Monday, July 9, 2012

Fast Draft

I've never gone to Candace Havens' fast draft class, but she did hand out a list of 10 "rules" for fast drafting that I'd read and I was intrigued by the idea of writing like the wind and getting things done so quickly.

So when a few friends and I decided last week to go full speed ahead and fast draft our books, I was excited. I liked the list. I figured I could do it.

In the interest of full disclosure, I admit that I wasn't starting from scratch. I had an "accepted-by-Harlequin" proposal. 50 whole pages and a detailed synopsis.

I spent Monday reviewing what I had ... so I figured that would make my weekly total shabby. But, at the end of the week I had 60 brand-spanking new pages!

So now I have 110 pages of a 220 page book!

I like Candace's idea of pushing yourself so your subconscious can just go! I like the idea of not letting your internal editor make you insane. (Because we all know she can.) But I'd also listened to some pantsers talk the week before about how their endings just kind of pop up, exactly what's needed, when it's needed...and, well, I envied that.

I take so much time figuring things out (and I love that -- so I'm not going to stop) that every once in awhile I think it's good to remind ourselves that writing is supposed to be fun. And sometimes it's fun to just push and see what comes out. Free fall. Have some fun. See where your subconscious takes you!

For more info about fast's the url for Candace's blog.

Happy Monday!


Monday, July 2, 2012

a little thing I like to call talent

Because this is a holiday week, I'm not much in the mood to talk about crafting...except to tell you that maybe, sometimes, you're a lot smarter than you think.

I'm teaching a class right now called Journey Steps, a no-frills guide to plotting.  And believe me, when I say it's no's no frills!

I tell each person in the class after lesson 2 or 3 to go into his or her WIP and look for the action/reaction/decision sequence. Even if they've never heard of this sequence before, most will find it working (and working well) in their manuscripts.

I like to call that talent. Instinct. :) There's a part of us that kinda sorta already knows to do this. We don't need to be "taught" just reminded.

Same is true for knowing when a journey step (which is a step in the hero or heroine's journey) needs to be an entire scene, a few pages, or maybe just a paragraph or a sentence. As I say in the workshop, if we're with the hero as he fights a barn fire do we really need to take a walk through the charred ruins to know his horses are dead?

Probably not.

But...the very fact that our instincts tell us to just give the journey step as a succinct sentence is yet another proof of talent.

We may struggle sometimes with whose POV to use for a scene or what the heck should happen next, but when we're cooking that stuff just seems to come out of thin air.

And in the end, our books work.

So since this is a holiday week and we all should be taking a break, appreciating our kids, our country, our spouses...let's also take a second or two to respect and appreciate our talent.

It's not easy to write books. If it were, everyone would be doing it. (Well, in this day and age of self-pubs a lot of folks are!) But not everyone is...So thank God for your country, your kids, your spouse and add in a thanks for your talent.

Give yourself that little bit of recognition!

Happy Monday!