On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Pantzer Problem Solving -Wordcount

Yes, I am a pantzer (writing by the seat of my pants, flying into the mist, driving into the fog) and I write Out Of Sequence. I'm also obsessive about wordcount (to prove to myself that I'm progressing, and to hold myself accountable). So what happens when I write up to a scene (or several) that I've already done and are previously "counted," like yesterday?

I keep a separate file, called Wordcounts and as I write I copy the new stuff into the file called 09-19-05 (the date). Yesterday (you people are keeping me motivated) I didn't make my 5000 words, but I did make my 20 pages. I wrote 4422 words = 20 pages and 1 line. And I did that plot thing.

I had to revise a chapter because of the plot (and I'm setting up characters for the next Heart book I hope to sell), and I reached a scene which was no longer applicable because of the plot growth and salvaged only a couple of paragraphs out of 5 pages. :(

With those "unuseable" scenes I do a couple of things. First, since the plot has moved past it, I look to see if I can incorporate it into the earlier scene that I wrote that had the same arc. In this instance, I could have, but it would have made the previous scene longer and more unweildy. That is, I could have satisfied my artistic ego to add some cute dialogue with the kitten instead of keeping the scene leaner for my readers. I went with craft.

I also saved the scene in a file I call "Holds," which is a catchall -- for backups, revised scenes, original scenes, bits I don't use. And when Heart Quest is published, I can post this particular scene -- a cut one -- on my website, which also pleases my readers.

That's it. I'm tired (and while writing this, I had inspiration for the next book and wrote a scene for it in another window. You NEVER turn down inspiration unless you're at a place where you can't write or dictate or jot a note. I wrote the beginning of Heart Quest before a memorial service -- the mother of a friend died of alzheimer's complications and age). Anyway, I'm tired and it's a work day.

So checking in to you with my free Monday, I did well. I also got a reality check budget wise, so it's more Costco shopping for me. But that was the tradeoff and I'm happy.

Love to all,


Blogger moonhart said...

Hey, I LOVE Costco! I got my special sale coupons sitting right here. Besides, their roasted chickens ROCK!

I am doing some writing now after tearing through Gail D's The Compass Rose, which I liked. Different though.

And I can't wait to read that kitten scene since cats are off-limits. Xanth would be quite mortified that some humans could actually be allergic to cat/Fams.


Terri (who has always wanted and orange tabby)

8:09 AM  
Blogger moonhart said...

Oh Robin! I found this and thought of you!



1:42 PM  
Blogger moonhart said...

okay. go to the Pyramid collection and look at item #P23-964


1:44 PM  
Blogger CE Murphy said...

Robin, do you do 5000 words daily, or is that a weekend/day off thing?

10:37 AM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Oh, so sorry you can't play with cats, Moon. I live in dread that I'll develop an alergy...

Thanks, Terri! I get the Pyramid Collection catalogue, but missed this -- then one of my readers sent me the link, too!

Catie, 5000 words is my off-day, deadline hell wordcount. It IS 8+ hours for me, usually, and what I can do if I push and the muse cooperates.

WHEN I become a full time writer, I'm going to aim for 1/2 of that -- 2500, 4 hours, so I don't become brain dead.

3:39 PM  
Blogger CE Murphy said...

Whew. I was goign to be really jealous/impressed if that was just your daily output. :)

4:10 PM  

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