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Tanuki Racoon

WriteByMyself's New Novel

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So, I am working on my new novel. I've received a few inquiries.

It's a new genre for me. It'll have at least one person who is younger. It's going to be my longest story ever -- at least that's the plan. I aim to break the 100,000 word barrier, beating AWMS:DC by a good 6,000 words.

I'm going to post progress reports for your amusement.

Started 21 March 2009, Saturday, 201pm

Step One: DRAFT WRITE OF NOVEL

Chapter One: Finished 20 April, Apx 6800 words.

Chapter Two: Finished 3 May, Apx 5000 words

Chapter Three: In Progress (barely)

Estimation: 25 chapters late 2009 or early 2010 completion

Step Two: RE-WRITE (when Step One Finished)

Step Three: Editing

Step Four: Posting

I will answer limited questions via email or post Here if there's any interest but I will not discuss details of plot/etc.

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So... you're going to finish step 1 before beginning to rewrite, edit, and post. The way you worded the steps it sounds like the entire novel will be finished in step 1 before you begin step 2. Is my interpretation correct?

Colin :icon11:

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So... you're going to finish step 1 before beginning to rewrite, edit, and post. The way you worded the steps it sounds like the entire novel will be finished in step 1 before you begin step 2. Is my interpretation correct?

Yes. This is a marked departure from my usual method. I usually slave over one chapter at a time and rarely go back once done except to fix technicalities.

I don't like this method as much but I need to try it for this novel because this one is, er, um, well, more complex due to various circumstances.

All my stories have messages and this one is no exception. But this one's going to have something hidden in it for the clever reader. My money is on almost nobody figuring it out which is how it should be :)

What genre is it?

Yes :)

It's set mostly in present day times. I've added a bit from this genre and that to create something a bit, well, odd. I do odd very well but you guys have never seen me do odd before.

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Older and older and odder and odder

Something I think quite like chicken fodder

Fodder you know which turns as we sit

Into something resembling chicken ___

C

That was an udderly strange oddity, Cole.

Colin :icon11:

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A mild-mannered raccoon with a thing for comic books and geeky-yet-cute glasses discovers he can stop time using only his mind....

An obstinate yet insightful Scottish paleontologist raccoon discovers crystalline gateways in time and chases his evil not-so-late wife....

The raccoon-oid captain of a new transwarp starship and his enigmatically sexy Vulcan first officer really go where no man has come before....

Uh....

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Yes. This is a marked departure from my usual method. I usually slave over one chapter at a time and rarely go back once done except to fix technicalities.

I don't like this method as much but I need to try it for this novel because this one is, er, um, well, more complex due to various circumstances.

I guess I find the method of finishing a story before publishing it to be necessary to make sure that it's consistent. That's why my flash fiction is written, edited and posted in an afternoon, but my longer novels have yet to get out of editing. :(

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Adding more plots for Blue:

a young raccoon with the ability to instantly heal himself is given a metal alloy skeleton by a secret government agency. With his razor-like retractable talons, the mutant raccoon -- whom we'll call "Raccooine" -- fights crime and various super-powered villains.

Can't miss as a summer blockbuster. (I particularly want to see teenage Raccooine as he learns how to use his deadly powers.)

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That's why my flash fiction is written, edited and posted in an afternoon, but my longer novels have yet to get out of editing.

I agree 100%. If I didn't post my novels as I'd write them, I'd never finish them. (As it is, I'm three months behind on the latest chapter of Pieces of Destiny, which is killing me.)

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A fascinating thread- it's like watching a ship being built.

The keel is laid, the beams are welded to the keel and ribs, bulkheads welded into place, machinery gently lowered into place by cranes...

At this stage its impossible to tell what she will eventually be: a sleek warship or a sturdy merchantman.

The excitement builds with every sparkle of the welder's torch.

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Started 21 March 2009, Saturday, 201pm

Step One: DRAFT WRITE OF NOVEL

Chapter One: Finished 20 April, Apx 6900 words.

Chapter Two: Finished 3 May, Apx 5400 words [12300 rt]

Chapter Three: Finished 9 May 2009, Apx 3500 words. [15800 rt]

Chapter Four: Finished 25 May 2009, Apx 4500 words.

Chapter Four: Finished 30 May 2009, Apx 6400 words. [22200 rt]

I had started five, but it really belongs with 4. So I've added it to 4. Five starts anew. Sadly, this means my chapters will be less consistent in length but, it's more important for them to break naturally. I can't wait for everyone to mean Flo: she cracks me up.

I've also done some back-editing so the word counts have changed.

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What does "RT" mean, as in "22200 rt"?

Never hoid o' dat.

RT means "running total" so:

The chapter 1 word count is 5,900

The chapter 2 word count is 5,400

The running total at chapter 2 is 5,900 + 5,400 = 12,300 words

etc. etc.

Colin :evilgrin:

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Running total? Jesus, not to chide Wibby, but I'd worry about how good the words are... not how many there are.

The only time I ever worried about a word count was when I get paid by the word -- typically 15-25 cents for major magazines. Believe me, $3000 for a 2000-word article was damn good pay in the 1980s, especially if I could crank it out in under a week.

