Letters from the Battlefield, Part II


I’m actually writing bits of notes through the week for this blog, so these really *are* letters from the battlefield, rather than a Tuesday-morning summary.

words written this week: 21,472
pages written this week: 85

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
28,271 / 110,000

Next week is going to be slower. I’m going to Cork for the weekend (to see Eric Clapton perform!), and the house-movers will theoretically be delivering out stuff on Monday, so I’m figuring if I get 2K done a day Friday-Monday I’ll be doing very well indeed. Fingers crossed, and meantime, here’s the week’s Letter:


  • I’m finding myself going over previous material *way* more than I’m used to doing. Usually I glance over it and move on. This book, so far, I’m polishing, editing, revising, whatever you want to call it, before starting in on the next chapter or scene. V. strange.
  • noticing myself developing a tendency to write scenes that come later when they come to mind. This is unlike me. I’m still working sequentially, but I’ve done a few hundred words of stuff that’ll come much later–and might not be in the form I’ve got it down as at all.
  • Mng. New house is very quiet. However, if I’ve been doubting it (and I haven’t, because this happens every time): I cannot write with music, at least music with vocals, on. It slows me down to a snail’s pace. *turns off Nickelback, regretfully*
  • for the first time, I’m noticing an impulse to use Irish phrases in my writing–“taking the piss”, “yer man”, stuff like that. This is probably because Jo’s voice sounds so much like my own, but it’s startling to come up against and have to re-route my brain around to another phrase.
  • omg so tired. got up and swam a mile this morning. walked like 3, to & from the gym. can’t write, must sleee…snxxxt…
  • (after napping) desperate measures. have outlined this chapter. NEEEEEEEVER do that. but i’m writing SO SLOWLY. got to do something.
  • hey, combination of nap and outline helped. wrote 3000 words in 3 hours, the same amount of time it’d taken me to write 700 words earlier. yay!

  • *laughs out loud* emotional conflict, yay. emotional conflict in the form of choice of vehicles. that’s so very joanne, and I’m sitting here giggling at my own book/character/writing. Sometimes this is fun!
  • slog slog slog slog sloggity slog! the problem here is that–ok, the real problem *today* is that I’m at the house with the net connection and I’ve been chatting when I should’ve been writing–but the problem is that I’m reasonably accustomed to blowing through 5K in a day without really breaking a sweat. When writing 3500 words takes all day I feel like a real slowpoke. I know, I know, angels weep for me.

  • this is really kind of interesting. i haven’t written one of the Walker Papers books in over two years, and my *impression*, whether it’s accurate or not, is that I’m spending a lot more time crafting/changing/shaping sentences than I did in the previous books. I mean, yah, eventually they got re-shaped, but my *idea* of writing those books is a real stream-of-consciousness thing, with polishing coming later. What I don’t know is how much of this crafting-in-the-moment thing I’ve been doing with the other series’ I’ve been working on, though I’m pretty sure that with the Inheritors’ books it’s been a major part of the writing process. Ye gods, I’ve changed!

  • 8:42am: it’s times like this I wish I drank caffeine. *snxxxt*
  • closing in on the 25% mark, which is to say I’m about 5K away. Trying to convince myself that this is a worthy goal. Everyone will be so impressed if I post on Magical Words tomorrow and have gotten a quarter of the way through the book. Right? *tries to stay awake*
  • along those lines, the 25% mark lines…boy I hope I’m writing this right. No real sense of it right now. But, hm. My general formula for novels is (very roughly) the first third is setup, the second third is development, the third third is crescendo and conclusion. Right now I feel *miles* away from completing the setup, but I’m only 20% of the way through the book. In another 13-15%…yeah, probably I’ll have most of the setup done. So I shouldn’t worry…
  • Hm, maybe I’ve pep-talked myself up a little with writing this LftB. Ok. Short-term goal: finish chapter 7 (which got interrupted yesterday so I could go see The Incredible Hulk). Then I can take a shower, after which I’ll think about the next step.
  • there i go again, skipping ahead. just to the end of the chapter this time, but still. and lo, the end of the chapter (I’m up to 8 now) is the 25% mark, and lo, I am about two chapters away from finishing the set-up! Go figure. 🙂

3 comments to Letters from the Battlefield, Part II

  • I’ve only once written as fast as you are doing on a regular basis. That year actualy left me ill — with a stress-related illness that has plagued me ever since. I truly don’t know how you do it. I hope you’ll post somethign similar next week so I can follow your progress! (BTW. I loooove the novels you are working on today!)

  • You totally rock! If I write 10,000 words in a week I feel like I’ve earned a day or two off from work. And you’re going at more than twice that pace. I’m blown away by your ability to produce so much of such quality so quickly. Did I mention that you rock?