Category Archives: word count

Tagged 7-7-7

Sidney Williams tagged me in a fun meme, so I figured I’d play along. Well, at first I couldn’t, because I was supposed to go to page 77 of my work-in-progress, and the only thing I’ve been doing as of late are novella length, or shorter. But, my genius friend Kate Sterling said I could do what she was doing and go to page seven, and play that way. The rules are, go to page 77 (in my case 7) of your current work. Count down seven lines, and then post the next seven lines/sentences. As I’m a chronic long sentence writer, I chose to copy the sentences, not the lines.

This is part of a short story I’m writing for an anthology on sexuality in fantasy.  I’ve had some thoughts, lately, on the recent sociopolitical push to drag women back to the old prehistoric caves by our hair. It has caused me… Angst. Okay, rage. And you know me, go dark or go home, so this little dystopian piece of bad news was born. This scene is where our heroine, Cherry, is confronted by an official of her church commune whose twisted desires for her cause him to act out in unholy ways:

“To keep me chaste,” she sputtered past the blood.

“Why?”

“As a reminder the Destroyer is everywhere, and that his demons cannot be overcome with manmade Chemical, or the National Church’s polygamist whoring, but by purity’s resistance alone.” If Cherry desired her back as bloody and raw as the Warder made his own every night, she would have added, But, the government keeps pumping me full of hormones and Chemical so I can lure these earthly servants to them, and you let them do it, so how can I be pure when everyone demands something unholy of my virginity?  As she had no desire to be whipped, she remained silent.

The Warder had always been a devout boy, singularly driven to understand the world they had inherited, the life so unlike the antiquated photographs of men and women walking freely in the sunshine, holding hands and pressing together their lips and bodies. He had latched on to the church’s inane assertions that the mouth of hell had opened up and spewed forth the creatures that had one day appeared from underground and carried off the majority of the world’s chaste in less than a month’s time.

*****

As I am very, very late to the game, all of my writing friends have been tagged, so I can’t play the “tag seven friends” part. But, if you’re a writer stopping by here and want to play, go ahead. Just let me know in the comments so I can read your 7-7-7.


Literary Recklessness

In an attempt to get myself back into a rigid, impermeable, impervious, impenetrable writing schedule I singed up for NaNoWriMo. I started out strong, got sidetracked, then re-sidetracked, and now I’m about seventeen thousand words behind. I think it’s safe to say I’m not going to “win” this year–at least not win by the organizers’ definition.

In my opinion, I’m already winning; I’m planting my butt in the chair every day and writing. My prose is not the most brilliant (in fact I think it’s safe to say I could let my cats tap dance across the keys for two hours with similar effect), but it is a consistent flow of semi-intelligible words formatted into sentences and paragraphs, and, hey, that’s the reason I signed up for this gig in the first place.

Honestly, I’m rather enjoying this guerilla style of writing. As I have routinely stated, I am an obsessive mess. It’s not that I shoot myself in the foot; I never stop aiming the freakin’ gun. I organize, chart, plot, think, write, re-write, re-write, re-write, re-write. I get a paragraph down and then dissect it for four hours. I am, in many ways, my own worst enemy. This little experiment is teaching me to stop looking back (even if I have to shrink my screen to the size of my current paragraph to do it). It’s teaching me that a first round of mainly crap is okay as long as I fix it later, and waiting to fix it later is even more okay. And you know what all this is making me realize?

Writing is fun again.

Who’d’ve thought?


Got the whip in hand (or, self-flagellation — not just for zealots)

I decided last night enough is enough with these twenty chapters I need to re-write. They’re the final chapters I’ve been talking (and yet doing nothing) about for months on end. I’ve become the Artful Dodger of editing –ducking around this task while changing minor character names and profiles, re-writing earlier Quinn POV chapters, focusing on editing the first forty chapters, and, yes, farting around. All the while the ending (the biggest revision I need to tackle so far) has sat there, waiting and untouched.

Since I am interested in having a go at getting this monster published sometime before I turn sixty, I’ve decided — as I said above — enough is enough. I’m breaking out the whip. I’ve given myself twelve days (two work weeks plus today and tomorrow) to re-write these twenty chapters. That’s almost two chapters a day. Pretty excessive? Yep. But I’ve done it to myself and now have to pay the price.

I’ve marked my calendar and set my clock. I’ve also pasted one of those word meters on this page. Because the meter isn’t really set up for re-writing deadlines, I made it as if those last chapters never existed and I’m writing fresh (which is really not too far from the truth, anyway). I’ve erased those 50,250 words from my total word count and will now attempt to put them all back by Friday, November 17, 2006.

I’m hoping declaring my intentions publicly while posting my progress will keep me in line. If not, I’ve got the whip sitting right here, and I’m not afraid to use it.

Okay, I’m a little afraid to use it…


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