Finishing and Starting

I’ve noticed I always seem to be finishing one thing and starting another. Or three. 😉

In case anyone hasn’t noticed, no I don’t take days off. There are a lot of reasons for this, including the importance of momentum. Also, I just like writing more than I like doing anything else, even sleeping. I think I’ve mentioned before that this seems to be a fairly serious addiction. Also, I don’t care if I’m an addict. As my Twitter bio says, looking for that fabled 12-step program so I can ignore it.

However, one of the good things about all this finishing and starting is that when I get on a roll, I can just keep going. It’s the nice thing about having so many open projects at once. As maddening as it is some days, it’s never boring.

Yesterday I managed to finish the outline for Devan’s novella. I’m still not sure what to title it, but I think it’s going to be a good story. There’s lots of potential and emotion in the outline. My one concern is length. I’m hoping it’s just a case of the outline being more detailed than the one for Second Thoughts was. ST’s outline came in at 3354 words. The story, once told, was 34,100 words. That’s fairly common for me, by the way, my manuscript turning out to be approximately ten times as long as the outline. So why does this concern me? The outline for Devan’s novella clocked in at 4263 words. Novellas are supposed to stay under 40k, generally speaking. I foresee a potential problem there, but I’m not going to let it get in the way. I’ll do the same thing I did with ST, just write it the way it wants to be written.  We’ll see where it ends up and I’ll deal with it from there.

In both the starting and finishing columns, I just wrote my first piece of flash fiction. 984 words and it’s a whole story. A bit dark, but at the same time, also a bit seductive. I did it for three reasons, really. First, to see if I could. I’d never tried to write anything that short before, but I said the same thing when I wrote The Third Feather and that turned out fairly well, if I do say so myself. So I figured why not step up to an even bigger challenge, to write something even smaller. By the Candle Light is about half the length of The Third Feather, so I’m a bit impressed with myself. Yes, it’s close to the limit, but I suspect there are places I can tighten it up.

The second reason was, as always, because the story came to mind and then demanded to be told. In a very loud voice. One that promised I’d get nothing else done until I wrote this. Yes, my muse is very pushy. I’ve learned to live with it. 😉

The third excuse for this little exercise is that there’s an online magazine that is taking flash fiction for the next month or so. Given the time frame in which I put The Third Feather together, I think I can manage to have this ready before the end of the window. Maybe even another that I’m pondering, but I’m not sure I can get that one in under 1k. We’ll see. In any case, it’s my plan to submit By the Candle Light to said publication. I fully expect to get rejected, but I had fun writing it in any case and if it does get rejected, maybe I’ll just share it here. I have plans for such events anyway.

I’m still progressing with the outline for What Lies Beneath, but there’s not much to say about it beyond that. Besides, I really should leave something to post about another day, shouldn’t I?

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About Julie

I'm a writer and photographer. I always have something with me to take notes for ideas or writing projects I'm thinking about or have on the go. I also like to go around with my camera and take pictures of anything that strikes me as beautiful or evocative. I'm perpetually working on one story or another, while waiting for enough distance to judge the last one (or more). I'm always working on several projects at once, developing the next book, even as I'm editing the last. Beyond that, there's always plenty of scraps and twists of ideas rolling around in my head, eventually turning themselves into full blown stories.
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5 Responses to Finishing and Starting

  1. Pete Denton says:

    I think momentum is the key. I know during a NaNo, because I have to write every day I get into the routine. When it’s all over I stop writing and don’t start for another 6 weeks or longer.

    If I could scale it down after NaNo rather than stop and keep the momentum up, I could do more. That’s my plan after July. I think that’s your strength. You keep at it and writing is a habit. As addictions go. It’s the best one 🙂

    • Julie says:

      *blush* Thank you! I hope you can do the scaled down writing after your next NaNo. I’ll admit, continuing the roll really is easier than trying to restart, but there are some days where I feel a bit overwhelmed by all I have going on. I make it through those days though, partly because of the friends I have. 🙂

      • Pete Denton says:

        Tonight I thought about not writing at all. A hectic day at work and a week from hell on the cards next week, but I thought I’d do a page and ended up finishing the scene and can tick another 1,500 words off the word count. Continuing the roll do feel good 🙂

        • Julie says:

          I’ve had those days myself, where I feel like it’s too much, and my brain screams “I don’t wanna!” Only I know I’ll feel better if I just get a little bit in. So I write a sentence. Then another. By the third, I find my mood and heart lifting and I just roll on. Congratulations on having 1500 words. Tuck that feeling and how you did it in a pocket, somewhere close to your heart. Take it out and reference on similarly rough days as needed. 😉

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