The writing week

I think this week could be summed up as ‘some ok development, but due to dumb luck, not because of consistency or non-laziness’

I really noticed my bad habits coming to the fore this week:

I’ll leave myself a note like ‘show instead of tell’ in the margin beside a scene, instead of diving in immediately and making it more active. 

And…. most of the time I don’t even write in complete sentences!  Sad but true.

Maybe it’s my drama background haunting me, but about half of this weeks’ pages are reading more like a script than a narrative. 

In my effort to be less lazy without interrupting the flow, I’m trying to stick to a method:

I write it out in one big blurty messy go, then type it, trying to make corrections and apply something resembling basic grammar as I go.  (Maybe it was my typical high school journal writing phase, but pen in hand feels so free vs. typing, which maybe I associate with essays, assignments, more business than creativity…  )

When I notice a lot of he said/she saids, and not much else, I’ll try to cut out a lot of the talking, then try to recreate some of the mood or movement through characters’ actions, through the setting and their ‘interaction’ with their environment. 

Today I cracked the whip on distractable, procrastinator me and went through a scene sentence by sentence… making sure it WAS sentence by sentence.  It wasn’t too terrible over a short period of time, so I’m going to have to make this part of the routine until I learn to write whole phrases in the first place. 

 I know some writers won’t do an editing ‘pass’ until the fist draft is complete, but the  blend of on-the-fly and slightly more focused editing seems to float my boat.  I like having a few relatively-finished pages under my belt when I start each new day- it makes me feel like I’m making progress. 

I have a terrible feeling that the inspiration-tank is running low and this week is going to be about slogging through instead of being smug about my own immense creative genius.  Well.  I guess sometimes you get to be the bees’ knees arty farty writer person… and sometimes you get to be the dude covered in mud shovelling crap.  “Aha….that’s marvellous,”  as Brandt says in the Big Lebowski.

Anyone else have bad writing habits ?

Solutions for kickin’ the habit?

Anyone else a sucker for the feeling of writing with a really amazing pen?  (I’m currently on the lookout for my next favourite pen… I had a pretty sweet flowy-rolly-gelly ink pen earlier in the week, but I used it all up and it’s non-refillable.  Now I’m stuck with bic-sticks until I swipe or purchase a new instrument of inky goodness.)

And, final question: paper or plastic?  I must confess, I got a little frantic when I couldn’t find a printer driver to attach our old, pre windows 7 printer to our new, post windows 7 laptop.  I’m trying to print both sides, use scrap, waste as little paper as possible during this project, but reading on paper does something different to my eyes/brain than reading words on a screen.

Bueller?  Bueller?  Anyone?  Anyone?


3 responses to “The writing week

  1. Re: the pen. Totally agreed! I printed my novel out when I finished and then I got really excited about buying pens so I could mark up the copy. I use purple Pentel EnerGel pens. I love them. They write so smoothly.

  2. I don’t know if it’s a habit, but definitely, after the first rush of a crappy first draft, I hit that bleary, brainfog middle stage where I piddle around for far longer than is necessary. I feel like I’m not working when I am, and yet focus and hope are evasive.
    As for pens, the Pilot Hi-tecpoint V7 grip is a favorite.

  3. I’m trying not to shop as I am currently a jobless kid, but you guys are giving me some serious pen envy. Must! Resist! Stationer and office supply stores!
    Kate- so very well said. The middle IS brainfog. This is taking for frigging ever! I also don’t feel like I’m working when I am. So that’s a sure sign to keep going, right?

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