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starting all over
in US

I've officially started my new WIP, on 25th December 2008. I've been pondering this for some time now and had made some notes in my diary. I had also written the first chapter longhand in the journal.

When the story started bubbling, I had a different premise. As I revised the MS I am currently shopping, the premise of the new MS (titled NOT A WAR)changed to one with political overtones. Perhaps, because of what is happening all around me. I am not sure what to make of this change. Whether this should be a more social issues oriented novel, or like I said the modified political one.

I am, for now, writing in the first person--though, I have yet to find the voice of my character. This character is a less roguish, more introverted version of Dilbar (for those friends who know Dilbar from The Dickens Challenge, you know he is a scoundrel.) He'll have traits of Dilbar, but I can't find that mid voice he should have.

I'm not even sure it should be in first person. The only way to find out is experiment with a few chapters.

Well, it's early days yet. My target a 1000 words a day, to get the first draft done in a 100 days.

Let the games begin.

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What an exciting post this day after Christmas! I have been thinking similar things, although I've been thinking of starting my Dickens Challenge all over from the beginning and rewriting it. Hmm. I'll let you know. Good luck!

Hello Lisa,
Yes, I've been excited all along as I thought through the story line. Now that the actual writing is at hand, pragmatism is taking over, controlling some of the enthusiasm.
Oh yes, please do start your writing, or rewrite. I'd love to read your work.
Thanks for the good luck.

Starting Over

Usman --

Congratulations, and all good wishes. I loved Dilbar and know you have another great voice inside you.

At the moment, I'm also trying to do 1000 words a day, with mixed results; sometimes it's a snap to do 2000, other times I can barely get 500, although I just stay there, cranking it out, until I get to 1000. It's a grind sometimes, but it's great to see the stack of pages get thicker.

Starting January 1, I'm going to be hosting a different blogger each week in the Blog Cabin area of my site. They're all people who are fully engaged in living creatively -- novelists, composers, screenwriters, songwriters, painters, etc. Some of them are famous -- we'll have two Oscar winners, for example -- and some of them are just good. They'll all be talking about creativity -- what it is to them, how they experience it, how they practice it, how they build it into their lives. We're starting with a terrific British mystery writer named Christopher West. I think you'll find something there most weeks that will be helpful to you. I've learned a lot just editing them.

Keep writing.

Timothy Hallinan

Thanks for the wishes.
part of the difficulty at this stage is structuring the story. I'm not an outliner. I'll be visiting your blog regularly, and can imagine the excitement of talking to people who are involved in the creative life. There would be so much to learn from others who have tread this path with success.
A question: do you type, use longhand, or a wordprocessor?

Re: Starting Over

Hi, Usman -- I write on a laptop, using an Open-Source word processing program called Open Office Writer, which I think kicks Microsoft's butt. It's free online, and one nice thing about it is that it allows you to save in Word format so people who are still enslaved by Microsoft can read your documents.

I can't outline. I just dive in and see where I'm pulled. One of the creztivity bloggers, an Oscar-winning screenwriter and songwriter, thinks of himself as an archeologist -- the story is already there, and he just has to be careful unearthing it. I think that's a brilliant metaphor -- it precisely describes the way I work.

Sometimes, midway through a chapter or standing under a shower, I'll get an idea about how one plot strand might work out, and I keep a document in which I enter all those thoughts, usually as short paragraphs. That's as close as I get to an outline until I'm about 60% of the way through, when I go back and make a retroactive outline just to make sure I haven't forgotten stuff, contradicted myself, left a ball in the air, put someone in two places at the same time, whatever. I often find that this process clarifies a number of points about the story.


Tim Thank You,

The archeology metaphor is brilliant, I agree.

On my last MS, I wasted tonnes of tine after finishing the MS, as I introduced new elements and characters. So, this time around I have adopted a more, go-slow technique. I do not have an outline but a one page excel document where I am pointing down directions or a road map for future use. I did that in about one hour.

I think the retroactive outline seems the way to go for seat of the panters, like me. If that is done midway, a lot of grief can be saved later.

Thanks for this input.

Your question

Hey, Usman -- are you writing?

Just wanted to let you know that Christopher West answered the question you asked him on my site.

Tim Hallinan

I was off on vacation two days.
I'm visiting your site now.

Thanks for the Visit

Thanks for stopping by One Bite at a Time. I knew you weren't dissing crime fiction in your comment on Tim's blog, but I can't resist a playful shot when one presents itself. Your track record was secure.

Good luck with the WIP. You've set an ambitious, but makeable, target.



Usman --

Are you writing? How's the 100-day commitment coming?


PS -- Thanks for your comment on Robb's post.

Re: Writing?

Hi Tim,

I've stopped writing this past week or so. I think I need a break.

I've lived upto the comittment of writing. The only thing is that this time I decided to write longhand as an experiment. So I dont have an exact count.
But writing longhand has helped me focus my thoughts. I've realised there is a basic flaw in the story. I'll start typing after my 'rest' from writing.

I'm the one who has to thank you for giving us the opportunity to avail such awesome thoughts. Thank You all over. Tim.

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