July 24, 2011

ROW 80 Check In: Importance of Foundation

Sundays and Wednesdays seem to roll around with greater speed since I joined the A Round the Word in 80 Days challenge. Not a complaint, just an observation.

For those that might not know, my mother and I are writing the sequel to Depression Cookies, our coming-of-age story. Continuing with the two-author theme, Mom again writes the mother's point of view while I write the now college-age daughter's point of view. It's a delicate balance. We often need to discuss plot and character development and how our characters' stories weave together.

Wednesday, before I rebooted my 750-word-a-day writing goal, it was time for a strategy conference. Two hours later, I was exhausted. Armed with tons of notes and ideas, I was also inspired.

Somtimes over-stimulation is a curse. I found myself so overwhelmed with ideas, it was hard to harness them. I was ready to jump straight into the juicy scenes, but building takes patience. Without a good foundation, the structure falls.

I find it easier to write "in time" instead of skipping around and then sewing it back together. But I might have to give into the urge to write a few pivotal scenes and then go back. What to do, what to do.

My progress this week:

Wednesday, 7/20
Results: Lots of story consultation and pages of notes, but no words written toward my goal. Did post.
Reaction: Happy with the progress in the story even though I didn't write.

Thursday, 7/21 to Saturday, 7/23
Results: 2,034 words written on the sequel (averaging 678 words per day). Posted every day.
Reaction: Mixed. I wanted more, but I also feel I'm in the "building momentum" stage. I'm ramping back up for some big writing days. Now, I just need my co-author, AHEM, to catch up.

My new WIP total: 8,109 words!

One thing I've definitely learned... if I'm going to seriously consider doing NaNoWriMo, I must go in prepared. Writing 50,000 words in a month won't leave a lot of time for plot developing, outlining, and other tricks of the trade. We featured a great guest post about NaNoWriMo this week. Check it out if you missed it.

What do you do when you find yourself over-stimulated?


Robin M said...

That's neat you and your mother are writing a story together. I've heard other folks doing tandem writing that way before. I'm contemplating NaNoWriMo this year. I've done it the past three years and have a idea, but might concentrate on editing current wips and polishing them. Well see. When I find myself overstimulated - sit down and read a book.

Tia Bach said...

I love a good book for distraction, too, Robin. But I must admit sometimes I need to zone out, and not all the books I read do this for me (or they further stimulate me).

Sometimes a good So You Think You Can Dance episode is soothing to my over-taxed brain! Thanks for your encouraging words (and congrats on NaNoWriMo for 3 years. Wow!).

Diana Ligaya said...

I can relate to the over stimulation! I was in a similar situation this week. I've always found that sometimes, I need to get the scene that's been on my mind out before I can we move on. Good job on all you accomplished so far!

Anonymous said...

Heh, I tend to let the overstimulation continue until things sort themselves out in my brain. :)

Congratulations on all the progress!

Jan said...

Tia, I think my entire summer so far has been overstimulated! This is a great insight and congratulations on the new WIP.

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell said...

What do I do? Hmm. I think your ides about watching a TV show that takes absolutely no brain power helps, although I like to do mindless housework, too.

I have characters who take over my brain, so I like to silence the rest of my brain to let them talk.

I think you're letting things percolate nicely and you should be proud of progress.

Thanks for dropping my my blog, too!

Nancy (lapidaryprose)

Tia Bach said...

Thanks for the encouragement. It's the best part of ROW80 and my writing community. I'm experimenting with letting the chaos take control and writing out of order. It feels weird, but good.

(Jan, thanks! Hope you are doing well. Been missing seeing you around!)

alberta ross said...

as a dot all over the place kind of writer I would cut straight to the exciting bits - I do majoy / exciting scenes first not even in order then - when they have been mollified in brain I start weaving them together with the more ordinary scenes which have been content to wait their turn - drives my friend from forever/editor to demented distraction!!!

well done on your week - ideas ideas after all -all the writing skills in world can't make up for no ideas so important - wallpaper TV is good or I find the silence I need gardening whatever it takes

all the best for this week

Lisa Carter said...

Hey Tia,
I absolutely *stall* when I'm overstimulated. My brain doesn't know where to start, how to process, and I end up literally sitting still with the pencil in my hand. I feel that way these days, completely torn between a variety of projects and end up writing comments on my favorite blogs instead! LOL.
I'm going to try my old trick of putting everything else out of sight, picking one project, setting a time limit and go with that. We'll see how I do.
Congrats on your progress with the WIP, the ROW80 challenge and preparing for NaNoWriMo.... No wonder in your next post you wonder about balance as a writer/mom/business person. Phew. I'm exhausted just reading about all you do. ;-)

Tia Bach said...

Alberta, Thanks! I've learned so much from ROW80 and feel energized. I did as several suggested and jumped to a pivotal/fun to write scene. I'm so glad I did. It made me excited to see it all come together!

Lisa, your support has helped me define myself as a blogger. I can't thank you enough. I need to "clear my space" and focus, so thanks for the reminder.