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Progress in Prose!

The past several days I've been busy working on the prose, keeping to my CONCISION IS EVERYTHING motto, and it's been working very well.

I'm currently in Chapter 11 of THE ISLE and the word count stands at about 27,000 words. This is all well and good except I still haven't completely satisfied the story goals for Act I yet! I was supposed to do that by 15,000 words! So, once again, in spite of the emphasis on being concise, which I am being by far compared to what I could be writing right now, I'm still running at twice the intended length. I think this has to do more with the fact that "it's a big story" than "I'm padding it". I'm not padding it. It's a big story. And it's fun, and interesting, and I'm discovering a lot even as I follow my outline, and I'm loving it.

I'm leaving out some of the intended details in favor of others I'm discovering along the way. Anything important is certainly there, but the new twists and turns are working extremely well, contributing to the larger picture of the story in ways I had not expected they would, and I'm thrilled with what I'm seeing in them.

It's a happenin' and it's goin' good!

I hope to keep atop this horse and ride him to the finish line, meaning a completed draft of THE ISLE within the next two weeks or thereabouts. All the earlier thinking and note-making and outlining and THINKING are now paying off. Feels good to be in the saddle again instead of on the ground eating dust and wondering what happened that I fell off for the umpteenth time (all of the past two months have been like that). Been there, done that! I've slain the beast with a thousand tentacles and am into rodeos now!




Susan Flemming said...

Yeah... I can relate to the getting thrown from the horse analogy. That's the way I've been feeling for quite a while now. I know I need to get back on that horse and stay on it, but these days it seems that's easier said than done.

BTW... I was doing research on writers' groups for an article to post on my website, hoping that just getting words on paper might get the ideas sparking again... anyway I came across this new group. Don't know where you are in the States, so I don't know if this will be of any help to you but thought I'd pass this along anyway. They appear to be a new group... Gay Narratives - NYC


Adrian Swift said...

It's great hearing from you again, Susan! I checked in on your blog from time to time, during your hiatus, hoping everything was okay, that you'd be back at it before too long.

I know you were very busy in the weeks and months before your hiatus. I was always very impressed with your dedication and professionalism, how much you invested in the online community of writers.

Sometimes I feel that just doing my own blog is too much. My own hiatus this past Fall helped me refill my creative reservoir. That break is what is helping me to write now.

Perhaps your own hiatus is helping, too. I don't know about you, but for me burnout is a risk I run as I pursue my creative dreams. I suppose we creative types have other lives, too, and then we must find/make/create time for our creative work. Being "creative" is emotionally demanding. We need to replenish ourselves from time to time.

One way I help stir my emotions is watching a movie I know will make me cry. That seems to open the floodgates of emotion, making it easier to get into my writing when I sit down to do that.

Sometimes I seek out profound quotes, things to mull over, to remind me of what an idea that is truly worthwhile feels like on an emotional and intellectual level.

Also, I have a look at things in nature, finding beauty and inspiration in the wonder of the world around me. There is nothing more moving than that, seeing the immensity of life, the universe, knowing what a wonder it all is. My creative process, if nothing else, may be my effort to find my place in that larger world.

Anyway, wishing you all the best, and thanks for the tip.

Susan Flemming said...

Thank you Adrian for the nice compliments.

And yes, burnout is a very real risk. That's one of the reasons that I chose to take that hiatus. I was feeling so divided... on the one hand wanting to be a part of the on-line writing community while on the other hand trying to make sure that wasn't taking too much energy away from my own writing.

As well, I tend to be a person who, if I'm not careful, absorbs the emotions of those I come in contact with, whether that be in person or on-line. In my every day life, I try as much as possible to maintain a peaceful atmosphere in which to live. As I'm sure you are aware... the internet, especially the blogosphere, can be a rather drama filled and emotionally charged atmosphere in which to maneouver.

I prefer to keep conflict and drama within the pages of my stories and so the break helped me to distance myself from a variety of dramas that were playing themselves out across the blogosphere at that time. I'm still feeling my way back, decidiing just what level of involvement will work best for me. Some blogs I've deleted from my favourites list. Yours of course, remains because I truly enjoy reading about your process as your write your way through your novels.

And yes... I seek inspiration from nature too. In fact, I very much consider myself a seeker and an explorer.


Adrian Swift said...


'Nuff said, too. If I say anything else, I'll just be repeating what you said, and you said it so well I really shouldn't do that. :-)

I haven't culled my links yet. Still debating with myself about that.

Just keep your own writing first, independent of anything or anyone else. It's YOUR thing, that thing you do, that only you can do. Only you can tell the stories you have to tell.

Anything else is extra, as long as it helps. If it detracts, ditch it! Pitch it overboard! Let the swine roll in their mud, the fools jump over their cliff -- you don't have to join them! [Raucous laughter.]

(Of couse, you know that already. Just offering a pep talk. I'll come back and reread this myself when I'm need to, to keep myself on track.)

PS -- Like Susan, I'm grateful for the positive comments I've received to my various blog postings over time. There are good people out there who offer positive support and encouragement. It's nice knowing them!

PPS -- Susan, I look forward to knowing you're back at work on your writing, even if it means not blogging so much.

Be true to your art!