Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday's Inspiration - There Is No Muse, There's You . I wa. #MFRWauthor

When you sit down to write, you need to have a goal. I do remember those days when I began and my writing was sporadic. I sat with pen in hand or in front of the typewriter and stared at the blank page waiting for the inspiration. Needless to say very little words ever reached the page. I was waiting for the Muse, something other writers said they had. Reading books on writing, I searched for ways to find this muse. Never found her or him. What I found was the words were inside myself waiting for me to find a plot, a character, a need to tell a story. What I also learned was to do this I couldn't stare at the blank pages, I had to set goals.

Goals in my book seemed to be the number or words I wrote each day. I set my goal as one I thought I could accomplish. An organization I belong to has set this goal so low it's ridiculous. 18 words a day for 365 days and one has 6667 words at the end of the year. My goal was one I believed I could reach. One page a day. At the end of this time I would have 365 pages of a story. There are books this long but not that many these days. I wasn't writing War and Peace or some other time. I was looking in the 50,000 to 80,000 word book. In those days publishers looked at page count, not word count. Times have changed and so have my writing stints. I'm no longer satisfied with 250 words a day or one page.

My writing goals gradually increased and I learned something else. Those words you first put on paper had to be revised. No one writes the perfect story on the first draft. Maybe you could if you followed the 18 words a day but I know I would be bored with the story before I reached the three year goal of 20,000 words and had a novella. Now I have two goals and they alternate. Being a draft writer, when I begin a story I do a rough work that is little more than a plot outline with characters and all their quirks thrown in and scenes that may have one or ten words. When I reach the end I'll have a kind of outline and the words will be a mess with plot holes beyond plot holes. This is written at 1000 words a day. When I'll be away, I write ahead. I also don't stop when the 1000 words for the day end and I'm still going hot. The other goal is during re-writing that means 2000 words a day and when revising I do 3000 to 4000 words a day.

The real thing here is to set yourself an obtainable goal and write every day or if this can't be done, write ahead. And remember the muse for writing in yourself and your own determination.


E. Ayers said...

It's nice to know that even seasoned authors still write very rough drafts. It kills me when I hear an author say they wrote 30K words in one day read through it twice and sent it along its way. First, I can't type that quickly. Two, I often must stop and really think about what I'm writing.

Thanks for another great post.

Janet Lane Walters said...

E. Ayers, I know no other way that writing a rough draft. I need to know the plot makes sense before I can write the story. Then I do two or three re-writes and then at least 2 to 3 revisions before I'm happy with my stories. Some of those who push out 30K words and go to publication aren't so great. May be a problem of trying to get more books out too fast.