Monday, September 7, 2009

Binging (or Purging?)

I'm at it again: I'm binging on writing.

As part of the RWA's Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter's 60 Days to PRO (RWA status) program I've signed onto Candace Havens's Fast Draft loop. In the next 14 days I will pound out a rough-and-dirty draft of the novel I've started, stopped and restarted again.

No excuses this time. No blaming anyone else. Once I'm off the starting line I will slog my sloppy ass all the way to the finish.

I won't blame the Famous Author who told me the conflict between the hero/heroine would never work (The choice at that point to shelve the book for nine months was mine and mine alone). I won't blame the Venerable Agent who told me to restructure it as a novella (The choice to shelve it again was, again, my choice).

This time, I won't blame anyone--including myself--for this book not coming to the page (Nor, for that matter, will I tell anyone anything about this WIP until the draft is done. My learning curve isn't very steep, but I do have one.)

To the page it will come, dagnabbit!

What I've finally come to realize after nigh-on 40 years of living is that I'm a binge-purger. Cleaning the kitchen every day makes me dull, slow and stupid. Give me a dumpster, some empty boxes and a couple of gallons of bleach, however, and watch me rip open and cleanse a garage at speeds that make the roadrunner blush.

So, too goes it for writing, at least for that initial draft: I get more done--hell, I get IT done--when I shut down, focus and type till my wrists scream and my butt spreads to fit the shape of the seat.

So Tweeple, don't expect much of me on twitter. Friends, my facebook status isn't likely to be that fascinating this week. And Ohio Valley chapter members please forgive me if I knock over all the folding chairs in the meeting squeezing into the room next weekend: You'll know it's because I was writing on the floor.

I will sneak over to read my comments, however, so let me know--have you ever NaNo-ed, Fast-Drafted or followed any other plan to dump the words on the page? And do you share your WIP with others, or keep it top secret until it's a fait accompli?


  1. Hey Keri! I will miss your tweets!!!
    I do participate in BIAW (book in a week) on a yahoo loop. They do it every month-I only participate once every three months. It is amazing how many words you can dump out. I can usually finish a full novel in three months, so by the time another rolls around, I use it for revisions. I pre cook all my families meals for that week and hibernate...checking facebook of course!!!! Have fun and good luck! I love Candace.

  2. Hi :)
    Thank you for sharing Keri.
    You are an inspiration to me.
    Sending love & best wishes to you and yours,

  3. Holy mother of pearl! Have I ever! Harlequin Presents...uh-um...presented a wonderful opportunity for unpublished writers to get an editor for a year. The catch? The writer had to submit the first chapter of a manuscript to the folks at Mills/Boone for their perusal, capture their attention with a titillating hook, and win, of course.

    Last year, the deadline for entries was around Valentine's day, so I busted my butt to get mine done. The first chapter--what I should have put all my attention into, was done in a day. I worked until 2 or 3 am most nights--I have to be at the day job by 7:45am--hardly spoke to my family, and negelected housework.

    I needed to get that MS done before the folks at MB made the announcement. God forbid my manuscript wasn't complete WHEN they called ME. (You could say my learning curve reversed until the other MS won--remember the one with the full request? All 5 chapters of it.) :-P

    More importantly, I think I just wanted to prove to myself I could write 55-60K words in month. I did it, but it didn't make the months of revisions to follow any easier, let me tell you!

    Ruthlessly shoved aside to complete the other, that MS is still alive, but needs more revision love...yeah, as soon as I finish this new one.

  4. Oh, Keri, I'm sprinting alongside you in the FF&P 60 Days challenge. I've had highs of 580 words in 30 mins and a drool-inducing low of 2 words (yes, I typed that correctly, two words). So, I wish you all the best in the large-ass-inducing race. I'm happy you ignored Famous Author and Venerable Agent to write the story *you* want to write.

  5. Oh Keri, I can relate. My son runs the real marathons, but I write them. I did NaNoWriMo last year -- almost drove myself insane (my husband was in England part of the time -- perfect timing for him to be away!) but I did finish the first draft of a 65K story I'm just getting back to now. It was wild, but it worked.

    I wrote about it and my thoughts were published at Editor Unleashed here:

    I did my own personal CincyWriMo in April to make sure I finished the revisions to the WIP I was working on, and that also worked. I seem to need this sort of deadline to motivate me, even if it's self-imposed.

    Do I share my WIPs? Ever heard "it takes a village . . . ?" Yeah, you could say that about my stories. As you well know.

    I'll be rooting for you, Keri -- you can do this!!

  6. I've done Nanowrimo four years in a row. I think it's my form of "Outlining." Get the first draft done in a month, and then spend a year completely rewriting and revising it. As for talking about the WIP? I find that if I talk about it too much, either somebody discourages me or all of the fire goes out of it. Tends to be between me and my journal until the first draft is down.

  7. Tonya--pre-cooking the meals? You make me feel shame. We're still riding together, right?

    RK--Thanks. I needed that!

    KAK--11,023 yesterday. You? She goes by pages. I don't think in pages.

    RO--You work like a beast and it's paying off. Looking forward to my autographed Gabriella Richards colletion.

    Becke--nothing will make your fingers fall off. You have fingers of steel.

    Uppington--I think I'm with on the silence until the first draft is done.

    Gotta go--Candace Havens will have my ever-spreading butt if I don't get my 20 pp in today (gulp!)

  8. Congratulations, hon! I'm in a similar position, but months behind you. Thanks for the inspiration. xoxo K
    PS -- LOVE LOVE LOVE the word crapdraft. Makes me breathe easier when I'm writing one.

  9. Kate,
    That's exactly why I call it that. So that when I write such classic sentences as "He glared at her, glaringly," I can keep going knowing without reaching for the next donut and getting powdered sugar all over the keys.