Friday, February 09, 2007

Coffee Break 4

Word Count: 39,224

Mocha for me. No cream, as I have so far have failed to reach my target of 40,000 words for the end of the week, although it's only 8.30am so I might manage it (and can I count Saturday?).

Even so, I think I am over a third of the way through, as I am determined not to let this book go far into six figures. I have also been struggling with a pivotal scene involving the heroine and one of her potential happy-ever-afters. Well, it's the one she's going to end up with, actually.

Because I have never really set out to write a full-on romantic comedy before (my other books have been, to me at least, much more about the heroines finding themselves), I found this scene became quite a hurdle to get over. How to hint at sexual tension without having a warning light flashing on the page - THIS IS IT, GIRL! - and so on. Any hints?

Something else I'd love to be nosy about, fellow racers: when do you first show your work-in-progress to people? Generally my editor or agent or the first people to see enormous great chunks of it, but I do read material out at my critique group (although, I think that it quite hard because it's difficult to judge anything from 10 minutes' worth, especially after we've had a glass of wine or two) and have also on occasion sent work to fellow writers and friends when I have been unsure or needing guidance...

So are you a wip-sharer, or a wip-hider?

Oh, and newbies, please do introduce yourselves and tell us what you're working on!

PS: Just added about 900 words so feeling better now!

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Blogger Novel Girl said...

Hi Kate...hello everyone else.

Im one of the new recruits, and very glad to have this as some inspiration to keep writing. As you can see from my blog I have currently wrote 10,000 words of my novel. It's teenage/adult fiction about a girls emotional issues involving divorced parents, her mums new famous boyfriend, and drugs, drink etc..

I'm excited about writing it so far, espically developing my characters and storylines(sub plots etc..) lets hope I keep the word count up!


9:13 am  
Blogger liz fenwick said...

Black coffee please.....

This week has seen the words flow well- 37,059 and I haven't written today yet. Probably panic was next week is half term and we are visiting friends in Dubai. Will bring lap top but will I wirte? Doubtful. Read, yes though. i find it difficult to read much when I am in full rewriting mode. Does anyone else have this problem?

It's funny that you talk about sharing your work...For last week I tried with a crtitique partner. Interesting experience because this wip is so rough at present that showing it to someone else was a bit unfair on them and me. However the feedback was useful. Also her style and mine are worlds apart...the jury is still out for me. Maybe when the wip is in second or thrid draft it could be really useful. I think in this early stage it would be good to have someone to bounce plot ideas off off. You know if my protagonist does this is it too far fetched???

9:17 am  
Blogger Lucy Diamond said...

Morning, all,

My round today - go on, have a drink on me, I'm in a good mood. Hey, I'm going to have a virtual glass of champagne actually, just because it's Friday. Anyone want to share a bottle? (Oh dear. Lowering the tone. Dragging the coffee morning into a pub, tut tut.)

I've reached 20,000 words which I'm dead pleased about. And on the subject of w-i-p, as soon as I get round to fixing up my printer, I'm going to print out the first few chapters and ask my partner and a couple of friends to read them, to get some feedback.

I've done this for each novel so far and have found it really useful to get comments, even if it's just "Keep going!" You can feel as if you're in a writing bubble otherwise.

Don't think I'll be able to add to the word count at all over half-term sadly but the week after that, I'll have more time.

Have a good weekend, everyone. And hello, new racers!

9:34 am  
Blogger liz fenwick said...

Oh, Lucy if we added a bit of orange juice it might not seem quite so wicked!

Welcome Novel Girl.

9:39 am  
Blogger Caroline said...

Hi everyone - I'm still lurking in a corner, but I only have 5 more days of marking and then I can get back into writing.

I am so excited. I have finally decided on the 3rd voice for my novel and his character has been building in my head. Actually it keeps pushing to the front of my mind and making me very excited. I've had to take notes. I can't wait to start writing him.

Next week I will have written words. So I'll join you in a glass of bubbles LD. Let's toast to writing, because writing is fabulous.

Since doing the MA in Creative writing, I'm not precious about my work. I share and I get opinions on it. I won't show it to a publisher until I'm happy with it and I don't have an agent to try to impress. I like to get the feedback to know if I'm going in the right direction. The novel that I'm writing has 3 voices in it and it's quite taxing to control/weave them all - so I need to check that they're reliable etc.