Sadly, those days are gone, with the death of the freelance magazine business. Times are tough. (My partner adds that lawyers also get paid by the word in legal documents, and they drag it out by double-spacing everything and numbering the lines. Trust me, the client pays for every piece of paper, every document, every word.)

Back to Wibby: not to give you unwanted advice, but I'd just concentrate on getting X pages done a day. I remember one major best-selling author -- it might have been John McDonald or Tom Clancy -- always said they tried to do at least 3 solid pages a day, roughly 1000 words. 3-4 months of work would result in a 120,000-word first draft, and I think that's a good goal to shoot for in a novel.

Me, I'm still struggling with finishing up Chapter 12 of Destiny, and it's rough -- allergies kicking up again, and I'm fighting to breathe. Not a great day. But I did solve a major plot problem, and the juices are flowing (so to speak).

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Awww Pecman, be thankful you don't have to combat old age as well. :happy:

Rest assured, we all know that your Pieces of Destiny will be worth the wait.

Or should I say the weight of the pieces will be worth their destiny?

In any case, I for one am looking forward to the next chapter.

:evilgrin:

And Wibby, I have no doubt that your words will also be worth their weight in gold.

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I'd just concentrate on getting X pages done a day. I remember one major best-selling author -- it might have been John McDonald or Tom Clancy -- always said they tried to do at least 3 solid pages a day, roughly 1000 words. 3-4 months of work would result in a 120,000-word first draft, and I think that's a good goal to shoot for in a novel.

I've seen this sort of advice before by professional writers. It makes great logical sense. And it reminds me a little of an assembly line, where the production is structured and organized and everything goes according to plan.

I find the actual writing process to be much different. Of course we're all different and I'm sure we approach the getting the words on paper part differently too. But I certainly don't sit down and say, I'm going to write 1,000 words, solid, usable words today, then go do something else. I can't even imagine doing it that way. I like the idea of it, I like the idea of saying, let's see, this is the beginning of June, so I'll have a 120,000 book done by the start of September. But it wouldn't work for me.

I do think it's a good idea to write every day. Sometimes that's a real chore, sometimes a delight, and often just something that you do. But there's a great need for discipline in writing, and those of us who write understand that. Writing every day is part of that discipline.

But I don't set a target for myself. As Pec just said, the words are flowing for him right now. Exactly. That happens. Somehow, your character and events seem to come together, and you can hardly get it all written as it glows and shines in your mind. When it's like that, I simply let it come and write and write and write and there's no stopping, or no limiting the output to 1,000 words; that's not nearly enough.

And some days, you write, but the stuff isn't any good. It doesn't fit with what comes before and goes after, it isn't high quality, it has no energy and will never capture a reader. On those days, I still try, but usually end up just junking the stuff. I certainly don't generate 1,000 words of good copy.

But the writing every day I strongly agree with. If you force yourself to write, you'll have the good days and the bad days, and even the bad days serve a purpose. What you're doing is training your mind to think about your story, and that's good. Because somehow, the thinking, whether it's conscious or unconscious, gets you past blocks and plot stumbling points and into the fantastic periods where the words flow, the ideas sparkle, and all is right with the world.

C

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Pec, while your advice is sound it really depends how you write. I often write a scene that is short (or long) and when I'm in it, I have to finish. When I'm done I'm emotionally drained and I have to stop sometimes for quite awhile.

The running total is so everyone can know how it's progressing. This is the first (and only) time I've ever bothered about word count. I am guessing based on what my projected story arc is that this will be around 100,000 words. I could be wrong: maybe it'll be 80 or 120. But at least everyone has a clue when it's going to be coming.

When it's done it'll have a nice posting schedule: fast and furious.

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But I certainly don't sit down and say, I'm going to write 1,000 words, solid, usable words today, then go do something else. I can't even imagine doing it that way.

I have to confess, I can't do it that way, either. I either start plowing through until I stop, or I can't write at all. There ain't no inbetween.

I'd love to be able to write every single day, but the problem for me with that is, if I sit down and just don't feel like writing, or I'm distracted and can't concentrate, I start flailing and hate every word I write. I know better than to pound a dead horse.

One big thing that does work for me is, don't ever stop writing at the end of a scene. Break off right in the middle of a paragraph. That way, when you pick up the story, it forces you to dive back in, finish the scene and then begin the next. That way, you're not having to start from a dead stop. In other words, the vehicle is already in motion. All you have to do is hop in, slowly bring it up to speed, and steer it in the right direction.

I often write a scene that is short (or long) and when I'm in it, I have to finish. When I'm done I'm emotionally drained and I have to stop sometimes for quite awhile.

And I agree with you, too. I'm not always emotionally drained, but I sure the hell get tired. One can make a good argument that mental work can be more exhausting than physical work, especially if you're dragging it out all night (which I tend to do).

I admire your tenacity and discipline, especially in getting the entire novel written first and then posting it all at one time. No question, that'll make the readers happier -- especially for novels that might go weeks or months inbetween chapters.

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