“Book in a Week” Week, Day 1

New Year, new opportunities, right?

I am part of the Yahoo fan group for an author. The group has been very active in the past few days. I love this group, not only because the people are very kind, but because several more established authors are on it in addition to the main authoress. Everyone, writer or not, is always nice and quick to offer advice and encouragement on anything from writing to personal issues. Plus, most of the people are just sweet and open and wonderful.

Most of what I get by way of advice or writer-camaraderie comes from another author’s Yahoo group, not from my publisher’s similar group. Whatever. The authors are more real here, and the atmosphere is relaxed.

The point I was getting at is that 2013 was a difficult year for many writers. The author in question popped in to wish us a happy new year and update us on her work in progress. She shared some of her tribulations and hurdles, also stating that many of her writer friends had experienced the same thing.

Flood gates: Open!

Another writer chimed in with her difficulties. I chimed in with mine. Another with his. And another. And another. Group excuse? Astrological anomaly? Increasingly busy schedules world wide? Whatever. Maybe we’re the only ones. It doesn’t matter. I felt like everyone was supportive, sharing our misery.

Then the group owner mentioned something she was doing — Book in a Week. It’s not literal (who the hell could actually DO that?), but more of an excercise in productivity. Basically, you write and write. You pause for nothing, not to fact check, not to research, not to decide on a name, not to allow that bitch of an internal editor/critic screw with your head, and especially not to go back and reread or edit. The goal is to plow through, get the story out, and to fill in the other stuff later.

Here is a link to a site describing it:

http://www.book-in-a-week.com/what-is-biw/

The group owner/author I was referring to suggested the writers in her group do it all this week. If we want to, we will post our word count, a paragraph-plus, and/or why we didn’t write.

I like the idea. I’d post my counts here for the full week if I didn’t think I would tax my few readers beyond their limits of tolerance (of course, if I get feedback otherwise, I can report my progresses here).

I see it as a jump start…or at least I did.

Remember that short story I mentioned I was working on last week? Well, I finished it. (Go me, right?). This is typically dangerous territory for me. I tend to “take a break” which then turns into “I haven’t written in a MONTH!”. So, as I let my newest story sit to ripen and grow cool before I edit it and send it to my beta readers, I will jump right into the next project. It even makes sense. When my just-finished story passes or fails, I will be mired in the next project. It’s never good to live for one single thing.

To those reading this, I welcome any feedback or thoughts — whether you’re a writer or not.

Until then, my measly (but significant, all things considered) word count is 1,500. Here is a rough, unedited excerpt (and yes, the story as a whole could be considered a romance…not this part, though):

 

Gavyn looked up. He stopped walking, dread and terror in his throat.

In front of him lay a field of twisted, man-sized scarecrows made from blackened sticks, dressed in shabby clothes. Some were dressed like soldiers from the Anrian army, others like farmers, and some like common peasants. Occasionally, one was dressed in richer clothing or animal skins, which hurt Gavyn’s heart to see. Atop each stick figure was a carved pumpkin, and each was etched with a face of horror and pain. This one had three eyes, another had fangs, this one had a jagged scar up its head, and some seemed to be nothing but teeth and eyes. They all were posed as though in the middle of an orgiastic dance of pain, ready to lunge and pierce and bite. Gavyn took one involuntary step back and gasped in surprise.

The pumpkinheads began to move.

In a profane parody of human movement, the creatures lifted themselves from their perches, stumbled like drunken sailors, and cavorted. Then they came for him.

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~ by Darren Endymion on January 6, 2014.

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