Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Burn Baby ...

The outline came together within minutes. The ideas flowed quickly, disgorged onto the page. And then the painful editing began.

This is what happens when I write. It all comes out fast, even furious, words impatient to be released, burying ideas and subtlety in the rush to be on the page. Then the words have to be separated, sent to their corners, and new words brought in to explain and fill in the details.

This time the whole process is a slow burn. The online class is supposed to take two years, from initial idea to completed novel. After six months of character development and world building it was finally, finally! time to outline.

And so it flowed. And I estimated the number of pages per section I could realistically expect given my tendency to burn fast at the keyboard. Total word count: 29,000. That would make a nice little novelette, but not a novel. I need to learn some kind of zen writing technique.

Because I hate editing.

Slow burn, baby. Slow burn.

4 Comments:

Blogger Cheryl Mills said...

Have you read "Plot and Structure" by James Scott Bell? I recommend it, especially for ideas on expanding. I think you're gonna have to triple that word count, Todd! Can't be easy!

I've been so tied up with other projects that I've kind of let Erasable slip out of my mind. I just caught up on the assignments (like, 5 minutes ago) except that while I've decided to work by the two-goal, nine act structure, I haven't actually started the outline. How many weeks will we be outlining, you reckon? I've got yet another project I want to finish before we start writing the 2YNs. Oh, and a full revision, too. I'm so scattered...

July 2, 2006 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Todd Wheeler said...

Thanks for stopping by, Cheryl!

Have not read "Plot and Structure". I'll have to put it on the list (it's always a long list, isn't it?)

Up to about 45k estimated now. Should be okay, just need to add a little more meat to the broth.

I did the two-goal, nine act as well. Very interesting way to think about the story arc. It helped me a great deal.

I'd expect at least one more week outlining in 2YN. I hope it's not drawn out much longer that that.

As for too many projects, boy they always jump up as demand your attention, don't they? Like little children: 'pay attention to me!' Better to have too much than too little, though.

July 2, 2006 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger Cheryl Mills said...

Better to have too much than too little, though.

I hope you're talking about plots, not children! I could go on and on about too many children...

but they're all angels, so I can't really complain.

Most days.

Oh, and while you're at the library, pick up "Revision" by something-Michael-Kaplan. David? James? I can't remember, it was a borrow, but it was great.

Yeah, pile on the recommended reads. So what can you send to me? I'm reading "The Lovely Bones" right now, how about you?

July 2, 2006 at 11:10 PM  
Blogger Todd Wheeler said...

Last three books:

"Deliver the vote : a history of election fraud, an American political tradition-- 1742-2004" by Tracy Campbell. Pretty dry stuff, but eye-opening. Picked it up for research on a short story.

"The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas", story collection by Davy Rothbart.

In the middle of "Ten Little New Yorkers" by Kinky Friedman. Always wanted to read him but never got around to it. Finally picked one of his books up for our Library's summer reading program (yeah, they give prizes to the adults as well as the kids; how cool is that?) I'd describe Friedman as a combination of Dashiell Hammett, Roy Rogers, and Lenny Bruce.

Hope you have a fun 4th!

July 3, 2006 at 5:29 AM  

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