The Journal, Thursday, January 11

Hey Folks,

Slow start to the day but a few great emails from friends. Thank you for those.

I frittered away the first few hours with nothing of any importance (other than those emails). I moved out to the Hovel at around 8:45. I wrote much of what appears below, then started on the novel at around 10.

Especially for the newer readers of this Journal, a bit about process today. I recommend hose of you who have been with me for awhile read it too, though. I might say something you need to hear, or say it in the way you need to hear it.

This novel has an odd feeling to it. A couple of factors figure into that.

First, as many of you know, all novels write differently. That’s to be expected since the characters and/or situations are different so they present differently from the beginning.

Second, much of this one is cycling, my method (adapted from Dean Wesley Smith) of revision. I hasten to add that cycling (or revision) is not the same as rewriting. I’ll explain shortly.

Reading for pleasure and writing into the dark (which means without a predetermined plan because I don’t want to bore myself to tears) have one major thing in common: both happen while the subconscious mind is at the forefront. The critical conscious mind is stilled for that time.

That’s what makes cycling different from rewriting. Rewriting is done with input from the conscious mind, and as Ray Bradbury once said, nothing good in fiction ever came from the conscious mind.

So as I cycle through I’m Just Reading (reading for pleasure) and operating from my subconscious. I read on my computer screen, and allow my fingers to rest on the keyboard.

Occasionally as I read, a character says something different or new, or some new event occurs that I didn’t see when I wrote the “first draft.” So I add the new dialogue or the new event on the spot, then go back to reading. I don’t think about it (conscious mind). I just type it and move along.

This is a wonderful way to revise because the entire process is based in the subconscious, creative mind. That’s the distinction.

When I’m writing something brand new, I write for about an hour — maybe 900 to 1200 words — then take a break. When I come back from the break, I cycle through that 1000 words, often adding nothing at all, then continue to put new words on the page. And when I reach the last word, I’m finished and I move on to the next project.

The current novel is a little different because it’s based on several short stories I wrote a very long time ago. I don’t usually revisit what I’ve written — and even when this novel is finished I’ll leave the short stories out there to continue making money — but this particular situation begged to be a novel.

So in this case, I started with the 32000+ words (see Brought Forward below) of the combined short stories. They are all thematically connected and sequential.

I started reading through them (cycling) for pleasure and allowed my subconscious to play as necessary. The 24000+ words I’ve added in the first ten days (see below) are all new words.

But because I’m cycling, the going is a little slow. I’m turning out an average of 2400 words per day. Normally in ten days I would have finished a novel. If I finish this one in 20 writing days (I only report writing days below) I’ll be thrilled. If I finish this month, I will be happy.

Because I’m cycling through this one from the beginning, it’s taking a little longer. I look very forward to emerging from the last original short story so I can once again set my subconscious free and let my fingers fly.

And I’m very glad you’re all along for the ride. (grin)

***

If you enjoy these posts, please consider sharing them by either forwarding if you receive them via email subscription or, if you see them on Facebook, by clicking the Share button. Thanks!

By the way, I’m calling this (tentatively) The Origin Novel because I believe it will give birth to a new hero. Something I believe we could all use.

***

By 1 p.m., in two sessions, I had a little over 1300 words.

My wife is off this afternoon, so I’m gonna take the rest of the day. Some shopping, some packing for the trip.

There probably won’t be a Journal tomorrow, Saturday or Sunday. I’ll try to write while I’m on the road. If I do, I’ll report numbers here the next time I post to the Journal.

Back soon.

Of Interest

See “Adventures” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/adventures/.

Fiction Words: 1358
Nonfiction Words: 810 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2168

Writing of The Origin Novel (working title)

BF…………… 32658 words.
Day 1…… 2689 words. Total words to date…… 35347
Day 2…… 2636 words. Total words to date…… 37983
Day 3…… 3189 words. Total words to date…… 41172
Day 4…… 2525 words. Total words to date…… 43697
Day 5…… 2609 words. Total words to date…… 46306
Day 6…… 2455 words. Total words to date…… 48761
Day 7…… 1341 words. Total words to date…… 50102
Day 8…… 2354 words. Total words to date…… 52456
Day 9…… 1194 words. Total words to date…… 53650
Day 10… 3297 words. Total words to date…… 56947
Day 11… 1358 words. Total words to date…… 58305

Total fiction words for the month……… 29349
Total fiction words for the year………… 29349
Total nonfiction words for the month… 5480
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 5480
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 34829

Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 0
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182

Leave a Comment