Day Five–Day of Accountability

How has the week felt to you?

I was teaching and grading papers for 7 hours yesterday and so unable to keep up with you all. However, I did get several hundred words written yesterday morning on my novel.

Today I do three things: write, pack and clean, go to lunch with a dear friend.

First–a quote, but I have to  back up and remind you of Ann Dee and her neighbor and the 4:30 am visitor. Remember that?

Okay, here’s the quote:

“The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that does not require his attention.”

Yup, Miss Flannery O’Connor. Great, huh? I love it. I shall now stare with abandon because I am a writer and I need to stare. Plus, we’ve give permission.

Yesterday I got to the place in the novel where I knew I only have a little ways to go before I am finished with a draft.

I think I am maybe four chapters from the finish.

Yippee ti yi yo!

Here is one more quote. This is to help you with the excellent writing you are all doing and it’s from our buddy Mark Twain.

“I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English—it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don’t let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don’t mean utterly, but kill most of them—then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.”

I’ll be back. And maybe Ann Dee, too. But she also might be up and moving around early in the morning and spying and unable to stop in later in the afternoon.

So off we go!

PS Don’t you think a hugely pregnant spy would be hilarious? I was feeling pretty clever thinking about Ann Dee as the main character in a funny spy novel when I remembered Fargo, which is a movie about as funny as a Flannery O’Connor short story (so funny until the end–and Fargo was funny except all those grisly murders). But, to the point, isn’t Marge Gunderson pregnant in that?

PMS I just got caught reading crazy good lines from Coen Brothers’ films.


Filed under Ann Dee, CLW, Voice, Writing Marathon, writing process

2 responses to “Day Five–Day of Accountability

  1. sueburton

    Working on revisions. Ran across this note-to-self in one of the later chapters: “This chapter is almost uninterrupted dialog. Fix with some violence or something.” My book is about as non-violent as it can get, so this made me laugh out loud.

  2. benschwensch

    Scrap whatever “goals” I said I had. I’ve done four new chapters, with some simple revisions on two of them. That feels GREAT.

    But word count per day isn’t working for me right now, unless I move on to a simpler story: so much needs to be done with the research I have. I’ve got to spend some time categorizing the info and making it more easily accessible, because I’m determined to get this historical as accurate to known details as I can. Since I’m talking about 1st Century A.D. in the British Isles, that’s a chore all by itself.

    And this week I must, Must, MUST get my tax info rounded up, recorded in some semblance of order and off to my tax lady. YIKES!

    SO, GOALS: go through tax files, and deliver them. Go through Research files—as much as possible (I’m working on 4 hours per day specifically with writing-oriented stuff; the rest is T.U.D. (Taxes Until Done). A few days where I have commitments, will be cut to 2 hours per day—but that’s only Friday (and possibly 3 hours on Wednesday) this week—sometimes it’s much worse.

    You all are SO impressive—thanks for being an inspiration.


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