Mon. June 5, 2017: Productive Writing Weekend

Monday, June 5, 2017
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and cold

I finished the short radio play “Axe to Grind” and it goes out today. It always feels so good to finish something and get it out the door!

I read Patricia V. Davis’s COOKING FOR GHOSTS on the Kindle. I liked most of it. Liked the characters, the plot, the social justice issues woven into the narrative. The only thing that didn’t work for me, that kept me from giving it an all-out rave was the shifting POV. Head-hopping and POV shifts within scenes don’t work for me and take away, in my opinion, the focus. It dilutes the piece for me. If she’d kept consistent POVs in each scene, and moved the POV when the scene moved, this would make one of my favorite recent reads. But I’d read more of her work, and I’d like to read the next books in the trilogy.

Sent off the first assignment for my new editor. Expect I’ll have to do some revisions this week, since I am new to the publication, and I need to learn their system and their voice. Heard from a pitch to another publication — they will “eventually” get around to assigning me something. Well, sweetie, when you “get around to it”, I might be otherwise booked! You’re one of the lower-paying publications, and THIS was where I have the time in the schedule.

Revised three more chapters on FIX IT GIRL. These needed some major restructuring and plot changes, which is one reason it’s taken me a couple of weeks instead of a couple of days to revise them. But I’m happy with the result. The POV is more focused, it goes deeper, it’s more interesting, and the sloppy writing’s cut out. In other words, the point of the revision. I’m a little over 38K into the revision. I’d say I’m about half way through, maybe a little past it.

I went over the whole second half of the book, making restructuring notes, that will help as I work chapter-by-chapter. Also created the query template. When the revision is done and polished, I can pop in the word count, do the synopsis, and off it goes.

Got an idea last night for a new screenplay. Actually, I think it will be a four-hour mini-series. Odd fantasy piece, interesting for the portfolio. I outlined almost half, and I know where the end will be. I wrote the first 30 pages this morning.

I want to stay home and write, but there are errands to run and work to do. Better get to it. So I can come back and write.

Have a great week!

I can’t believe it’s June, and it’s so darn cold. Haven’t been able to sit on the deck much; it’s usually in the 40s and 50s. Still, better cool than hot.

Published in: on June 6, 2017 at 9:19 am  Comments Off on Mon. June 5, 2017: Productive Writing Weekend  
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May 1, 2017: Process and Planning

Monday, May 1, 2017
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Beltane
Rainy and cool

Busy weekend, but good one.

Finished the first draft of the screenplay WINNER TAKES ALL. It took me 19 days to write it from concept through first draft. It flowed well. I’ll have it marinate for about a week, and then hit revisions. The 6 pages/day schedule was good (although I usually averaged 10-13). I like the leaps of craft I’ve made in this. The storytelling is better, and that’s the point.

I had an idea for a new mystery on Friday and started playing with it. We’ll see if it goes anywhere. I wrote a few pages and it seemed distant. This morning, I woke up with the protagonist’s voice very strong in my head, and the realization it needs to be first person. However, I’m worried about yet another mystery of mine in the first person, although I feel Anna’s voice is quite distinct from either Sophie’s or Gin’s. We’ll see.

Disappointing response to a pitch that requested samples. Part of it was my misunderstanding the request, which is entirely on me; the rest of it is the person in charge not wanting/being able to evaluate a writing sample that wasn’t project specific. In my mind, if you look at a writer’s portfolio, you should be able to evaluate voice, style, craft, even if the sample wasn’t written specifically for you — that’s the point of a writing sample. To show breadth and depth, not to provide something for free to the publication. An editor should be able to read a piece and tell if the writer fits the publication. If said individual “can’t” because it’s not specific to that publication, the warning bells go off. It had potential to be a steady gig that could have been fun, but if the editor’s ability to evaluate is so narrow, I’m not a good fit for the publication. Next. I was going to try to fix the misunderstanding, but the more I consider it, the more my gut tells me that I’ve dodged (yet another) bullet.

Did some yard work, and planted some bee-friendly patches on the side of the house and in the stone circle. Arranged the deck, turning it into the Enchanted Garden for summer. There’s still a lot to do, but I’m out of shape, and only have the stamina to do a little bit every nice day. I’m going to have to start mowing this week.

Have an idea for a literary fiction/historical novel. Not sure if it will go anywhere. Again, the protagonist’s voice is strong, and quite different from the other voices. I will play with the ideas.

Made some research notes for FIX-IT GIRL — I start revisions on it today. I need to finish the Venice section on POWER OF WORDS, because I need to get those research books back, since I have oh-so-many other research books on the way out.

Rewatched THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR and liked it. I appreciate Matt Smith’s work more with some distance. When he first started, I missed David Tennant’s work so much, it was hard to connect to Matt Smith’s. They’re very different, but very good, and they were excellent together.

Watching the AGATHA RAISIN series. I am not a fan of the books, and the series doesn’t do it for me, either. There’s a mean-spiritedness in so much of it, and a lack of logic that thinks it’s funny, but just comes across as stupid. I like most of the actors, I love the locations, but I don’t like the tone.

Finished re-reading the Anthony Trollope biography. I’ve always admired his professional approach to his writing. He got up early every morning and wrote five pages, no matter what or where he was. 250 words per page, 1250 words a day. If he finished a novel within those five pages, he pulled out a fresh sheet of paper and started the next one. He got things done, without a lot of fuss and bother, or moaning.

The April wrap-up is on the GDR site, and May’s To Do list will be up tomorrow. The view on May looks very stressful from here — I hope I can get things sorted out to relieve some of the pressure. Otherwise, it will be a very difficult month.

I have some errands to run this morning, and then, this afternoon, I hope to dig back in to the writing. My To-Do list includes NOT BY THE BOOK, THE FIX-IT GIRL, POWER OF WORDS, “Seven of Swords”, and “Axe to Grind”, but I seriously doubt I can get work done on all of them today.

I’m worried I may have missed the window of opportunity for “Seven of Swords.” At the same time, I can’t send out a piece I know is sub-par. I have to try to fix it. I thought I had the key to fixing it, but it’s not quite working. I want to retain some of the ambiguity, but clean up the parts that are a hot mess. I haven’t hit that balance yet. I either over-explain or it’s overly ambiguous. I just have to keep at it until I get it right.

Like so many things.

Onward.