I miss writing.
But 5 more days ...

Hello to all the new racers. I'm behind with blogging and I'll try to catch up next week. Have fun and keep going.

I'm marking papers and I'm losing the will to live. Only 157 to go!


9:46 am  
Blogger Sezzie said...

Hi All

I have just had a cup of tea delivered to my desk by my colleague....lovely jubbly as Delboy would day! (and a packet of crispy M&Ms no less!)

I have not updated my word meter for a few days but I think I am at about 88,000. Am hoping to get a bit closer to the end this weekend. I am out tonight for a friend's leaving do....but I have allocated the rest of the weekend for shutting myself away from the rest of the world and putting in some serious wordage.

On the subject of sharing my WIP - my friends have been pestering me for months to give them a snippet - but I have avoided it thus far. Not sure why....possibly just scared they will hate it and burst my bubble?

Anyway - have a fantabulous weekend all and looking forward to hearing some tales of dedicated word-production next week.

Oh - and welcome to Novel Girl.


9:50 am  
Blogger Helen said...

Beachams lot lemon for me though if I could have some of LDs champagne to take the taste away that would be lovely!

Not had a great week because of the cold virus or whatever I have that makes me feel clammy, tired and cough alot (and irritable according to my hubbie but I couldn't possibly comment). Also, as the schools were closed yesterday I exchanged writing for a bit of sledging (though don't think that helped my cold!)

So only achieved 4000 or so words so far this week, although I am hoping to build on that today. I am inching bit by bit towards the 20,000 mark...

9:58 am  
Blogger Kate said...

What about some Berocca in champagne, Helen? 4,000 sounds very good, given snow and viruses.

Top suggesting, LD, champers sounds good. Official welcome to Novel Girl. Liz, we're neck and neck, aren't we? Caroline, just checked out your new website, love the flower effect and it's gorgeous and simple and stylish.

Sezzie - crispy M&Ms? Wow? I feel a trip to my nearest confectioner coming on.

Happier now as I have just added 900 words. Dialogue is always the answer when you're a bit stuck, I find!

10:06 am  
Blogger JJ said...

Hello to everyone

This is my first coffee although I've been coming about a week. I missed last week's coffee as I was in the pub (it's okay, I'm not an old soak, though I'd love to accept some bubbly...) I'm seven hours ahead of you all!

I have had a really busy start to the week but I've actually been able to write towards the end WITHOUT my evil demon tellling me to pack it all in 'cause I'm crap. I'm on my own all weekend to try and get some words down uninterrupted. I seem to be okay unless I go back and read any of it, and then it seems to be simplistic rubbish. Perhaps this is normal, I don't know. I just feel quietly pleased that the words (however stupid) are coming out without the involvment of my overactive inner critic.

I'm having very in and out Thai internet service here (must be the mountains or the sea, maybe) so if I don't get back, best of luck to everyone for next week.


10:11 am  
Blogger leatherdykeuk said...

I'm definitely a show-er. I have a friends-locked filter on my livejournal where I post my work. I get a samll amount of critique from there, but not much.

10:19 am  
Blogger Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Chamomile tea and dried figs. Lucy, I'd adore some champagne but alas have lots to do today so the boozing will have to wait until this evening. Am working on a novel about a 31-year-old woman who wants to become a humanist funeral celebrant, and the friends she shares a house with... it's a bit complicated. I have written around 80,000 words and am now rewriting. I wrote the whole of my first draft online, but now don't want to show anyone anything until I've got a second draft that I'm happy with. Kate, can you hint at sexual tension by having your character show a little more awareness than usual of her physical feelings and the physical world around her? Just a thought...

10:51 am  
Blogger Kevin said...

Okay, procrastinating on my morning session here, and I thought who better to do that with than y'all.
It's 0545 here in coastal Carolina and with none of the coffee shops open, I'm at home microwaving individual serving packs of Folgers. Not good. I'll get a decent cup on the way to day job.

