Well it was when I woke up this morning so I am going to continue with that thought. I actually had a Twitter question. Yes ME! It came from a fine Twitter person, @PenNamePublishing who can be found at pennamepublishing.com
. They weren't expecting a shout out but they were my first Twitter question people ever so they get a free one. Who knows right?
So stopping with all the hoopla, the question;
"Pen Name Publishing @PenNamePublish Dec 14
@thievesguildbiz Do you have tips for fellow authors struggling with their focus during a #wordsprint"
AND, my pithy 140 or less character reply:
"Dec 15: @PenNamePublish I start with the #WSJ While I am reading I visualize the scene I want to #wordsprint; color, sounds, smells then plop people "
I felt the more I reflected on this that it deserved a bit more of an answer than what I could give in 140 characters so hence here we are, to begin.
I really do that, I visualize the scene I want to have the characters in. Are they in a coffee shop, a bar, standing on a street corner or off to the side being healed in the middle of a battle with a 1000 zombies and their evil overlord. I haven't written the zombie/overlord thing yet but I am starting to think about it.
I wonder if they are calm, mad, mad at circumstances or at one another. Boy and girl, boy and boy, girl and girl, I think you get the idea there. I then think about what are they wearing and why are they wearing it? Is it hot out? Cold? Rainy or sunshine? To me I find that the environment is just as important as the brick and mortar setting. They could be inside a coffee shop but it is raining outside so people come in wet, annoyed, and shedding water and jackets making our heroes wet which annoys them, which influences how they are speaking to one another.
I then wonder what exactly are the speaking about? Sports, a date. the impending doom that is about to befall the city that no one else knows about? Do they have a Dr. Who outlook 'oh well this was going to happen anyway so I can't stop it but I can rescue that puppy over there.' If they do rescue the puppy does it have a 'Butterfly Effect' on the universe.
Does their conversation have anything to do with the story itself? Is it a plot device to give backstory? I am a dialogue driven writer. I would much rather have two people arguing over the color and size of the red dragon that is about to breathe fire on them and then eat them, then, stopping to describe the dragon. I'm the same way with backstory. I would so much rather have people talk about the party last night where Leif dumped Harriet for Juan last night then tell the reader outright. Just so you know I wondered if it would be cooler to have the whole thing filmed on a smartphone and show up on YouTube or something?
Just so you don't think I'm a 'plotter' or something? Yeah, I'm not. I do not write this stuff down. Don't get me wrong I should be writing this down, I just don't. I like to keep it in my head until all the little voices start to gang up on me to get it out so they can put something new in my head. Like the Zombie Overlord instead of the Evil Overlord thing a couple of paragraphs ago. I have been thinking about this post for about a week and today the Muse said 'sit your ass down and write it' so here we are, writing it.
So I visualize the coffee shop, the people, and I do mean what they are wearing, clothing, the people around them, the tone of the conversation... I also think about how people around them are hearing the conversation. I LOVE to go to public places and eavesdrop on people. I am not looking for their conversations, ok, ok if it is a really juicy and good one I am, but for the most part I am looking to hear how the conversation is going and how other people are reacting to it. Take my word for it, people listen to your conversations when you are out and about. I will listen to your smartphone conversation just because I can.
Finally? I guess? I wonder how the conversation then effects and affects the story in general. Did it move it anywhere? Did it help? I might write twenty of these things and only one or two make it to the story. A lot of it is for my own benefit so I know how the characters interact.
For the longest time I was giving myself a daily word count of 2000 words a day. I found that I was starting to write in 300 word bursts and it wasn't about the quality of the words that I wrote it was all about the amount. Does not make for good stories. I stopped. I told myself that I had to write, everyday. I saw somewhere on Twitter a post that said "I wrote today, I wrote 7 good words. Now to find the right order for those words" yeah I paraphrased that but you get the idea.
To finish that thought, I do my best to write a 1000 words a day but I don't beat myself up if I only get 7. I think we all have to have goals of one sort or another and that is mine.
Hope that helped on word sprints.