Ah, April. An interesting month, to be sure.
I entered the month with high hopes of pounding out the first draft of my novel, River’s End, as part of Camp NaNoWriMo. I was randomly assigned to a cabin of fellow writers with the apparent idea that we would encourage each other on our daily writing goals. Sadly, after a couple of weeks in which no one would bother to check in or update their word counts, I silently left the camp.
I didn’t quit writing. In fact, I got more writing done after leaving than when I was part of the non-camp. Go figure.
I actually completed just over 10,000 words, including a revision or two. The first fifty pages were all I needed to enter the Killer Nashville Claymore Awards contest (winner to be determined in August). With the first fifty pages under my belt, I’m now excited and eager to get to the computer each day to continue the story and finish the novel. I’ve set a more realistic goal to have it finished by the end of June.
My main struggle, aside from actually getting into the chair and doing the writing, is silencing my internal editor. Not that easy, given the fact that I used to be a newspaper editor for a living and all I used to think about was editing and rearranging copy so that it was clear and concise. So, just letting go and writing a shitty first draft has been easier said than done.
Followers of this blog will note that I didn’t do so well on my posts in April. I made only five posts, a couple of which were nothing posts, like my cat sitting in front of my computer. Not very helpful if you are looking for sage wisdom. But fun, perhaps, and that’s one of the goals I’ve set for myself with my blog (see my updated About page for more info on that.)
I did post “Lessons learned from a script reader,” based on my experiences over the last few months as a script reader for the Nashville Film Festival. Hope you screenwriters out there find it helpful. The entire experience was quite an eye-opener and I believe will really benefit me on what to do and what not to do when writing my own screenplay.
I’ll try to make my posts in May a bit more helpful, and frequent.
One thing I think I did manage in April is I visited more of my fellow WordPressers’ blog sites. I also took time to comment more. If I haven’t made it to your site yet, just send me a message and I’ll try to make it over.
April books and shorts read:
- The O’Briens by William A. Johnstone with J.A. Johnstone
- Split Second by David Baldacci
- “Social Media” by Robert Jones (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, June 2014)
- “Not in the Flesh” by Adam Colston (from L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Vol. XXVI)
- “Sunbather,” by James Richard Hanback (from Our Voices: Williamson County Literary Review). James was a co-worker of mine in Franklin, TN, back in the day.
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine (pilot script)
- “The Voice in the Woods” by Gary Frazier (from Our Voicse: Williamson County Literary Review). This is one of my two published shorts so far, and bears my real name instead of my pen name of G. Robert Frazier.
- various magazine and web articles
- started Stone Cold by David Baldacci and The Associate by John Grisham. (Yeah, I’m alternately reading from two novels at the same time.)
- I’ve been reading bits and pieces of Winter Prey by John Sandford, as well, mostly in terms of analyzing his writing. The book has a half dozen post-its stuck in it marking such things as character descriptions, dialogue, etc.
We now return you to G. Robert Frazier’s Adventures in Writing, already in progress.
Gary, as one who was always good at churning out shitty first drafts and leaving the sharp editor eye to you, I can only offer you my heartfelt appreciation for the safety net you provided me. =)