Writing progress:
I got the go-ahead on my outline from the licensor on Monday morning and got to writing the actual novel that afternoon. (This is a media-tie, write-for-hire novel; each step must be approved by the owner of the IP.) My work-day schedule is 0530-0630 before hitting the streets, then squeeze in at least three hours in the evening -- usually in the form of two short sessions before and after family time. Got on a tear Wednesday night and wrote until midnight. Kept energy expenditures to a minimum yesterday.
So far:
Monday: 1,100
Tuesday: 1,600
Wednesday: 3,300
Thursday: 1,400
Total to date: 7,400

As for showing works in progress ... Almost never.
I used to be a compulsive polisher. Spent decades sending out two or three short stories a year each of which had every spark of life pounded out of it through hundreds of rewrites in quest of a mythical perfection. There were frequent searches for peer approval in this process.

The cure for obsessive rewriting was taught to me by Dean Wesley Smith: Write, mail, repeat. Write the story. Spell check. Read through once to be sure Helen on p. 4 is not Randy on p. 9 (unless that's the point of the story). Mail a crisp copy to a paying market. Begin new story.

Since finding the cure, my goal has been -- when not working on a novel -- one new short story a week in the mail to a paying market. Three in a month is my actual record, and I average 1.5 - 2 stories a month, but one a week is still my goal. If a story has gone to ten markets without selling -- and if I particularly like the story -- I may seek the critique of a fellow writer. Usually it goes in my Famous File (stories to be sent out again once I'm so famous my name on the cover of a magazine is worth the price of the story).

Now it is 0615. I've spent the last half hour making sure my wife's car is warm for her drive to work (she's a nurse and it's 20F outside) and typing to you guys. I'd best get at least a paragraph in before day job.

11:16 am  
Blogger Jane Henry said...

Oh shit. I am doing so badly at this.

Haven't written a word this week, due to combination of: housework (Monday), 2 visits from blinds people (Mon/Tues), one visit from neighbour, followed swiftly by mil (Tues), one child of sick (Wed), four children off school because of snow (Thurs) and today I have skived off having coffee with a mate...

And I still have some proofs to check.
And it's half term next week.

Oh bugger...

Maybe I will finish the chapter I started last week, but don't think my word count is going to rise significantly!

Welcome to anyone new.

Have a fun half term anyone with sprogs.

Hope we're all a bit warmer today.

And Lucy, top notion to go for champers.

Bottoms up!

love Janex

11:48 am  
Blogger Kate.Kingsley said...

MMMmmm, Berocca: my current beverage of choice as I'm trying to shake off a rubbish cold. Haven't tried it with champers yet, but I'm tempted....

Hello, I'm a new racer, and am loving being a part of this ~ it has boosted my motiviation NO END!

Word count for the week: not sure ~ being an old luddite I tend to write in longhand (and in fountain pen!) so my word count only becomes fully apparent when I get round to the typing up stage (which doubles up as an opportunity to edit and rewrite). However I'm looking into the possibility of a cheapo laptop, so i can sit and type up from the comfort of the sofa rather than in the freezing cold spare room which has no radiator.

However I have found this week to be a very fertile time, with a deluge of ideas flowing (for this project in terms of characterisation, and for a few other possible projects), so I feel that I have had a very successful week.

Hope everyone's weekend is fun & productive,


PS: I'm a hider, but trying to get a bit brave & grow a tougher skin

12:29 pm  
Blogger The Moon Topples said...

Hey all, greetings from Chicago, where we've been enveloped by a cold snap like you guys don't seem to get in England. Even our precious fahrenheit scale had no degrees to show us.

In spite of this, posted my first legitimate word gain since the contest began. The story is continuing to tell me how to tell it very slowly, but after last week's gutting of the work I had so far, I added 4,000 words this week for a total of around 7,000. I still expect this to pick up.

Sharing a WIP is a tricky thing for me. I tend to do it if I feel stuck and feel like bouncing ideas off of someone might help, or if I know I like something. I'm learning to get better about this.

2:16 pm  
Blogger Jane Henry said...

PS If anyone is in procrastinating mood pop over to where the wonderful Bec runs a Root Shoot and Marry competition every Friday. This week she's chosen the theme of Lancelots and Guineveres.

Half an hours writing time left till after half term. Oh bugger...

2:36 pm  
Anonymous Dave Hill said...

