Monday, May 01, 2006

"MindBlind" at 50K and a quiet time

I am a slow writer. On my best days, my most productive days, I complete 1,000 words. My ongoing writing goal is 5K a week and there are weeks when I hit my target, weeks when I do not.

I try not to compare myself with other writers or to beat myself up when I don't meet my own expectations and have more or less come to terms with my own writing process.

There are a million how-to books written from a gamut of authors, from the well-meaning to the scam artist. I've read some, but not many. Forward Motion is the wonderful writing community I am a member of and among its membership are many successfully published writers. They are generous with information and advice and I adapt some to my own use, but certainly not all.

What works for me now (which doesn't mean it will work for all time) is to write in a steady deliberate pace, editing as I write. For me, writing is a recursive process; each day's work overlaps with the previous day's like waves on a beach. I am careful not to get into a vicious cycle of editing hell, but in general, find that my next day's writing is only as good as the editing of the previous day's words.

I do work off a loose outline, trying to outline about 3-4 chapters ahead of wherever I am in the narrative. Sometimes, I outpace my outline and write to the edge of that particular cliff and have to stop.

I'm at a stopping place right now, having come to the end of my outlined scenes, so I am taking a breather from the WIP and will use the opportunity to return to poetry. If I don't stare directly at the narrative, little snips of ideas will approach me, like feral cats. I won't try to reach for them, only put out some food and water and let them gentle.

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