Friday, February 16, 2007

Coffee Break 5

Word Count: the same...

Week five already? Can't quite believe that, can you, racers? It's been a pretty naff week for word count enhancement, but then again marking has taken over, and feeling poorly.

And today I am off to a course on how to write romantic movies! Can't wait, it sounds lots of fun. That's why I am posting early.

So what do you to in terms of training and development as a writer? I have always been a sucker for how-to books, personally. What works for you? And what's your objective for the next week?

18 Comments:

Blogger liz fenwick said...

Greetings from sunny Dubai. No words this week although I had thought I might write every morning......foolish me. Great week, two great poolside reads from Little black dress imprint. Hope everyone had a great week.
cheers,
liz

8:30 am  
Anonymous Jen said...

Ugh. Barely any words from me. Don't ask. Will be better next week. Honest.

How-to books are great - I find working through some of the exercises using one of my Novel characters or scenes is quite a good way of kick starting if I've written myself into a corner?

8:36 am  
Blogger Hera said...

Hello all, I hope everyone is doing well. I've been on training this week so I've hidden at the back and written a few words in my notepad. I look forward to typing them up in front of the weekend telly.

8:49 am  
Blogger Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Books on writing, talking to other writers, writing group, writing courses, critiquing other people's work. There's always more to learn, I think that's one of the things that keeps me interested. Objective for the next week: I'm in the middle of writing a summary of each scene, to help me get my head around the structure; I'd like to finish that.

9:14 am  
Blogger Helen said...

Hello all. Very few words this week too as still ill with this virus and as it's half term I thought I would take it easy. Hopefully be fighting fit for next week.
As I'm new to writing I have done a creative writing course (unfortunately didn't get much from the teacher)and am now doing a feature writing course with the London School of Journalism. Once I've done that I'm going to look at an MA or something with the OU.

9:48 am  
Blogger Novel Girl said...

Hi Everyone....

I've done very badly this week, I've had some personal stuff to deal with so I've been moping around very uninspired! So my objective for next week is to just work very hard and be very motivated, even if I dont feel like it!!Helen what is your feature writing class like? And Kate where are you doing your course? I love finding out about new classes! I am currently doing two classes, a novel writing one at the City University and freelance one at the City lit - both very good. I buy lots of books too, but never actually get round to reading them...oh dear! Anyway until next week....keep writing!

10:11 am  
Blogger JJ said...

Hi everyone

Ooh, I had so hoped to make 6,000 today, but I went to sleep instead.

I love 'how to' books, but I have to hide them from my family because they say 'another book on how to write a book... When are you going to write your book? Mmmm?' Still I appear to have shut them up with my nearly 6,000 words.

I also believe in the practice of doing 'firsts'. Things you haven't ever done before, places you've never been. How I always go to the same places all the time unless I wake up and do another 'first'. I think the idea is that you access a different part of your brain - a new neural pathway, or summat. I think I'd better shut up, go back to my tea and try and get to 6,000.

All the best for next week. We're on half term next week, but I'm aiming for 1,000 a day, Mon - Fri.

JJ

10:12 am  
Blogger leatherdykeuk said...

No words this week but about 31K on the other book.

With regards to learning the craft I write, The more I get published, the better I'm getting. I've bought a dozen 'How to' books over the years... I must get around to reading one.

11:23 am  
Blogger B.E. Sanderson said...

I've gotten into the habit of editing on the weekends and writing new stuff throughout the week. Having said that, last weekend was great and I built a few new chapters into the middle of the book (it really needed it). The weekdays, though, were pretty lame. I only managed about a thousand words on Wednesday and that's it.

I'm also one of the ones who owns a ton of writing books but hasn't read any. I read a lot of information on the web, though. =oD

2:05 pm  
Blogger Lucy Diamond said...

Not a single word for me. Half term and life changes getting in the way, ahem.

Next week will definitely be better!

2:08 pm  
Blogger Peg said...

Hi, my name is Peg and I'm an on-line class-aholic! Is there a 12 step program for writers taking too many on-line workshops and classes? I need it. I also have a TON of how-to books, and I have actually read them. Hubby was impressed when he saw my collection. He thought it was great that I was "keeping up" with my field.

3500 words this week! I'm still on chapter one, but it's a start. I added a whole bunch of words last night snuggled up in bed with my hot water bottle and my Alphie. (Alpha Smart--an inexpensive, light, super-durable word processor thingie). Oddly I have less time on the weekends to write, but since hubby is deeply immersed in sending out resumes, perhaps I will be able to find some time to do my own thing.

4:06 pm  
Blogger sheepish said...

Hi I don't have half term as an excuse but have still only managed 2k words this week, it does get me to 20k which I feel quite pleased about, but I haven't added to my blog. Ooops.

I have been following the "He Wrote, She Wrote on-line Writing workshop" which I am finding useful and also hope to do the on-line OU Creative Writing course. I am quite easily side-tracked though so have to be careful not to spend too much time reading instead of putting words on the page!!!

Hope to do better next week.

4:22 pm  
Anonymous Dave Hill said...

Well, I’ve enjoyed the comments above, especially JJ’s about falling asleep. I’ve enjoyed them particularly because I’ve had quite a productive week by my low standards – 2,700 words on my Mad Novel so far with hopes of somehow hitting 3,000 between now and bedtime. Next week will be harder though cos it’s half term in Deepest Hackney and I’ll be visiting my poorly parents too.

Note To Self: must add all Novel Race newcomers to my sidebar gizmo – apologies to any feeling unloved.