I'm a wip-hider, which is just as well because, once again, there hasn't been much wip to show anyone this week if I were. I've got an excuse, though: kids off sick from Monday to Wednesday, kids' school closed by snow yesterday. Will that do? Anyway, I've just filed a piece to CiF, had a cup of tea and eaten the last (very stale) cubic inch of my fifthborn's birthday cake and now I'm hoping to squeeze out a few paras before the barmy army needs collecting. Till soon.

2:39 pm  
Blogger Jane Henry said...

Aaagghhh! Back again briefly to say had hoped I could have at least got my word count up to 2000 (I know measly by most of your standards) - except just before I was going to call it a day and get the kids, we had a power surge and I lost all but about ten of my new words. So my total now stands at 1132 - which is so pathetic I'm not going to change it.

Actually they were pretty crap words, so probably no bad thing. No one is seeing it at the moment because there's hardly any of it and what I've got is awful...

4:09 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi y'all, just a quick report - I managed to get some work done on Chinese Silk, tidying up the structure and closing up any logistical loopholes. No real headway into the Land or Wordcount, but I am basking in the glow of knowing that when I do write the damn thing, it'll make perfect sense! I'll also be dropping by again shortly to recommend some sites which I've found good for sparking imagination - mental senna for the Block, if you will. I'm feeling really inspired so if I can prise my nephew off my laptop I will be doing some serious wordcountage this weekend :)

4:16 pm  
Blogger sheepish said...

Hi everyone, as it's early evening I shall have a glass of the white stuff [and i'm not talking milk !].

Not a bad week, done three blog posts, 1.5k new words and typed up just over 3k of old to get me to 18k total. Long way to go though.

Haven't shown anyone my WIP most of it's not ready yet, but also I am a bit limited by prospective critics. Most of them don't read English!!!

Not enough courage yet anyway.

Hi to all the new Racers and can someone tell me what Berocca is?

5:11 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi everyone. I'm Peg. I'll take a cappacino from Speedway--much cheaper and just as good as Starbucks. I just joined and yesterday actually managed to get a new blog going which will probably be posted soon: I am still in the planning stages and intend to begin WRITING no later than Monday--a promise to myself. Unfortunately I am getting SCARED that the words won't come. Or that they'll be stupid. Or the whole thing is completely a waste of effort. Guess that's normal!

If I feel good about what I've written I don't mind sharing. I've been in a few critique groups, and they can be helpful.
I look forward to joining the coffee next week although I'll be back at work. Had to take today off to take hubby for his first colonoscopy. I'm kind of enjoying myself even if he isn't!

7:32 pm  
Blogger B.E. Sanderson said...

Hi Everyone.

I'm new, too. Nice to meet you all. Sorry I missed this morning's coffee break. I wasn't up to much of anything today.

I've got all your blogs up at my site - on a separate post instead of on the margin, but I have a link to the post. =o) If I've missed anyone, shoot me an email or a comment and I'll rectify the error ASAP.

About my WIP. I'm a hider. Nobody reads my books until I'm satisfied they're ready for the public. (Including my better half, who won't read anything until I'm finished. He hates reading things and then having me change them.)

Well, I'd just like to say: I'm happy to be here, and my word count is slowly growing. Nothing like a bit of competition to get the old fingers tapping.

3:04 am  
Anonymous Jen said...

Oh, no, I'm last again and have missed out on the booze!!!! Grrrrrrrrrr...

Still getting up at 5.40 am every day and the little and often thing is working in a quiet way.

I like Zinnia's suggestion about physical awareness to hint at sexual tension.

Have the early morning sniffles - does that justify a Vodka & Lempsip, d'you think?

6:48 am  
Blogger Kate.Kingsley said...

Hi Sheepsih,

Berocca is a vitamin supplement ~ it comes in the form of an orange tablet that you add to water, and it dissolves to make a strangely delicious and addictive drink. It's just the thing for if you're a bit run down or trying to ward off a dreaded lurgy.

12:47 pm  
Blogger hesitant scribe said...

Hi All,

Just followed a link from Morning Loves It. May I join you all?!

I'm writing my first novel for my PhD, and could use the motivation, although all of your word counts are frightening me! Like Caroline, I spend much of my writing time marking (and planning), and yes - losing the will to live!

I've only just started my wip so have some catching up to do! Do you have a prize for coming last?!

4:12 pm  

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