Saturday, 18 January 2014

#WIPMarathon Check-In #7

Last check-in word count: I was at 45K after a great writing week!

Current WC + CC: 58K! 2000 words almost every day this week! Yay for productivity! :D

WIP issues this week: Oh first draft woes, why must you torture me? The inner editor's been on the rampage this week, interrupting my writing by whispering in my ear that I'm using the same descriptions over and over again and have forgotten how to use words, that my writing makes no sense, is cliche, etc... So it's been tough trying to shut those voices out and concentrate on just getting the story down. 

One of the pitfalls of jumping between projects at vastly different stages of the writing process (when editing the second Darkworld book and sending queries for Beneath the Waves to agents) is that it's easy to forget that a first draft doesn't have to be perfect! I tell myself this so often, I should probably stick it on my ceiling or something...

What I learned this week in writing: That no idea is original! It's something I need to remind myself CONSTANTLY, because, even after publishing two books and having readers comment on how original my ideas are (YAY READERS! :D), I still have days of Oh God everything I write is unoriginal and crappy. But there are NO original ideas!

I read a blog post this week (and can't for the life of me remember where) which reduced some of the most popular books (i.e. Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, etc.) to their basic concepts - and suddenly they don't sound unique! That's because it's what the writer does with an idea - the characters, the story, the details - that makes it original. Hell, I've read Booker's Seven Basic Plots three times all the way through (the joys of a literature degree!), and according to Christopher Booker, there's only ONE basic plot, common to all stories. He gives dozens of examples of stories which couldn't be more different, yet all of them share this same core plot. It's definitely something to keep in mind!

What distracted me this week when writing: First draft woes. That pesky story trying to get away from me (I made a slight deviation from my outline earlier in the draft and it came back to hound me...). The Darkness Watching sale and all the promotion insanity that involved. Also, signing the contract for Walking Shadow and subsequent exciting things like cover design worksheets and marketing plans. :)

Last 200 words: ...are off-limits. Well, I'm at the final 1/4 of the book, wouldn't want to spoil it. ;)

14 comments:

  1. The first draft definitely doesn't have to be perfect! I've been telling myself this same thing all week. That's also true about there being nothing completely different out there. It's all in the execution for sure. I thought a Hunger Games was the most unique thing ever until I saw other people comparing it to stuff. It's still great though. :)

    Great progress this week! I hope everything is going well with everything else!

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    1. Definitely! I've heard the same kind of thing. Thank you! :)

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  2. Isn't that crazy? Someone else on Twitter did a Vlog about how most stories share the same plot, and then you take a closer look at the characters, setting, etc. and that's what makes them different and stand apart. That's why I love the Hero's Journey-- gives you all the same beats and plots, etc., then you go in and make it different.

    I had the same first draft woes this week! I suggest turning on music so your inner editor can't focus :) haha

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    1. Absolutely! Yep - I always have music on in the background, it really does help! :)

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  3. I agree with what everyone has said! There might not be any originality left in core of every story but it's the way the author delivers it that makes it stand out.

    I'm also there with you and the pesky editor. I went through my first act and found phrases I repeated...gah they were so embarrassing, considering I'd sent the Act off to my CPs without revision (I had an editing fatigue at the time).
    But I've told myself I won't go through anything I write immediately or a day after but at the end of every act, then send to CPs. That way, there's more space to pick up errors.

    Good luck next week!

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    1. That sounds like a good plan! I wait until I've finished a draft to run a search function on phrases I know I repeat a lot - it's easier when the draft's done! Thank you! :)

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  4. I was also suffering some really bad first draft woes this week, so I totally understand what you're talking about! I also have that pesky voice inside my head that keeps telling me my story is boring/stupid/unoriginal, etc. ... but I just have to keep working against it. :P

    I've also been worried about originality. (I'm writing a zombie book, and since zombies are pretty trendy at the moment I'm afraid it's not unique enough.) But as you said, it's the style and characters and a bunch of other factors that contribute to originality, so I'm hoping there's something about my book that will make it stand out. :)

    Good luck with your writing!

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    1. Yep - just shut the voice out! It's so hard to tell when it comes to originality, because in the end, what matters is a great story. Thank you! :)

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  5. Congrats on your word count - seriously impressive!

    Interesting comments about originality and story. I think two writers can be given exactly the same outline and still produce completely different books so I'm not too troubled by this ;)

    Can't wait to read this one! Happy writing!

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    1. Exactly - I think the article I read said something along those lines! :) Thank you!

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  6. I hope your inner editor stays away next week! You're so right about no story being original. Hey, I think I read that post too, only I can't remember what it was either. The one I'm thinking of was talking about how Collins basically took a Greek (I think it was Greek) myth and plunked in down in modern-day reality-TV-crazed times. And then I think it was Megan Whitmer who did a vlog about how every story's been done before, but if you make yours unique and compelling enough, no one even notices! Because they're focused on all the things they love about it.
    Anyway, best of luck next week!

    -Amanda Shayne

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    1. I'll keep an eye out for it. It was really helpful, anyway!
      Thank you!

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  7. I have to remind myself that no idea is original too. The story's in the deets. Janice Hardy wrote a great post about it somewhere in her blog of awesomeness. What a great week you had. 65K is a good spot to break for a happy dance!

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  8. Congratulations on your progress.

    First drafts are tough, aren't they? Keep those woes at bay though, and remember first drafts don't have to be perfect!

    That's really interesting about the Seven Basic Plots. It really opens your eyes to the fact no story is ever truly 100% original, and it's our own spin on things that make it unique.

    Good luck with your writing goals this week!

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