Learning aids? I’m the grumpy, secretive, won’t-accept-help type. However, I did get a crash course in Myers-Briggs Personality indicator techniques a few years back. Google and see for yourselves. Approach their ideal types with care, but I find them useful for testing the plausibility of my characters’ motivations, strengths and weaknesses.

See you next week.

4:50 pm  
Blogger Kate.Kingsley said...

JJ: "I love 'how to' books, but I have to hide them from my family because they say 'another book on how to write a book... When are you going to write your book?"
I'm exactly the same! I forced myself to stop buying them and decided I really HAD to write a book instead!

Speaking of which....not a huge word count this week, but:

1) I have hit a bit of a wall and am fearing that I don't have enough of a story here to make a full novel. Is this usual? Is this a standard blip ("oh my god I'm writing the wrong book!") that I have to power through, or is it more serious than that? Answer from those in the know greatly appreciated

2) One possible reason for the current "stuck in the mud" status is that I am not quite sure enough of my subject matter and that is clogging the flow a little. I have therefore been immersing myself in a factual book about my setting, in the hope that will free up a few more ideas.

3) still ploughing on with the day job. And trying to run 15 miles a week. And shake of this stupid cold. And keep up with A215 ~ why are there not 36 hours in the day???? Why do I need sleep???

Have a great weekend everyone ~ I plan to rest lots (and have a floatation session booked, which is a great way to resolve plot knots) and aim to start next week full of vim & vigour!

5:11 pm  
Blogger Kevin said...

Very little writing this week. Maybe 1,200 words. Really, really, insidious stomach bug is working it's way through our seaside community. One with absolutely no respect for the comfort or dignity of its many hosts. Though I had more free time than usual, I spent most of it in a self-pitying heap wishing I was dead. Bright side: Page proofs for a novella of mine which will be appearing in a trade paperback anthology from Pocket Books arrived.

Best writing book I've read is Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method.

I wasted a lot of time listening to people who taught writing but did not earn their living writing. Once I started listening to pros, I realized all I'd been learning in college courses was how to deconstruct what someone else had written. (By way of analogy: I taught Earth science for years and can describe all phases of cave geology. But if you want to survive exploring a cave, you'd be much better off with someone who's really been there than me.) My breakthrough experience was listening to Dean Wesley Smith, a man who has written over eighty novels most of which don't have his name on them -- he's a ghost writer. Get your ego out of the way and get the job done is pretty much his core message. He's one of the founders of the Oregon Coast Professional Writers' School. I've attended week-long workshops there conducted by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Gardner Dosois, and others.

I try to pass along any truths I find along the way. I haunt the blogs of writers and editors I admire for both insights into the craft and tips on the industry.

2:26 am  
Blogger Jane Henry said...

I have been stymied by half term this week so no writing for me either. AND next week have to deal with two sets of proofs AND the copyedits on my book, so... I think I'm going to be saying the same thing next week too...

I don't read a lot of writing books, though I would recommend Stephen King's On Writing to anyone - it is fab!! - mainly because I don't have enough time to write, let alone read books about writing...

I do make everything I write (and I mean everything - even this!) a little writing exercise though. Was most chuffed when a mate sent me a positive response to an email I'd written and said, you tell a story every time you write. Yup. That's the idea. And it's why I blog about my life, because it makes me take distance from it, and turn what might have been a disaster into a funny (I hope) little p*** take of my daily doings.

I do show other people what I write though - apart from my husband who is waaayyy too critical. Was feeling very nervous about book 2 which still has only a paltry 1000 words, but a good writing friend has been very supportive, so I feel better about it now!

With my editor's hat on, I'd say to Kate Kingsley. Put it aside for a bit, do the research (I find that often throws up other plot issues/deepens the storyline), and if you haven't done so already, try and do some character sketches of your characters - even the minor ones. I find that often gets the story going again. I run a lot too, and I usually find a thorny plot problem resolves itself when I'm out running. Why are you running fifteen miles a week? Are you marathon training, or just having fun (???) - says she who hasn't run for two weeks thanks to kids/snow/half term. Have been swimming though.

Must go have a five year old birthday party to arrange this afternoon (very very big groan). It's always SO nice when they're over...

9:38 am  
Blogger hesitant scribe said...

Hi All,

I ploughed through the how-to books when I did writing as part of my degree, and again through an MA in writing, but now I'm doing a PhD I'm finding it's time to put them all away, and almost 'un-learn' it all! Before I had writing classes I wrote very naturally and enjoyed it, so I'm trying to get back to that feeling now - I'm my own worst critic.

I'm new to novel writing, being more of a non-fiction, and short story writer, so I'm learning as I go along. I think the best way to learn how to write a novel is probably to read tons of novels!

So far I'm up to just over 5,000 words, and hate it all (as usual), so my objective is just keep going and not look back until I reach the end.

Oh - and to add the novel racers list to my blog, which will be a nice distraction between seminar planning, research, and trying not to be an absent mother!

4:27 pm  
Blogger Nichola said...

Hello everybody peeps!

After a bit of thought I've decided to drop myself in it and ask if I can join the other novel racers.

I've got one stuck at 60k and another in the form of a 50k first draft. I'm thinking of going back to the first draft and rewriting that one from scratch. Trust me, it needs it. Badly. ;)

I'm another one who likes how-to books by the way. I own five or six and have read many more - trouble is, I often spend time reading about writing, when I need to be writing.

Anyway. Is that all I do to sign up? Do I sign something in my own blood? Does Kate own my soul now? :D

Nichola.

3:13 pm  

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