Weekly Wednesday Writing Wrap-Up 13

Is it that time of the week already? Are you sure? I’m pretty sure someone stole at least 2 days from my week…

If that didn’t give you a clue, let me spell it out. I really struggled to get any writing done this week. Really. I still did my 100 Words each day, but there were four days this week where that’s all I managed. Still, at least I could tick off a box on my 100 Words for 100 Days chart, and feel happy that I’d managed to do something. I’m now at day 30 of the challenge and going strong. I wrote a total of 1800 words this week, which takes my average daily word count to 337 (down from 363 last week). If I keep writing at that rate, I should have my first draft finished by the 15th of January.

Does anyone else track their progress like that, or is it just me?

In other writing news, I’ve also:

  • NOT been shortlisted on the competition I’ve been talking about. I’m not upset about it – I’m just glad to finally have an answer!
  • started working on a few revisions on said story in order to submit it elsewhere for publication.
  • edited/critiqued a short story for my critique-partner.
  • started work on a short story for my next writing group.
  • had a moment of excitement when I discovered that Emerald Barnes took my advice and started the 100 Words for 100 Days Challenge!

Quick question for you: Have you ever come up with an awesome premise for a novel, and then developed a great idea for a character and the basics of the plot, and then realised that it’s not the type of story that you can (or want to) write? Maybe it’s the wrong genre, or the wrong style, or maybe you just don’t like reading those books, and so can’t see yourself writing one. Is it just me? If it happens to you, what do you do with the idea?


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17 responses to “Weekly Wednesday Writing Wrap-Up 13

  1. I know exactly how you feel about the week! I cannot believe that this week is flying by! (It’s not Wednesday here yet, but it’ll be here before I know it.) I’m glad you got excited over my doing the challenge! I am still loving it, although I’ve just been scraping by. The past two days I’ve been writing my 100 and maybe a little more. No more than 200 though.

    Sorry to hear about your story. I hope you get published elsewhere. That’s what I had to do with the story I recently got published.

    Also, about the last question you asked, I didn’t have that happen with a novel but with a short story. I ended up writing it anyway. Turns out, it wasn’t that bad. That doesn’t always happen though. If I try something and it doesn’t work out like I think it should, I usually scrap it and later on, see if I want to revisit it again. I think it’s all about how you feel the story works for you and if you can do it justice. If nothing else, it could be practice. Hope that helps. 🙂

    • My issue is that I have a lot of ideas for horror or thriller plots. (Possibly my mind is a dark and dangerous place.) But my natural writing style — let’s say “voice” — is light and quirky. So although I know that I can write horror (I have been published in a horror magazine, after all), I don’t actually *enjoy* it. And I worry that it will destroy my quirky style forever.

      For some reason, it just doesn’t work to write dark, quirky horror. Possibly unless you’re Quentin Tarantino.

      • Don’t be too quick to dismiss the possibility of rendering darker plotlines in your light and quirky style. For one thing, having a voice that seems, on the surface, to contradict the material can be very effective and often sets an author apart in a genre. For another, there is probably a reason your subconscious is sending you this type of story idea. My (unsolicited) advice is to take one of these ideas and let your natural voice run with it.

      • I don’t think that it’ll destroy your quirky style forever, because that’s your “voice.” And, I have to agree with Leanne, but I think you should enjoy what you write. Is there any way that you could turn these ideas into something more enjoyable to you? Like, try adding in a location you have fallen for, or can you find yourself loving these characters enough to write the story? I think that’s what I would shoot for at least.

      • Many years ago, there was a band called Poco (well, they still exist, but that’s another story). Richie Furay, their main songwriter in the early days, had a real great style of putting fairly dark lyrics to very bouncy, poppy music. It really worked well, but he didn’t realize this was what he was doing. When a critic pointed it out, he got self-conscious and stopped writing that way.

        The moral being that combinations which seem like a bad idea can sometimes work really well, if we have confidence enough to go in a somewhat different direction than those around us. I remember when Pulp Fiction came out, it seemed to break a lot of rules, but then the “rules” started to change once people had seen it.

      • Leanne- Unsolicited advice is often the best kind. 🙂 I guess I’ve been worried that writing a dark scene in a light voice would come off as being … well, stupid. But I haven’t actually tried it. So perhaps I shall do so, and let you know how I go.

        Emerald – I like the idea of adding a favourite location… Nice thinking.

        Anthony – You know, I just love music that sounds light and boppy, but has dark overtones to the lyrics. I’d never compared that to writing, though. Hmmm… As always, you’ve given me something to think about.

  2. “Have you ever come up with an awesome premise for a novel, and then developed a great idea for a character and the basics of the plot, and then realised that it’s not the type of story that you can (or want to) write?”

    My usual problem is coming up with a story that I’m convinced no one wants to read. I often retain that belief even after other people willingly read it. It has therefore been suggested to me that my grip on reality is tenuous.

    Don’t be discouraged by a decrease in output. It’s temporary, and I’m of the opinion that any forward progress on a writing project in the face of holding down a job, raising children, running a household, and various other real-life obligations is to be celebrated!

    • Thanks, Leanne. I tend to agree – sometimes kids just take up so much of your time, there’s negative hours in the day for anything else! Still, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to do all that real-life stuff, and still churn out a few thousand words a day? (We can always dream!)

  3. Jo, I have the exact same problem as you. I’ve written outlines for SF or dystopian or thriller, but not taken any beyond 2 chapters. I can’t tell if I’m making a smart choice by concentrating on one area and working to improve, or being a big scaredy-cat, afraid to step out of my comfort zone. Who knows!

    • I mostly don’t have that problem. I think its not so much courage or the lack of it, but mostly that my stories almost always come from my characters, not from a plot idea, so they end up a good fit for me.

      Also, my stuff is usually pretty much of a genre mash-up anyway.

    • I think that if you try to focus on too many things at once, you don’t do any of them well. Maybe the trick is to write down the ideas, and come back to them when we feel like we need a challenge?

      (Or maybe use one of them for a NaNo Novel?)

  4. I’ve never actually tried to write a novel, but I’ve sat down a million times to write a children’s book and just could not flesh-out my characters the way I want. Lots of bits of paper and doodles is all I have to show right now. Perhaps someday they’ll all come together.

    • The advantage of having kids when you’re writing a children’s book, is that you’ve always got an audience to try them out on. And kids aren’t shy about telling you what they think!

  5. mychildcan

    100 words for 100 days… i wonder if that would work for my blog as well? Try to condense thoughts into only 100 words, and then perhaps you could expand the information for an E-book? Mmmm… am i clever enough to do that though? Or has my verbal diarrhea taken hold so much that succinctness is no longer available to me? 🙂 Perhaps i should try a similar challenge too….

  6. I admire concision (as I admire all sorts of wonderful qualities that I don’t actually possess), so my favorite movie review site is “movie reviews in about 100 words or less” (http://klausming.wordpress.com/).

    Sometimes my comments are longer than the reviews. 🙂

  7. Yes to your quick question! That’s why I’m writing so far out of my usual comfort zone with this historical novel. It’s pretty much the opposite of what I usually do, but my writing friends convinced me to follow this idea for a while, and it has turned into a novel. More surprisingly, I love where it’s taken me. It seems like if you can invent a useful plot, and find a way to use your quirky voice to tell the story (as a few others have suggested), you might have something really fascinating.

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