I Feel Very Productive

Today, I was Laura Ingalls Wilder. I did laundry before it was too hot, because sweating over an iron is not exactly my cup of tea. The windows were open, the attic fan was on, and there was a nice, cool breeze coming through my room. Other laundry has been done since then, and all the floors have been vacuumed/swept/mopped as their materials require. Eighteen of the twenty-one things to do on my list have been accomplished. I feel very productive.

I'm looking at an entire day, an entire day to write, I hope. To read, to plan, to write. That seems to be my mantra lately. To read, to plan, to write. Read Ivolet's second draft, plan how I'm going to write the third, and write the third.

An open day isn't exactly what I wanted. There is a writer's critique group that meets tonight (every other week), and I have just recently joined the Yahoo group. I like they way they do things: Two to three writers are chosen to present their work at the following meeting. They upload them to the Yahoo group, and the other members read and critique. They type up their critique and bring it with them to the meeting, at which time the work is discussed and critique is given. It seems a very feasible plan, one that looks like it would work. I'm impressed with their usage of technology, because it's rather brilliant.

It's too far. Their meeting place is over an hour from my house, but of all the writing groups within driving distance (and there aren't many), it's the one I would most like to go to, the one that focuses most on writing and critique and not hearing other author's speak on the topics of their books. It's also predominantly fiction, as far as I can tell. But it's too far, and I don't think I'm going.

Now to write an email to explain why I joined their Yahoo group and why I have to leave.

The thought did just occur to me to start a similar group where I live, but I don't really know what I'm doing. If I did, I wouldn't be interested in attending this group in the first place. I really wanted to be around people who knew what they were doing.

Oh. Well. I'll still press on.

In other news, I'm working on a plan for writing the third draft. I'm promising that this is going to be the last draft. Any editing after it is going to be small, line-by-line kinds of things. If I had my Emerald way, I'd be writing drafts until kingdom come because they're not...perfect. I'm very big on perfection. But in my lovely Emerald way, I've analyzed my writing process.

My first draft is a race to put everything on paper as fast as I can before I forget it. It's a rapid rush to put all the scenes together and discover how people get from Point A to Point B. It tends to be shorter than my desired word count. There is very little detail or setting.

My second draft is the complete opposite. It elaborates on everything and writes more backstory for all the characters. Those who were minor in the first draft become main characters in the second. It's huge, and way too long. There's more detail and more setting (although this is still lacking - I have setting issues). Where the first draft just told how they got from Point A to Point B, the second draft makes that into an entire chapter. So it's way too long.

What the third draft will turn out to be remains to be seen, but I am hoping it will be a satisfactory medium between these two. It will give vivid description and linger on the emotion, unlike the first draft. It will be succint and clear, unlike the second draft. And, most importantly, it will be somewhere between 90,000 and 110,000 words. (It will also have real chapters and not the double-spaced scenes that the first and second drafts have.)

I'm still reading through the second draft and making notes on what I like and don't like. Quick notes, like "Please take out Quin," and "Cannot open with Martin and Quin. It feels like they're main characters." There's a reason people publish the books and not the notes.

So there is your pity party and your update on the Ivolet story.

I've been watching a myriad of other writing blogs, seeing how they do it. Most interact more with their audience than I do. I'm just about 'me-me-me,' which is kind of pathetic, really. But I don't have much of an audience, so it would be kind of...awkward. But I am aware that this blog is trying to be everything; it's trying to be about me, about my books and the writing thereof, informative about the writing industry, and a good source of links. The way most blogs have remedied this is to have certain topics on certain days. I like this idea, but I think it's going to take more of an audience/readers for me to pursue that.

What do you think?

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