Write Wing Rhetoric

Posted: August 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

So, as we’ve been successful getting the first half of August’s writing plans together, I’m going to outline the next batch of plans and deadlines so y’all can keep me responsible for them.

1. Nine Dead Suns.

Okay, this was priority one in August, getting that darned hole filled. Now I’ve got a nice looking FedEx Kinkos box with a hole-punched copy of the first draft inside. Revision is necessary. Heavy, heavy revision. I’ve got a red pen ready to go, a book on revision tips that I’m reading, and a few of you reading the first draft for revision advice. If you’ve got a copy and haven’t read it yet, now is a great time to give it a look and tell me what areas need significant improvement.

I’m going to take the next two weeks to red pen the manuscript in preparation for Draft Two. Since I’m counting weeks as starting on Monday (and this isn’t Monday, for those historians who are trying to put together the definitive history of Douglass Barre for a bestselling historical biography) it’s really going to end up being a week-and-a-half. That’ll put us at September 6th (since it’s a long weekend) as a deadline for the red-penning to be done, then I can use September to write the new draft.

2. Writing Contests

There’s one thing that intersects that plan, and that’s the Three-Day Novel Contest (http://www.3daynovel.com/). It takes place over the Labor Day weekend, which is the last part of that week and a half. Now, I’m faced with the dilemma: do I stick to my plan of revision, or do I take the plunge and give another shot at getting a huge chunk written in a short time. It’s occurred to me that I could  use that time to write part of my next project (the CCC Novel), which in itself will contain several shorter novels all tying in to the major work. I could also use it to get a new novella written that I could immediately turn around to sell if I don’t win the contest (the prize of which is publication!)

What do y’all think? (You know, I really need to figure out how to run polls on this blog…) [Edit: …which I did! Here:]

Also, there’s a Pathfinder short story contest (http://www.pathfinderchronicler.net/?page_id=1743). It’s been a while since I put my fingers towards a short story, and I really could use a paizo.com gift certificate… Plus, it’d be good exposure for a writing portfolio. It’s something short, and it’d keep me literarily limber. Due date there is the 12th of September, so I’ve got time to squeeze it in around NDS.

3. CCC Novel

This is the big push project after NDS starts its journey around the publishing world. I’ve poked at it a bit to get some writing in, and there’ll be a big post about it probably once this other stuff is done. But it’s germinating in my head, and it’s important to mention.

As a final note, in the days since my birthday (and bonus thanks to Kelli for the book!) I’ve been not getting much of a pagecount per day done. We want to change this. I’ll have a good idea of how many pages in how much time once I start NDS (page numbers divided by 30 days equals daily count) but in the meantime, while revising, I’d sort of like to have some kind of deadline. Five pages a week? Two pages a day? Or should I just hold off and put all that energy into red penning? I’m not sure if my desire to crank out new pages is due to fear of revision or just that the words are bubbling up inside and need to get out. Anyone else ever get to this point?

Anyway, I wanted to make sure you knew what was going on, writing-wise. Once I do get to the redraft of NDS, I’ll be putting out a call for Daily Readers to comment on each day’s revision. Honestly, while I’ll appreciate more input, I mostly just want people who are willing to be an audience to motivate me. I never claimed not to be an inveterate narcissist.


Tomorrow: Still struggling to get diet and exercise in order on a regular basis. We’ll talk health again, I think I’m over my last hospitalization and can face that subject now…

  1. My opinion, write. Don’t worry about red penning yet. I’d say 5 pages a week would be a good goal to start. If you find no problem hitting that this month, increase the goal next month to 6-7 pages a week. See how it goes. Good luck! If you decide to do the 3 day contest, let me know how it goes. I might consider this next year.

  2. Laurie says:

    I restate: Do not do the 3Day novel contest.

    Why? Here, have some bullet points:
    * You & your family are getting in the groove of you being home & healthy. Do not jump into something that will leave The Mighty Kay faced with single parenting again, even for 3 days.
    * You don’t need the creative jump start. You are already writing and it is good stuff. Don’t chance burning yourself out of your regular writing schedule.
    * You need to build up your short story portfolio, not start start another novel.

    Yes, the last point is a bit weak but it’s not a real bullet point list without at least 3 bullets.

    If you want large blocks of time to write set up the time with either Kay or myself. We can manage the kids while you lock yourself in the office for 2, 4, 6 hours. Notice the words “lock” and “office”. Get the boys used to you not being available, except for emergencies, for certain periods of time. Needing something out of the room you are in DOES NOT constitute an emergency. The boys don’t get to interrupt Kay at work, they shouldn’t be able to interrupt your work either.

  3. MHPayne says:

    My advice for NDS:

    Take a real hard look at that first chapter. ‘Cause right now, there’s characters and banter, but I had no idea where the characters physically were till the second page, something that made it very hard for me to picture the scene in my head when I started reading. And those characters then just sit around till at the end, they get up and leave.

    My suggestion is to have them driving to the record store while they banter since that gives us at least some action in the background. But as with all my advice, I ask you to consider the source… 🙂


  4. Kelli says:

    1. I would say if the ideas are fighting to get out, let them out. While the red-pen may be calling you, you do have others reading/reviewing/offering suggestions which may ultimately make the red-penning easier, so taking a little longer to get started is still not that costly timewise.
    2.It sounds like the time at home is much more important than the 3Day, you can only tackle so many things at a time and you seem to be making good progress, while spreading yourself quite thin.
    3.If you are still looking for readers for NDS, I would be happy to join the group (I kinda got hooked on the tidbit you posted a ways back).
    I look forward to hearing of the progress.

  5. Laura says:

    Once again, I agree with Laurie! Stick with the approach and momentum you’ve got. If you want to write for three days, pick some time in a couple of months when it makes sense for rveryone and write for three days. You don’t need a contest to do that!

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