The Journal, Friday, 8/21

The Day

Rolled out at 2 this morning. Checked email and saw that several revised/rebranded covers and Book 8 of the series were ready for proofing. So I got my coffee and started that process. Finished an hour or so later. Still amazes me that I have eight books out in that saga. Who’d’a thunk it?

Last night I figured I wouldn’t walk today. I would use my early morning hours to get a jump start on this novel. I would finish the slug work I mentioned yesterday and get into it. Okay, so that means no walk, no interruptions. Just writing, punctuated with occasional breaks.

Here begins the section on The Best Laid Plans.

Not going to walk today, I made an early breakfast (hash browns, eggs, sausage and dry rye toast). And one extra cup of coffee.

I’d already let the ladies outside. No sooner was my breakfast on the plate, cut up and all mushed together, than coyotes started howling. Coyotes have a really odd sense of humor, and impeccable timing.

Roughly an instant later, my little girl siamese was standing at the door separating the kitchen from the dining room asking politely to come inside until the coyotes stopped being rude. Good girl.

I let her in, then put my breakfast plate on the cabinet and covered it with a pan lid. I grabbed a flashlight, slipped on my flip-flops and went looking for the other girl, who is blacker than night and not easy to find even with a flashlight.

I circled the house twice. Yes, inside a fence, but the fence surrounds about a third of an acre and is filled with natural desert brush. You know that passage in the bible about wailing and gnashing of teeth? Yeah. It was like that.

Halfway through the third circuit I finally found her. In the dining room. At the door. Waiting to come in. Acting as if she’d been right there all along. Okay, good girl. Whatever.

Ate my cold breakfast, played two games of spider solitaire (the game should be outlawed), then answered some more email. And here I am, at 6:30 a.m., doing this and about to turn to the writing ‘puter for the first time. I’ll write the topic of the night later.

I’m going to try to keep better tabs on my writing/break habits. This is probably not innately interesting, but I’m hoping it will help me take a break every hour or so. Those of you who have been following this for awhile know I’ve been working on the concept of taking a break every hour or so for awhile now.

By the way, I received a nice acceptance email for a short story I sent to The Scribe, the magazine of the St. Louis Writers Guild. The magazine is free and has a lot of neat stuff in it. If you’d like a copy, visit Smashwords and download it in PDF, .mobi (Kindle) or .epub (all other readers).

By the way, the story in this issue is the very first short story I wrote by completely trusting my subconscious and writing off into the dark. If you read it, be sure to read the About the Author blurb afterward too. I think you’ll get a kick out of it.

Oof. MAJOR lightning strike on my position. Literally the loudest, sharpest sound I’ve ever heard. Not exaggerating. Man, that’ll get your ticker pumping. And no rain.

Took a break to hit the PO, then back here for lunch and a few minutes doing nothing, then back to the novel.

Topic of the Night: Writing Off Into the Dark

Very briefly, when you do this, you’re simply trusting your subconscious to tell the story. Believe me, it knows MUCH better than you do what needs to go into the story. Just trust it. And yes, saying that is much simpler than doing it. But once you learn to trust it, You Will See Miracles in your characters, settings, stories.

All of this was prompted by a comment from Bonnie, who complained that the killer in her WIP was not the person she thought it should be.

In my response, I reminded her to just write the next sentence, then write the next sentence, etc. and eventually the situation and the characters would reveal to her who the killer actually is.

And since it will be a surprise to her, it will also be a surprise to the reader. True dat.

Bradbury even once said if you can’t surprise yourself as a writer, how in the world do you expect to surprise the reader.

So again, learn to trust your subconscious. Nothing good in literature ever came out of the conscious mind.

Sit down, put your fingers on the keyboard, and just write the next sentence. And above all else, have fun. (grin)

I encourage you to read the exchange between Bonnie and me in the comments on yesterday’s post.

Today’s Writing

Wrote at several different times today for various lengths of time. Also did a lot of reading for various reasons. Came up with the name of an important horse, for example. That took close to an hour.

His name is Vuelo, by the way, which means Flight. He comes from the sacred cliffs (los acantilados sagrados) so it’s a good name for him. But it took awhile to get there. So that’s how much of the writing day went, which translates to another day with a short word count.

I took several short breaks during the day, so no fatigue from writing. But I did drag myself down with “necessary” things I had to do for the story.

This is going to be great fun for me when I break through the opening several pages. Looking forward to that.

Fiction Words: 1858

Writing of Book 9 of the Wes Crowley saga
Day 1…… 3213 words. Total words to date….. 3213 words
Day 2…… 1046 words. Total words to date….. 4259 words
Day 3…… 1858 words. Total words to date….. 6117 words

Total fiction words for the month…………… 15686
Total fiction words for the year……………… 458086

2 thoughts on “The Journal, Friday, 8/21”

  1. Regarding the unplanned demise of major characters – I just went through that with BOCK’S CANYON, a Western in which the good guy is on a vendetta ride to kill the bad guy. I am Writing Into The Dark on this one and about two-thirds in my hero (and I) discovered a report that the bad guy is dead. Now, what the hell do I do?
    Is he really dead? Is it a ruse? Is it a set up? Will something even more interesting take over the plot now?
    Hell, I don’t know.
    But, it’s going to be interesting to find out. I can’t wait!


    • Excellent Dan. Great fun, isn’t it? I would never go back to writing stuff that I’d already plotted out, etc. Ugh.

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