Wednesday, August 31, 2011

ROW80: Stretching the Noodle

Sometimes, writing a novel stretches out. Sometimes it compresses. At least in feeling if not in actual practice. My first project compressed at the end. Fingers flew, and everything fell together. My current project appears to be stretching. It probably just means that I'm not as close to the end as I thought.

It's odd how sometimes the scenes that you think will be quick end up ballooning out into an entire chapter.  Or the chapter you were planning finishes off early and it's like... oh, now what?  I don't think one situation is better than the other, it's just the organic nature of writing.  I try hard to let the story take a life of its own, and am often surprised by it.  I have a structure in mind to try and keep the pacing consistent, but it's more guidelines than boundaries. 

Anyway, the first draft probably won't be done by Monday.  My goal is now to have it finished before the end of this challenge.  That gives me what, three more weeks?  It's also going to make getting it out by Christmas even more risky, but even if I don't make it, it shouldn't be too long after, which isn't a bad thing.

Here's a look at how I did last week with my goals:
  • Writing Lesson Learned: Want to see your Muse laugh?  Set a deadline.  Sometimes stories just don't cooperate with the schedule you had in mind. 
  • WIP Pages: 7.  One ahead.  I've been logging in some extra hours to try and hit my first draft goal.  Still, there is only so much story I can force out.  I fill like one of those noodle machines, dough having been poured in in the back to be forced through a teeny-tiny hole in the front.  Viola!  Fettuccine.  Pushing too hard will only over-stretch my noodle.
  • Blogging:  This makes 3/3 with a fiction post.  3/3 with a fiction post on the other site too.  Good times.
I'm doing well.  Life hasn't been any less busy either.  Football is still rolling.  We had people over this weekend.  This weekend should be calmer.  I'm hoping to maybe block aside a half day and knock out a whole chapter.  We'll see if that comes to fruition though.

Here's the big finish, the word counts:
  • Since last check-in: 6,157
  • Fiction: 2,523
  • 41% New Fiction
  • Grand Total for the challenge: 51,049


Marji Laine - Faith Driven Fiction said...

Love the picture you drew with the pasta machine and over-stretching your noodle.

May the words come easily!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, especially when I get near the end of a novel, my husband will ask, "Do you think there's another 10K left?" And my answer has become, "Dude, I have *no* idea." Plus, the remaining 10K (or whatever) might take a week, might take a couple months. *shrug* There's never a right or wrong way.

Good luck securing your half day!

Anonymous said...

Doing great on your goals, Matt. Great attitude, let's hope your Muse takes it easy on you over the next couple of weeks.

Have a great week :)

Nadja Notariani said...

Matt - Hope your eyes have recovered from the trauma of that snowplow pic I posted. Um, sorry about that... Ha!
I absolutely appreciated the autumn battle scene/babbling brook/ lovely hued leaves/strewn bodies of mangled and hacked away letters littering the calm surroundings...That's actually not far off from how edits went. (It's a brutal job... but someone's got to do it)
Keep plugging away on your story! Although all I can see in my mind's eye is you (or my imaginings of you) rolling out of a noodle machine - long and skinny - stretched and flat - while your story takes its time in collecting in the corners of your mind. Ha! ~ Nadja

Matt said...

@Marji - You can work with a thinner noodle for some time (heck, plenty of people love Angel Hair), but it eventually takes it's toll. :-)

@katenab - Thanks. It's not a totally awful thing, but it certainly wreaks havoc on my publisher. (You know, which is also me. lol)

@Gene - If he/she/it doesn't, well, I have ways of dealing with Muses. *Steeples Fingers*

@Nadja - Editing: Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap Edition. :-)

Nadja Notariani said...

...Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap...too funny.
After your comment today, you know, the one about feeling a bit like Frankenstein cackling with glee as you press the publish button, I got to thinking.
The term is -
bösartige Schadenfreude (malevolent glee)
Enjoy it...~ Nadja

Matt said...

Boy, that just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? :-P


Nadja Notariani said...

Yeah...heh heh...German is just so easily pronounced. Ahem.
Anyway, wanted to let you know that I successfully published! Believe me, I was sweating bullets a few times, but overall it wasn't nearly as difficult as I imagined. Guess I'd rather think the worst and be pleasantly surprised than to expect an easy-peasy walk in the park until I run into that haymaker.
Anyway, in honor of it being my first novel - and because it's my birthday weekend, it's free for the weekend! Stop by if you get a chance. ~ Nadja

Matt said...

Ach so, aber es ist nicht sehr... wie sag man "Romantic?"

Congrats and I will have to take advantage of this momentous occasion! Happy birthday as well.

Plan for the worst and hope for the best, I say (and others, too). It's nice when a plan comes together.

Where's the best place to find it? Drop me a link in here! :-)

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