Tag Archives: fiction

Almost 10,000 words

OK, how is everyone going?

I still have about 500 words to write today but I realize I’m going to pick up kids from school soon followed by a big driveathon as I get everybody to where they need to be. (My daughter is in a school musical tonight.)

So I thought I’d blog now.

It’s been tough getting those words down. But I have to tell you this public word count is actually making me do it. Last night I crawled into bed and had to finish my last 300 through eye watering yawns because I knew I had pledged myself to tell you.

So thank you.

And frankly this choice of 2000 words a day, double my usual word count when I’m writing a novel, is kicking my behind. This blog was actually inspired by a tweet Joanne Harris wrote a couple of months ago about having written 8000 words one day. And as I told her, if she wasn’t so funny I’d have unfollowed her in a fit of pique. But it got me thinking. Was I being a wee bit too soft on myself?

So I’ve pushed.

And it’s good. All good. Well not the words actually but the daily push. The words are pretty crap frankly but I’m finding, as I do with every book, that it is only in the writing that the book will get written. Which sounds so glaringly obvious. But even after three books I still harbor in me this idea that I can plan out my book and when I start writing it will just flow perfectly formed onto the page and voila, when I hit 80,000 I’ll have a novel.

Ha ha ha ha!

Never happens.

No, I’ve written what about 10,000 this week, sixty, seventy perhaps, percent of which will never see the light of day. Probably won’t even be transcribed into my computer (I’m writing long hand) .

Because as I go along and do my research at the same time I realize, Well actually my character wouldn’t have that object. And gosh this little alley I’ve just turned down is much more interesting. And really, her mother is this kind of character not the one I just spent a whole day fleshing out….

What about you? How are you coming along?

Meet you same time, next week. Happy writing.

photo by Andrew Pescod (flickr)


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Julie, how could you?

julieYes, the furor over Julie Myerson’s decision to write about her drug-addicted abusive son.

I’m for it.

Mainly because it gets me thinking. Will my son’s Nintendo addiction mutate into skunk addiction?

I’m completely serious, but the way.

I blog about my children but I avoid the less salutary. Like the little accidents someone in my house makes that has me tossing whole packs of underpants into the garbage. Oops, was that too private?

Of course, I don’t have real dirt yet. My kids haven’t hit puberty and its gateway into parent/teenager hell. And I don’t think I would divulge any real horror. That’s why I’m a fiction writer.

But I’m thankful somebody wrote about the dangers of dope. I, for one, will be keeping a very close eye on it all and will not be lenient about its use. So thanks for warning me, Julie.

So is there a greater good being performed by her airing all her family’s laundry? I think yes.

Is it at the kid’s expense? Definitely.

But writers are not nice. We might smile, we might even offer to clean up occasionally. But deep down we are predators. The reason we are so interested in you is that it fuels our need for stories. We are vampires. Every sorry pathological thought of yours, we take note.

Feeling depressed? Tell us all about it.

Not sure what to do about your husband? We’re all ears.

Just lost your sibling in a horrific accident? How awful, we’ll murmur, reaching for the notebook in our bag. Tell us, how exactly did it happen?

Of course, novelists have it easier. We change the names and genders and hair color. And keep on smiling.

photo by Mahyar (flickr)

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Every once in a while, well, actually often, a news story chills you to the bone. There are the daily stories of mayhem and brutality and chaos that you try not to think about. Because such wide scale sadness can drown your tiny bourgeois life. You are left with that But for the grace of God goes I feeling as you try to shut the door to the tsunami of misery.

Then suddenly there is one which stands from the pack because of its singularity.

I shouldn’t check out the newspaper online before writing because it can completely derail me. Like this one.

That one just stopped me in my tracks. Threw my daily quota out the window as I sat there and wondered:

What is going on in the world that makes a man do that?
What is going to happen to the two little boys.
What was that little girl thinking in her last moments.

And how on earth can fiction ever address that?

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