Tuesday, September 21, 2010

When Did I Get So Wordy?

I love working with a writing group.  If you don't already have a writing group then go out and round one up right away.  That's what I did.  I follow a couple of blogs who speak so lovingly about their writing groups that I was jealous, envious, no jealous, well, that seems harsh so let's go with envious and keep jealous in the back of our minds.  I couldn't just stew in my envy/jealousy.  I had to put a feeler out.  I literally used NaNoWriMo as an excuse to find my group.  I figured, who doesn't have Write a Book One Day on their bucket list? 

It's nice to have a goal in mind to write a book.  We started out by coming up with our ideas, outlining, sketching, and now using prompts to stoke our creativity while we patiently wait for NaNo to begin. 

I'm learning a lot about myself through prompts.  First, I don't write short stories all that well, but I'm not that bad at writing scenes.  The difference?  To me, it's the set up, the clear beginning, and ending.  Often, my scenes start out with more dialogue and less narrative.  I could just be out of practice.  I used to write short stories, but even then my teachers would say my ideas were too complex to fit into the word limit and they could see where I needed more room to develop my story.  But, I didn't really think I could write a book until this year.  I actually just wanted to write good journal entries.  That didn't happen.  Journal entries are harsh, abrupt feelings for the moment and hardly as formulated as a story should be, at least that's the way my journals read. 

Most astonishing to me of late, is that I'm so much more wordy than I used to be.  In 1998, I was taking a creative writing class and struggling to write short stories on a regular basis and use up all the word limit space.  Now, I'm wordy.  It seems I've gotten a taste for writing books and now having to fit story inside 1,000 words or less is a challenge.  I have no idea what this says about me as a writer.  It feels nice to know that when I sit down with a notepad or in front of my computer, I have stuff to say. 

There have been times over the last eight years that I've attempted to write a book and after the first page I've stopped dead in my tracks.  I have yet to go back and finish those stories.  Over the last two years, when I think back, I filled notepads and journals faster than I had in the past, that might have been a leading indication that I was headed toward a book.

I'm still new to this but my biggest fear is lack of words.  Starting a book isn't the only time I've come up short on words, I found myself stuck more than once while I was writing my book.  I just didn't know if I could reach my goal of 75,000 words.  I was shocked at 15,000 words, and after 25,000 words.  Getting to 75,000 words was a great feeling of accomplishment, but not one that came without fear of whether or not I could do it again. 

When I'm feeling sick, or exhausted and I can't write and maybe those feelings go on for a week, I actually wonder if I'll be able to sit down and write again.  There are even times when I look at the writing prompts and have no clue where the story is going to come from, but amazingly enough, it comes. 

I'm anxious to see how my writing comes along in November. 

What is your biggest fear in regards to your writing craft?


  1. A teacher(Burt Stout)once told me, "There is profundity in simplicity," I have taken it to heart to this day and it has served me well as It can be applied to so many things and not just writing.

  2. Hi, I'm a fellow Crusader and new follower.

    You've said you find it easy to write in scenes. Well, just think of a book as a collection of sixty or so interlocked scenes. That's all it really is. Not so intimidating, right?

    The reason your comment spoke to me is that I write exactly like this...in scenes. And yes, it is possible to end up with a whole novel this way! Not everyone works the same way, and you have to accept that you work the way you do, other people work (and write) in different ways, and there probably isn't anything wrong with that!

    Good luck with NaNoWriMo.


  3. Angela - Thank you for sharing the wisdom of your teacher. I love the quote and when I saw it earlier today I couldn't get it out of my head.

    Adina - Hello! Thank you for following! I think you're right about everyone writing differently and about the collection of scenes to book. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who loves to write in scenes.

    I'm excited for NaNo in November and for tomorrow's challenge from Rachael! Can't wait to read everyone's posts!