Friday, July 17, 2009


o yesterday I participated in the 10k Fun Day. I set a goal for writing 10k words in one day. I realized after I had written 5k or so that I easily met this crazy pace of writing when I wrote the first draft of the Kindrily. I wrote the entire novel in two months while working a full time job. I didn't have much of a social life for those ten months, but my obsession with my story kept me happy (and busy).

Yesterday, however, was a different story.
The first 3-5k were fairly easy. I caught up on some new scenes for book two and three that I'd been thinking about. I wrote a couple thousand words for my new story. But then the creative juices ran dry. So to reach my goal I forced myself to keep writing. The result...

I wrote a scene where my characters were bitching at me. Asking why I was making them say and do stupid things. Questioning why in the world I'd make them downward spiral into a sea of mediocrity. Why? Because I was forcing myself to meet a word count with no brilliant ideas. My characters asked ME to physically jump into the story so they could smack me or hold my head under water for awhile until I promised to stop writing crappy lines and uninspired action scenes.

I took a hint, apologized, moved most of it to the Cutting Room Floor folder, and focused on short stories or my Why I Suck As A Writer essay. Don't worry, I then wrote a Why I'm A Good Writer essay.

I made 10k. 10,006 to be exact. Though my last words to cross the finish line read "This has been the most frustrating day of writing in my life." (sorry Milli)
It's a great idea this 10k in a day thing, but I've learned that I prefer writing when inspiration hits me. Otherwise, it doesn't do anyone much good. Especially my characters--who are still throwing darts at my photograph as we speak. Don't worry, they will forgive me. We have that kind of relationship.

What about you? Do your characters get mad if you don't do their story justice?


  1. Good for you! I only made it to 1500k. My goal was 5k. Oh well! At least I got some writing done.

  2. Your post shows you've figured out what will work for you. My feeling about challenges is you must make them fit what you need. So that's what I did yesterday. I knew 10k was too much for me, so I chose 5K and I worked on rewrite. In my case, it helped me to be nudged to tackle it.
    I'm sure your characters love you (you gave them life over and over). They just need you to be a happy writer.

  3. You are the only person I've seen who actually finished the full 10,000. Way to go.

  4. I can't write that fast so a 10,000 would totally frustrate me! I'm always amazed when other writers can get into the flow so effortlessly! But great job writing so much! Next time you sit down to write, everything will seem so easy!

  5. That was exactly my problem too! I was writing but it was just that writing. There was no story or depth to it.
    I think challenges help keep me in check, but I also need to take it slower and think through each scene and like you said, let inspiration guide their course.

    Still, 10k is awesome!!

  6. Like I told you earlier, I might've made it through 2 or 3k, and the remaining 7-8k would have been "I like cheese." repeated as many times as necessary.

    But I totally reached my goal of reading 10k words. Especially if subtitled anime counts. ;)

    I hope your characters forgive you soon. I had one break my pencil and stomp away years ago, and she hasn't been back since. Alas!

  7. Eeek! Congrats on getting it done! That's awesome.
    No, my characters don't get mad at me. Not yet, anyway. LOL

  8. You might want to hold onto that scene so that after you get your book published, you can post it for us to see. I'd be interested in reading it :)

  9. I am with you there. I couldn't write 10k good words in a day. If forced to I would be writing "This sucks" five thousand times. I have to write when I feel inspired to lay out a scene.

    Kudos to you for making the effort though.

  10. I wrote 9300 words yesterday, most of them decent, but it's rough draft and the first day with a new concept. Normally? Nope. Not close.

    I'm always excited to hear another author stand up and say "that doesn't work for me." The only writing advice that works is what works for YOU. We work very differently as writers and that's just fine, don't you think?

    Gratz on both the lesson and the goal.

  11. Corey, don't you worry. That scene is saved for my "behind the scenes" section after the book gets published. :)

    Congrats to all of you that did so well with your own goals. :)

  12. My characters never get mad at me. They know I have their best interests at heart. I do stop by and talk to them ( Sometimes it is helpful. If nothing else, I get a decent cup of coffee out of the deal.

  13. I have an award for you. Please come to my blog to claim it.

    Thanks and look forward to hearing from you.

    James Oh


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