ROW Checkin: April 15, 2012

Goal: 1,000 a day on the Haunted High School novel

Progress? So far so good.

Change of goal, slightly. Initially, I started off writing prep material in hopes to start actual drafting during the next Round of Words in July. I completed a good chunk of character prepwork, somewhat less on the scene prepwork. But then I realized I might be trying to write a really old school way.
I saw Scott Sigler interviewed on Sword and Laser and he described that for one of his books he’d posted each chapter as a podcast as he was writing them. Once the draft was finished he presumably took down the podcasts and edited the work together more cohesively. The narrative went off in a different direction, I gather, during this editing process. The idea is fascinating since the podcasts would help drum up an audience for the work in particular and for the writer in general. It would give a treat for the “early adopters / true fans” and it would also allow a writer a way to stay before the public attention while writing a big work. Writing and marketing aren’t as separate as they perhaps once were. Having said all that, I don’t think I’m planning to release my first drafts as a podcast but I am going into drafting now. I know the story I’m going to write, to the degree anyone knows how tales will really turn out before writing “The End.” WHen I sense I need a bit of backstory of plan to help, I’ll devote my 1,000 words to prepwork again but I’m officially giving myself permission to start writing for real.


ROW Checkin: April 11, 2012

Writing is writing, right?

And I continue to put word after word, despite the unusual busy-ness of the past week so that’s a triumph. Right? Right? I am not as far along as I’d wished with the specifics of my ROW Goal, namely 1,000 words a day on prep work for my haunted high school novel. I also realized that I forgot to hit “publish” on last week’s update. D’oh.

• I did some non-novel writing. I wrote a nice sketch of a ghost story about a sleazy hotel near where I work. I figured out who the ghost was and captured a few choice exchanges beween my two investigators. It all was sparked by a chance peek into the “lobby” of the establishment as I walked by the other day — usually the drapes are closed but they were open to reveal a wonderfully cluttered office and a bullet-proof glass window. The opening scene just started to happen before my eyes and I had to transcribe it. When writing comes that easily, it’s hard for me to say no to such a gift. I also hammered out posts on several different blogs to which I contribute. I find it hard to consider posts to be “real” writing though, to be honest.

• I caught up on some serious reading over the holiday weekend and I don’t feel guilty about that at all. I finished The Magicians by Lev Grossman (Harry Potter/Narnia crossed with Catcher in the Rye) and, yes finally, I finished A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. I want to add “Read More” to my goals, though that’s a rather slippery goal. I joined the “Sword and Laser” online book club /pocast ( )to help encourage me to read.

• I have also embarked on a new interest in fitness. It would be presumptuous to call it a “program” and “goal” sounds a bit too purposive. How about we leave it at “a newfound awareness” and leave it at that. I’ve walked to work a couple times. I’ve been using the iPhone app “Zombies, Run” — though using a stationary bike instead of running — and enjoying the heck out of it. I’ve also established an area in the basement where I can lift weights without feeling like a total dork-a-saurus. And I finally have a nice solid chair where I can meditate. Last year, I did a course in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (basically secularized Vipissana meditation) which definitely helps keep me sane. Until this week, the best place I’ve had to meditate is an overstuffed recliner where it’s far too easy to drift off to sleep.