Writing Update – Taking the Stairs

MC Escher from http://www.artchive.comThis week felt a bit like trying to climb that staircase. Ups and downs. Again and again. 

On the writing front, things are all good: wordcount is up, ideas are percolating, and fun stuff brews like stormclouds on the horizon. At the same time, a workshop I’m participating with has disappointed: good ideas with poor execution, not enough weekly direction, and disorganized delivery without take-away content to balance the echo of money dribbling down the drain. 

I’m bummed. 

Oh well – bad experiences just make the good ones stand out, right? Which brings me to another point…strangers can sometimes make your day. For all the lovely passengers and employees on the Coast Starlight this week – y’all rock!

In regard to my three actual goals for Row80:

1. Edit five chapters a week in Novel #1.

I’ve lost track of how many chapters I’ve finished, but am definately ahead of the mark. I’ve got sample chapters strewn across three states, so part of my goal this week is to get them all in one place and better organized.

2. Research and list one potential query source a week.

This is SO much more time consuming than I ever realized, mostly because I’m really trying to pinpoint potential query sources that are a good fit. In one sense this was a failure because I didn’t identify a new source, but a success in that I rejected three that I thought would be potentially good.

3. Read one book a week on writing craft.

I jumped ship on reading a craft book and instead surfed the net for information about structuring, discovering a handful of amazing resources. As much as I enjoy being part of a workshop, sometimes the very best advice and examples are found on the website of authors who detail their personal process. Even if their method doesn’t work for my mental adventures, it often helps me figure out more of how/why I work the words the way I do. Nifty that.

All in all, a good week.

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  1. #1 by Natalie Hartford on February 6, 2012 - 8:16 am

    Fantastic week Lesann. Sucks to have been disappointed but you are right, the bad make the good that much better.
    I’d LOVE to see a list of the websites you found that rocked your world. I’m always interested in reading about author’s process as I discover my own so share the wealth! 🙂
    Here’s to a great week coming up!

    • #2 by Leslie on February 6, 2012 - 7:04 pm

      I’m always so surprised when I start to add up all the wordcount from various enterprises. It turns out to be more than I expect. This last week was over 7K until I remembered this morning that didn’t include: the short story I left on my work computer, the flash fiction I’d done in workshop, or the synopsis I’d done for a different workshop. In all, that’s over 13K of wordcount this week.

      I really should do a list of websites that I find useful. Most of the time it’s just the right explanation or example to help me truly grasp the idea. I hope your week is awesome too!

  2. #3 by Bridgette Booth on February 6, 2012 - 11:00 am

    Ouch, I hate to hear money going down the drain, so I feel your pain about the class. Maybe it will improve over time? (fingers crossed)

    Am glad to read that you’ve had so much positive progress on your writing. I know you’ve been re-working the WIP.

    Is the Coast Starlight the train you rode and had all the drama? Did I miss the follow up post explaining what happened? Hmm. . . guess I’ll need to browse your archives.

    Hope you have a great week!

    • #4 by Leslie on February 6, 2012 - 6:59 pm

      I’d like to hold out hope but there are only two sessions of the workshop left. I shouldn’t be a pessimist, I guess. Those last two meetings could turn out to be the MOST amazing! I’ll keep telling myself that.

      I have had a lot of good progress, but to be honest it’s all over the place. I’m messing about editing two finished novels and then I have two others in progress. I know I need to concentrate on one but the others keep drawing me back. The one I’ve been dismantling is just bubbling away on the back burner.

      The Coast Starlight is the train where ALL the drama happens. I didn’t really make a follow-up post ’cause I have to protect the innocent and all that. *sigh* That whole confidentiality thing is so darn inconvenient. I really need to finish something. Anything.

  3. #5 by Ruthie on February 6, 2012 - 11:39 am

    Ouch – that workshop sounds frustrating!

    Funny story – my best friend found a puzzle for that painting – it was incredibly hard! Especially because between her buying it and it getting to us some of the pieces went missing…

    • #6 by Leslie on February 6, 2012 - 6:55 pm

      I really want to like the workshop but “ouch” is a good descriptor!

      You’re braver than me…just the thought of trying to complete a puzzle on any MC Escher makes my knees wobble. Nothing like making it MORE difficult by having missing pieces. How many hours of sweat and labor did it take?

  4. #7 by Heather Kelly on February 7, 2012 - 8:11 am

    I love that you found great sources on the web–I have the same experience. That I can read a whole craft book, and pick up a few great tips, or I can hone my search online for precisely what I’m looking for!

    I love it that you area ahead of your goals for editing–that’s awesome!

    I hope your week continues to be a banner one!

    • #8 by Leslie on February 7, 2012 - 1:34 pm

      The internet provides such amazing content – people are so generous in sharing their experiences. Thanks for visiting, Heather! I like the company…

  5. #9 by Camille LaGuire on February 8, 2012 - 3:18 pm

    Good luck on the remainder of the workshop. Two more sessions probably won’t save it for you, but they might give you something that you haven’t got yet.

    So often workshops and events seem to be more flash than bang. But, hey, that in itself is a kind of experience. (The kind you write about….)

    • #10 by Leslie on February 8, 2012 - 4:47 pm

      Thanks Camille!

      You’re right…all it takes is one interesting “anything” to make it feel worthwhile. I hope it happens. The workshop hasn’t been a total loss, not by any means, but it hasn’t met reasonable expectations for the reputation and expense. This definately was an instance of flash rather than bang, but who knows…maybe tomorrow will be an explosion! (not of the tempermental kind…lol)

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