Archive for the ‘ROW80 Check’ Category

Lots of writing has been done in the past three weeks. I have been doing some back story work as well as trying to tighten up the ideas behind a story that I let drift to the side. I am really liking the basis of my WIP Assassin’s Ward, and am trying to do the research needed to turn it into a real piece. That being said I haven’t done as much work on the actual writing of the story as I might of liked to.

Right now I am at a bit of a stand still, and I figured I would give you another bit of advice from my “expert in my own head” POV.

Don’t let your character(s) run roughshod over your work. Now, I am all about letting your characters get out there and do their own thing. We wouldn’t want them to be one-dimensional and all that, but there are limits. After all we live in a world with laws and rules ourselves. We can’t really do what we want all of the time, can we?

Okay, maybe you can, and for that I envy you.

Anyway, back to your character. You spent all of your time creating your setting and your detailed plot lines. Your antagonist is the perfect adversary and everything is balanced but for one detail. Your protagonist is being a big giant pain in the rear and won’t go where you need her to go.  She would rather go off to Paris than to visit her aunt in Upstate New York, but you need her to meet the love of her life there. It serves you right for creating a strong-willed, independent minded woman. What do we do now? Have her meet the person of her dreams in Paris? No! There is a reason you wanted Upstate New York so get her there.

Most people are not going to willingly give up a trip to Paris. The reason not to do so must be compelling. It must be a matter of great import and weight. What if her uncle fell ill? True, it’s been done before, but it does have the right weight. Ah, but you want to stick out from the crowd, and who could blame you. Fine, I get it. Instead of her uncle falling ill what if he unexpectedly came out of his five year coma and seems none the worse for wear, and it is her favorite uncle. The man that practically raised her. She couldn’t go to France now, could she.

You’ve got her.

There are going to be times that you need to steer your stubborn as a jackass protagonist to get them pointed in the right directions. What you first plan out almost never works smoothly, and can often be less interesting than the situations that arise through happenstance. In my example above the story has many more things that can now occur upstate than just falling in love. Her aunt will be overjoyed and also paranoid that something bad will happen again. The uncle will feel compelled to make up for lost time, and that includes the time he wasn’t able to “father” your protagonist just as she meets the man or woman she is destined (maybe) to spend the rest of her life with.

Wow! You are good.

Had you not worked at this your character would have either destroyed your whole story by escaping to Paris or would have simply flowed through your plot points as easy as going down a stream. Now there are several things at stake.

These are the ideas I try to take with me as I look at my characters. Early in my writing my characters just flowed, and the stories were fine. Now I try to get more in there and the stories are definitely getting better. I can only hope that I continue developing, and I hope you do as well.

Enjoy and keep writing.

Just a little announcement on my plans to rejoin the ROW world and get myself back on the horse. I’ve done lots of random writing in the last two years, but nothing approaching a cohesive effort. My goal for ROW is to make sure to focus on a given story until it is run down or running freely, depending on the situation. In order to do this I will be writing everyday as well as posting my progress here. If I say that I have been slacking, smack me upside the head and tell me to get on with it. Nothing like positive reinforcement to keep things moving along.

I also want this round to be filled with advice that I have learned through my trials and tribulations. These will be seen on the “Edutainment” portion of my website so that others can try and learn from my daily fumblings.

So here is to all of you doing that which you were put on this Earth for.


Even if it is only yourself.


Posted: August 24, 2011 in ROW80 Check

I generally don’t go for the self-congratulatory message, but I will make an exception. My first draft of my novel “Professional Development” is complete and in the hands of my scrutinizing wife. After she tells me what she wanted more of I will  read it and then also determine what seems to be lacking as well. Then it is re-write time. A second draft, then another re-read and then final touches.

How did I know I was done. My characters had nothing left to do. I started to write another scene the other day, and it was akin to my characters twiddling their thumbs. They were doing something for the sake of doing it.

Now, I still have more words to write during this challenge. While the critique is occurring I am going to start work on my second story. This one is still a mystery, but with a small hint of the paranormal to it. NO VAMPIRES OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. Just a subtle stretching of human senses.

ROW Update 8/10

Posted: August 11, 2011 in ROW80 Check

Last few days a little unproductive. I have been doing a fair bit of reading in order to find out what I need to add. Main story arc is finished, Now I have two side stories to flesh out and all will be complete. I still have plenty of time to meet my goal, so I am not worried. Besides, re-reading has really allowed me to do some minor editing. The only thing I am allowing myself to do in that regard now is to add details. I will worry about cutting out slack later.

I trust that all of you are doing fine on your goals. Keep plugging away.

ROW August 7th Update

Posted: August 8, 2011 in ROW80 Check

So, this week saw some good  writing being done. I am inching forward toward my goal. I’ve seen some growth from my main characters, and the secondary ones are becoming more rounded. I am looking at adding some details to some of the scenes. Some are brilliant, and some read as if they were being viewed through vaseline. This week’s goal is 5000 words by Friday. To all of you out there I say good luck. Keep plugging along.

July 31st Update

Posted: August 1, 2011 in ROW80 Check

So. Here I am in the last month before I have to worry about education the youth of america. The last month for some major headway in my novel. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t scared. Only this is different.

You see, I love my job. It just doesn’t usually leave me a lot of writing time. In the summer I am most productive between nine and noon. During the school year I teach then, so my writing shifts to night time. That normally means that a lot of writing doesn’t get done during the school year.

This time, however, I am fearful because this time I need to find a way to read, re-read, have others read, and edit my work. I want a finished MS by the end of the year. That is what I fear. A finished work both excites and scares me. What if no one likes it? What if everyone likes it?

ROW80 has been a great boon to me, as it has really kept me on track even with the distractions that surround me. TV watching is down, as is computer time. I am still on the same words per day pace as I originally set out. It has been the best bit of writing that I have done in a long time. I am only 20000 words from my goal now.

I would like to thank all the ROW80 folks out there. I read your updates for inspiration, and I want to say sorry for not commenting on all of you, but I need to get back to writing. After all, there are murders to solve.

ROW July 24th

Posted: July 24, 2011 in ROW80 Check

Good week just passed. Better one in the future. Looking forward to reading my story a bit to see what bits need some shoring up. This is not editing, as I am looking to only add scenes where needed. No changes to what is there. I hope you all are doing wel with your projects.