WIP update: I’m 8,400 words in, and stumbling through Chapter 3. I also injected additional material into Chapter 2 and need to shuffle some stuff from 2 to 1. It’s not exactly revising, but it’s not exactly progressing either. So I’m trying to make sure I allot most of my daily word quota to moving forward through my outline. That April deadline is looking less and less likely, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop aiming for it!
To my credit, I am writing steadily, if not quickly. Last night I almost went to bed without finishing (or really even starting) my quota, just because I was so exhausted. Well, okay, I did go to bed. I shut down my computer, moved Riley to Andy’s side, and even got settled under the nice warm covers. But my guilt wouldn’t let me sleep. So I got back out and wrote. Darn you, conscience!
(Or really: thank you, conscience!)
I am still tired, though, so I’ve only got 2 thoughts for you today:
On Wednesday night, a girlfriend and I went to see Valentine’s Day. From a writing standpoint, there were a lot of problems. The ideas were good, but the execution was mediocre/rushed, probably because there were so many storylines. But overall I enjoyed the film, and I did guffaw embarrassingly on several occasions.
My favorite storyline was actually the one featuring Eric Dane, aka McSteamy from Grey’s Anatomy. I don’t want to give it away, so I’ll just say that it was unexpected and refreshing and really well done.
There are a lot of writing rules. Don’t start with conjuctions. Show, don’t tell. Always kill off a character. Never kill off a character. So on and so forth.
I think it’s good to know the “rules,” but I think it’s also good to break them sometimes. Because really they’re just guidelines, meant to help beginning writers develop their skills to a point where they (the writer, not the rules) are good enough. Good enough that a reader won’t care if they start a sentence with “And,” or tell us how the villain felt, or kill off a character and then bring him back to life. Or whatever.
Along those lines, Natalie Whipple held a contest this week, challenging people to start a story with weather. (Another no-no.) The results were pretty awesome. My favorite was the first place winner; I thought her story was incredible. So much packed into so few words! I was also quite impressed with the 12 year old girl who received honorable mention. Her first line definitely hooked me, and then there was a melancholy, contemplative tone that made me sympathize with the main character. Click here to read the stories. (They’re short, only 250 words each!)
All right, I’m headed home (from my Panera office) to play with my dog, read, and probably nap. Peace out, cub scout!