Wednesday, February 25, 2009

THE GOOD STUFF

I'm back in the saddle and, dang -- it shore feels good.

It's actually been six months since I've done any serious writing and guess what? I'm kind of rusty. One sentence will be clunky, the next will be brilliant, and then I'll have one that smell's like urine-soaked landfill. But it's all coming back to me. Ever so slowly.

And most importantly -- I'm loving it.

So you're probably wondering 'why'. What have I been doing for the last six months? Cuz it's not like I haven't been engaged in writerly pursuits: I've been editing, revising, reworking, and doing additional drafts of the book that's finally in submissions. (Plus a whole lot of critting.) So yeah, 'editing' and 'revising' and 'additional drafts' are all pretty much the same thing. But I've done so much of it that it feels like sixty two different steps.

And now I'm on to the good stuff.

First drafts are fun as hell, and if my history holds true, I'll probably gear up to about twenty-five thousand words a week. Once I get my sea legs back, of course. Usually when I write first drafts, I do it with feverish intensity -- I throw myself into it everyday -- neglecting things like blogs and email and children. I think about my story every waking moment, and I lean on it with all my weight, trying to squeeze out every last twist of plot juice. Next to Guinness, plot-juice is my favorite flavor. (Creative-honey is my third.)

As you can probably tell, this whole 'first-draft' part of the writing process makes me giddy. Inside my head. I feel like I've suddenly been given superpowers -- and in a way I have. When it comes to being a writer, only the actual 'writing' gives you that kind of high. Am I right?

And so, my writer/blogger friends, I'm gonna ask for your forgiveness in advance, cuz I have no plans of checking the blogs with any regularity. But I do still love and adore you guys, and I hope you'll still be here in six weeks when I put Solhades in a drawer.

(Zokutou question: do you have to paste the code every time you want to update your word cout? If so, I might not post my progress with any regularity either)

16 comments:

DebraLSchubert said...

25,000 words per week? Damn, Ray. And I thought I was amazing at about 15,000. Then again, my total word count is about 80-85k whereas yours is what, a million? Love it when you check in with us peasants. It's good to hear your "voice."

Sarah J Clark said...

Happy writing! I'm glad it "shore" feels good!

Tracey said...

25,000/week?! Are you serious? And you have kids?! Wow.

Paul Michael Murphy said...

Amen, brother. Love the first draft. The first draft is for me. Everything else is for other people, both real and imagined.

Kelly said...

Good luck on the writing marathon!

Big Plain V said...

Debra - 25k on a good week. My goal is 80-100 pages, and I usually hit it, but only if I don't fall asleep too much. (peasants made me chuckle -- you don't really think I'm like that do you?)

Sarah - Yessir, it shore do.

Tracey - I put my kids on the bus at 7am, then work all day until I leave for my real job (at 1:40 pm). I hate being on opposite shifts as the rest of my family, but it was a strategic sacrifice -- an investment in our dream.

Paul - Well said. Very well said. In fact, I think I'm gonna repeat that to people.

Big Plain V said...

Oh, hi Kelly. Thanks.

Vivi Alden said...

Zukutou answer: Yes. Pain in bottom, it is.

We'll miss you, V, but we understand. 25,000 is CRAZY! Even for being on that first draft high. Can't wait to hear how it all goes. And hey, by the time you return, I'll be done with After Charlie and on to my next thing! (okay, that's way more exciting to me than it is to you, but still!)

Keri Mikulski said...

Have fun!!!

Madison said...

I get a high from any type of writing, whether first draft or last. I just love every aspect of writing...except synops. :p

Good to see you back on here, even if it won't be all the time yet. Hope your writing continues to go as well as it is now! :D

HUBBYMAN said...

I AM REALLY HOPING WE'LL GET TO READ A COPY OF IT AFTER YOU'VE FINISHED AND _BEFORE_ YOU'VE EDITED FOR THE AGENT/PUBLISHER. (BG)(I LIKE ORIGINALS.)

JUST LOOKING AT THE TITLE "SOLHADES" -- SOL IS THE NAME OF THE SUN AND HADES IS THE ANCIENT GREEK'S UNDERWORLD. THE SUN DOWN UNDER??

AlSO, BPV, ARE YOU PREPPING SOME NEW LIMERICKS FOR THIS YEAR'S CONTEST???

Big Plain V said...

Vivi - From what I've read of your writing, I'm excited on your behalf. It's really very good, and you need to get it the heck out there.

Keri - Thanks, I'll try.

Madison - Please tell me you're not one of those weirdos who likes revision? Ack.

Fritz - Very intuitive. Solhades is an underground city in an air pocket beneath the Pacific Ocean -- its inhabitants are cursed and trapped for all time. 'Solhades' means 'eternal punishment in a land without sun' in thier language (which is obviously very efficient). As always, you'll be one of my first readers.

Carrie Harris said...

Woo hoo! Submissionland and first draftage all at once. Rock on with your bad self.

Madison said...

Yes, I am a weirdo and yes, I do like revisions! They are fun! :D :D :D

Danielle said...

Love the first draft phase... but 25k/week? Do you actually work at your 'real' job? I'm happy to hit 50k in a month...

Anonymous said...

Seeing these kind of posts reminds me of just how technology truly is everywhere in this day and age, and I am fairly certain that we have passed the point of no return in our relationship with technology.


I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Ethical concerns aside... I just hope that as memory becomes cheaper, the possibility of downloading our memories onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's one of the things I really wish I could encounter in my lifetime.


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