Original fiction project – week of 6/26/2011

Progress on my two main writing projects:


I have four artists I ended up commissioning via etsy.com to illustrate the front cover of the book. Three of the four have finished, the other has promised an end-of-July completion. My most immediate goal, then, is to do the final edits on the text given to me by the editor I was working with last Spring. That’ll be my job for July.

New Story:

I’ve noticed many writers on my flist tend to give stories titles before they’ve finished writing the first draft. This seems very strange to me. It’s not until I’ve finished the first draft, or written the vast majority of it, that I know what a story’s even about, and my titles are almost always based on the theme of the story, or the central plot point.

Anyway, I peeked in at chapter 2 of the the new story Tuesday morning. It was interesting, reading what I’d left of it. The “voice” of the writing was all wrong for the featured character in that chapter. So I was able to see it with fresh eyes after three weeks. I started rewriting it here and there to make it sound more like her voice and less like my formal, over-educated-vocabulary Narrator Voice. I also picked up on the undertone of animosity between the two characters in the chapter that was only hinted at before and really brought it out.

I think, sometimes, when we’re busy writing a chapter and putting a lot of work into just getting words on the page, we sometimes become wedded to things that are bland or aren’t working well because it took so much effort to get any words down at all. Come back three weeks later, and you’ve forgotten all that effort, and all you can see is the ugh, and you fix it.

Short story long, before I knew it, I was essentially done chapter 2. I finished the week by starting to arrange my thoughts for chapter 3.

10 thoughts on “Original fiction project – week of 6/26/2011

  1. It’s certainly true that after a few weeks you’ve forgotten the effort. Sometimes, the first time through you get convinced that something *has to* be included when it doesn’t. Some days I just don’t write as well as others. When I tried Nano a few years ago, a lot of it seemed like rubbish after a month away from it. At least for me it’s that I may well have a picture in my head when I first write, and when I go back later, if I haven’t done a good job of conveying that picture, it really falls flat.

  2. sounds like a lot of progress being made.
    I often find the title last but I do give them interim titles mostly so I can distinguish one novel from the other since you know me.

  3. Getting the picture in your head into words–or sometimes just the insubstantial something you know you’d recognize if you could just write it–is a big challenge.

  4. If I give it a title before hand like that, it often ends up shaping the direction of the story, subconsciously. So I have learned to avoid it.

  5. I could see how that should be a problem. I’m barely capable of remembering titles to even find a book. They make little impression on me. Lucky i guess or I’d be there book 1, book 21, book 3 wait what was this one again?

  6. Helps only having one active writing project. If I had more, I’d probably give them “Friends” style title nicknames, like “The One Where Connor Joins the Army.” Since I would already know that much about the story, it wouldn’t be as suggestive.

  7. Yeah, so my current story is “The One with the Spirit Beings.”
    Of course, that is also suggestive, given that I’m not even sure they are spirit beings after all.

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