The Journal: Yes, It’s April Fool’s Day (Yawn)

In today’s Journal

* Topic: Sigh… Despite the Date
* Yesterday
* Today
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Topic: Sigh… Despite the Date

This is not an April Fool’s Day joke or hoax:

As you know, this whole Journal thing is my way of “writing in public”: my progress and my process, right out where everyone can see it.

I share my daily writing progress to illustrate how rapidly the numbers can grow. To that end, I encourage others to set daily, weekly, monthly and annual writing goals and then strive to reach them. Even if you fail, you will “fail to success” because you will have written a lot of words (stories and novels) you wouldn’t have written if you didn’t strive to reach your goals.

And I share my writing process, warts and all, my struggles as well as my successes. I’ve often been told it helps others to see that not everything I touch turns to gold. (grin)

Yesterday I reported having finished a novel on time. At the time, I believed that was true. But in retrospect (here comes a wart), the novel wasn’t finished. For the first time since I started this challenge on 1 December 2019, I’ve missed my novel-writing goal.

(If you’re one who enjoys seeing the numbers, this morning I adjusted “Calendar Year 2020 Novels to Date” from 4 back to 3, and “Novels [since Oct 19, 2014]” from 49 back to 48.)

Here’s what happened: This morning, I opened The Othgygnrkthers simply to run a spell check so I could send it to my first readers.

And my creative subconscious ambushed me. A thought popped into my head directly from my characters: The aliens moved in, but they only killed and then sat near their ship, providing an easy target. They didn’t go out and actually occupy the planet.

Crap. It was a slap-my-forehead moment. And the slap hurt.

This is a fatal flaw, which I define as a flaw so large and so important to the story that the credibility of the story itself can’t survive it.

So this novel is not going to my first readers, and it’s definitely not going to publication. Ever.

I’m trashing it. The current story in its current form is of no use to me whatsoever.

(For those of you who just gasped thinking of the “wasted” 55000+ words, they weren’t wasted. They were practice. Words to a writer are like nails to a carpenter; they’re an essential but minor tool of the trade. When you find a bent one, or a box of bent ones, you throw it out and get more.)

I believe in the idea, and I still believe it will be not only a great story but a great series. Maybe even a shared world in which I’ll eventually invite others to write.

So sometime later, when I’m far removed from it, I’ll give my creative subconscious another crack at it and write the idea again. (Not a conscious mind rewrite, but a creative subconscious recasting from scratch.)

In the meantime, I’ll dust myself off, pick the prickly pear thorns and jumping cholla pods out of my backside, and climb back up on my challenge. Because my goals remain: to write a new novel every month (due on the last day of the month) and a new short story every week (due by midnight on Saturday).

Hint—that’s how my daily writing goal drives my challenge, and how my challenge drives my daily writing goal.

Make no mistake: this hurts me, so I really hope my sharing it here helps you in some way.

Today I’m posting this early. I’ll probably take the day off, maybe do some physical labor around the yard or something. March was exhausting for me.

I might also get caught up on creating covers, applying first-reader comments to my previous novel, etc. If I write any fiction, I’ll update you the next time I talk with you.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See the comments on “Card Sharp Silver… Day 12” at See Kessie’s comment and Dean’s response. Seriously.

See “April Fools’ Day Literary Hoaxes” at

See “Beat Stress Like a Navy SEAL…” at

See “The Hypersane Are Among Us…” at

See “The Bridge That Crossed an Ocean” at

See “Can you learn from reading anthologies?” at

The Numbers

Fiction words today…………………… XXXX
Nonfiction words today…………… 710 (Journal)

Writing of “” (short story)

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Writing of (novel)

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… XXXX
Total fiction words for the year………… 207982
Total nonfiction words for the month… 710
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 81860
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 289842

Calendar Year 2020 Novels to Date…………………… 3
Calendar Year 2020 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2020 Short Stories to Date… 12
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 48
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 208
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

4 thoughts on “The Journal: Yes, It’s April Fool’s Day (Yawn)”

  1. Okay, I did gasp!

    I love that you share… and find your numbers, especially late, inspiring. It’s keeping me going on my own word count.

    Your post had me looking up Chapter Four and Six of DWS Writing Into the Dark for the cave analogy. The whole you need to understand you will write extra thing.

    Could it be that you went down a dead-end cave and are on
    on the wrong track?

    Can you go back and cut off some words and go in a new direction?

    Just a thought.

    • LOL. Nope. Not on this one. It’s a basic “plot” problem that permeates the whole story. I could give it to another writer and say, “Here, read through the whole thing, but where the Blues are just sitting on their fannies practicing being bullseyes, have them do stuff instead.” It’s the aliens’ story as much as the humans’.

      Frankly, I was surprised this happened. I’ve written novels before in which I invented an alien society (among humans) complete with their very differnt ways of doing things, the different things that were important to them, their advantages and limitations, etc. (The Consensus springs to mind.) So it surprised me when I realized I’d taken such a myopic view this time around. To write this particular type of story is to basically write two storylines in one. Should be fun when I get to it again. 🙂

  2. It’ll be interesting to see how you feel about the story the next time you write it. (Shaking my head. So funny for me to say that as I’ve never rewritten an idea before)

    Maybe what I should be asking is do you like the idea enough to write it again? Is there a chance that it just won’t come up again as you’re drawn to other ideas?

    Also, what’s really fascinating is being able to recognize that nope, didn’t turn out, and moving on so quickly.

    I’m definitely not where you’re at in terms of myths, because this freaked me out a little. Lol.

    • Oh yes, I’ll definitely want to write it again. It’s a world-spanning they-came-here SF epic that probably will span several novels.

      Re the myths, I consider myself very fortunate. I just “get it,” I guess, and I’m endlessly grateful that I do. In my case, it was a matter of shrugging off the fear of rejection and just writing. I see others struggling with trusting what they’ve learned and trusting their own subconscious, and I really don’t understand. For me, with all the Story I’ve absorbed over my life and all the grammar and syntax things I’ve learned and all the specific writing techniques I’ve learned, I just trust my subconscious mind completely to pull it all together.

      But re the novel, there’s an update coming. (grin)

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