Weekly Recap – October 11th, 2013

Fighting a creeping sore throat. The honey tea helps, but after a few mugs, my stomach refuses any more. Other than that, I can’t complain about much this week.

I crossed the 30,000 word mark on Wolf’s Tail last night. I think I’m discovering that I’m a filler-inner versus a cutter-outer. Where many writers find themselves with bug crushers, my first draft manuscript would just make the little guys angry. That’s not to say there won’t be any cutting when I come back to it. Even though my wordcount is low by most first-draft standards, there’s plenty of foam to be scraped off. What’s interesting to me is that if I focus on snapping the bones of the story together along the way, I seem to have a greater chance of getting to the end. My mind just can’t seem to come up with 80,000+ words on the first run, even when using an outline. My creative side wants to get the core down and not worry about extraneous details.

There’s a quote from Techniques of the Selling Writer that is credited to Margery Allingham which I think reflects my current workflow:

“I write everything four times: once to get my meaning down, once to put in everything I left out, once to take out everything that seems unnecessary, and once to make the whole thing sound as if I had only just thought of it.”

I can only hope the process becomes clearer as I continue to write and finish stories.

Somewhat related, I also want to share a couple of defunct podcasts I’ve been enjoying lately. When I want to listen to something during mindless tasks or exercising, I typically default to music. Lately though, I’ve found these keep my writing adrenaline running high:

  • The Secrets by Michael Stackpole – Michael’s a prolific author and he offers a ton of advice, some of it controversial (e.g. he thinks the one-million-words rule is crap). His topics cover the gamut, from getting those words on to the page, to fixing them, and then getting your manuscript in front of publishers.
  • The Writing Show by Paula B. – I’ve only listened to the Slush Pile Workshops, but Paula reads through the first chapters of a couple manuscripts and analyzes them. She does a fantastic job of illustrating why paragraph “A” works and why paragraph “B” doesn’t. How could the characters be written better? How does this single word drive the plot forward? It’s always useful to step back from your own work and see how someone else is doing it.

I hope you get some use out of those and have a great weekend to boot!

-Phillip

0 thoughts on “Weekly Recap – October 11th, 2013

  1. I find the need to be a cutter outer. You know the stuff; “he rose slowly out of the chair to a standing position” I have no trouble with 80,000 plus words. When I go back to cut I find more words that I missed in the first place . I AM DOOMED

  2. Nice job on Wolf’s Tail, Phillip! A “filler-inner”..LOL! I’m a “cutter-outer” all the way. That’s one of my favorite parts of the writing process. Have a great weekend and I hope your throat starts feeling better. Gargle some warm salt water, works wonders.

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