Michaeline: Plans of mice and men and subconscious entities

A blue-and-white picture of a big iceberg that looks like a castle.

Short fiction is to icebergs as subtext is to ????. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

I thought it would be funny as hell if for this week’s post I put up that picture of an iceberg, write the single sentence, “I’ve been experimenting with the short form these days,” and leave it up to you guys to make up the rest of the post. But alas, conscience doth make cowards of us all.

Fortunately, the girls in my basement rescued me with a new theme for this week’s post. Continue reading

Nancy: February Recap

Woman With a Plan

In the ongoing and possibly overrated interest of tracking my writing performance against my annual writing goals, it’s time to talk about February: the good, the bad, and the sometimes oh-so-ugly. You know the drill. I told you about my ‘reporting in’ plan here. Looking back on the post from just two short months ago, I have to smile a bit, the way you do at adorable pets and small children. I want to pat new-year me on the head and say oh, you naive, optimistic writer, you. Continue reading

Michaeline: Research vs. Writing, a NaNo Battle Royale

A man trying to escape a circle of files

I don’t feel like this, yet . . . . The hard part is figuring out when I’ve got enough research, and when I’ve boxed myself in with research. (Thanks to Wikimedia Commons)

I’m feeling a little like a NaNo failure this week. Last week, I didn’t make my word count, but at least I wrote every single day. This week, I didn’t make my word count, and only wrote three days. The plot for the next several scenes is in my head, but not on the page, and that feels like a failure to me.

I did research, though. I don’t think NaNo is really set up for historical novels, unless the writer already has a firm “historical world” built up in her or his head already. I’m finding it so difficult to write without a firm patch under my feet. The research really is necessary.

On the other hand, I spent all of October “researching” – rather directionless with only a vague idea as to location (New York, which is a very big city), and time (1880 to 1914 – which is a time of huge change). It’s only when I started writing that my research started forming that firm patch beneath my feet.

All I can say is thank goodness I’m writing in a time with lots of newspapers, pictures, photographs and people recording what went on – the exciting thing is that Edison’s wax records were available in 1899, Continue reading

Nancy: I’ve Said Too Much

A Chatty Muse

The ladies who are in the McDaniel workshop classes this semester have a big assignment coming up. By next Sunday night at midnight, we have to turn in Act 2 of our respective WIPs. For me, the good news is, thanks to NaNoWriMo and the fact that I’ve been working on this project forever and a day, I have a completed Act 2 (I am, in fact, close to writing the end of the story.). The bad news is, when I assembled my Act 2 scenes on Saturday, I discovered that I had run a little long. How long? Well, my goal for the Act was 30,000 words. My actual word count currently stands at over 41,500.

You might ask if the length of the act really matters. The truth is, in the first draft, it usually doesn’t. Continue reading