Writing Wednesday: Taking a Step Back

Last Week’s Goals

My blog entries all went out on time, and nothing has come back from market recently, so my available stories are circulating out there as Heinlein says they should be.

Beyond this blog, I made no additional efforts at marketing aside from Indies Unlimited’s Thrifty Thursdays and Kindle Unlimited Fridays, and hoped to see some of the other free spots I’ve applied for over the last couple of months finally appear, but nothing new popped up. Apparently, this marketing thing needs to be a constant effort (I know, I know…)

I’ll be participating in the Smashwords End of Year Sale – more on that Friday (that’s when it starts.)

I wrote five days last week and produced 3,158 words of fiction, but only fifteen-hundred words went into Swordsmaster: Deception (the draft is now 63,278 words.) The remainder of the writing was on some class exercises (explained below.) There are now only two weeks left in 2020, and the draft of Swordsmaster: Deception isn’t at all likely to be finished in that time. My end of year goal report is not going to be good…

Taking Time for Review & Reset

Since I use Monday thru Sunday weekly record-keeping and don’t split weeks between years, 2020 will end January 3rd for those purposes. That’s depressing – why would I want to make this year APPEAR to be even longer than it already is? We all deserve some I SURVIVED 2020 t-shirts…

I mentioned above that I did more than half my fiction writing as class exercises. I found a class on LinkedIn Learning that looked like a good review on what I should be doing to make my stories better. It’s not that I haven’t heard/read it all before, but reinforcement can be very helpful (and NECESSARY when your creative half is as stubborn about change as mine is.)

I’ve mentioned that one of my personal weaknesses is description. It isn’t natural for me to add in a lot of words describing how someone looks, or the setting – it feels like I’m padding the story (just like I felt I was being asked to pad essays in junior high and high school to reach a particular word-count.) I tend to be sparse in my writing (except when I start rambling or meandering along – see, I have a negative perception of ANY “extra words”.)

One of the benefits of the class I took was that the exercises were timed, and I had to spend ten minutes at a time just achieving one particular objective – describing a character’s flaw, or their appearance, or their goals and desires. I had to keep writing until the timer went off, with no regard to whether what I was doing was good or not.

So, I was FORCED to add words without judging them, which not only made me be more descriptive, but also forced my INFERNAL EDITOR™ out of the way. He has REALLY been interfering with my writing lately – he won’t just let the story flow – he wants to get his hands in there and fix everything before I move on to the next word.

I’m just now returning to Swordsmaster: Deception – hopefully the words will flow smoother now, and I can wrap up the year with a feeling of at least improving my process.

This was a very hard thing for me to do – breaking away from the novel, my productivity measures, and my goals for this year. But sometimes you have to slow down to get where you’re headed more smoothly (especially if you’re not sure WHERE you’re going to begin with, or HOW best to get there.)

Just saying…

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