clarion wat fail?

I like to think I’m not failing at the write-a-thon. Even so, I’ve managed a whopping 1152 words. In one sitting on late Wednesday. Some people had their time all blocked out before the WaT started. I’d forgotten about it, June came too fast, and I signed up literally at the last minute. Perusing some WaT participant blogs, I see the majority are in for writing one short story per day for the duration. Others, like me, are jump starting novel-length work.

While my novel has been in a progress almost a year now (I could have written it twice or three times by now!), I’ve been a total slacker and without a schedule. With the WaT and JulNaWriMo (also on LiveJournal, but the LJ community is mostly used for those sharing their work), I hope to get myself back on something resembling a coherent schedule. The pitfall there is that it takes a month to make a schedule into a habit, and I have surgery August 20th. My hope, then, is that when I’m able to sit up in bed without dying, I can use that time to write (and read and blog, and watch Babylon 5 (in order; again), and thus stick to (or take a stab at sticking) the schedule I’m working on setting for myself beforehand.

Last night, thinking about my story, I considered breaking the pieces into scenes. Then I thought, “Duh,” because I already, in a way, am. This may change once the story gets to beta readers, but right now, I’m writing it in ‘diary entries’. Some are tiny. Some are fairly lengthy and span the course of several entries.

Now I already have an outline of sorts, inasmuch as I ever outline. Last fall I went through dates and major (some minor) plot points and dumped them into a OneNote file. This works for me because I can call up the ‘to write’ tab and easily find what I want or need to work on. Also, all my notes are in the program, so I just have to flip back and forth. Sometimes I have two or three copies of OneNote running at a time depending on what I’m doing.

And yes, I still write longhand. This is what works for me. My brain function doesn’t allow me to type and write in any coherent fashion. Too, if a scene isn’t working properly, on paper I can ditch it and start over. For some reason, that’s as easy for me to do with pixels. I end up with Pixel Death Guilt or something. Longhand, if a word doesn’t fit or a phrase doesn’t feel right, I can circle it and come back to it later. When I’m ready to type, I give the written words a scan (not a read!). If something is missing (I excel at leaving out words and complete thoughts), I can add it in in the margin. If something doesn’t make sense, I can either try to fix it or bracket it for later. In other words, no ‘zero draft’ here; I edit as I go.

So I think my plan for the rest of the summer (year?) is to see what I can knock out in a given week. As I said, some of the ‘entries’ are involved enough that they spread over two or more days of fictional time. That should be enough to get me started in some direction and root me into at least a semblance of a schedule.

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Author: Mari Adkins

Appalachian gothic fiction writer - my works reflect a love of literature flavored by the darkness and magic residing in these ancient mountains. In my spare time, I'm a Simmer, I tumbl, I journal, but I always have a very strange sense of humor. I have lived away from the mountains and lived deep in the mountains. I currently live in Central Kentucky with my lifepartner and his cat. The mountains, their culture, their superstitions, their particular magics, will always be in my blood.