Wednesday, January 05, 2011

365 Day Challenge Update

I am proud to say I've now written every single day since December 1st.

Even when I was on a totally amazing Caribbean cruise with my family, I wrote.
The view from the balcony onboard The Adventure of the Seas

True, some days I only wrote for 30 minutes, and true, the writing wasn't all that great, but the important thing was that I kept on writing. I didn't interrupt my flow, and now I've reached page 100 of my work-in-progress. Quite an accomplishment considering it usually takes me six months to write that much. I got this far in a little over two!

I'm at about the halfway mark, which means I'm in that most dreaded part of first drafts: the middle. Why are middles so hard to write? I think it's because beginnings are full of promise and creativity. Anything goes. And you usually know your ending (generally speaking) before you begin, plus by the time you get to the end, you've got all this energy propelling you there. But middles are complicated. You have to follow the threads you started in your beginning. (Why did I make such a big deal about that minor character? Clearly he needs to come back into the story now. Hmm...) And you have to direct everything toward the end. Plus you have to keep the interest and the tension and the stakes high. It's a lot to think about.

At this point, I keep reminding myself I can fix everything in revision. I'm halfway there! I can totally do this. One of my favorite books when I was a child was The Little Engine That Could. (Between that and Free to Be You and Me, it's no wonder I ended up being the persistent optimist that I am!) So I'm thinking about that Little Blue Engine and chugging along, right up the mountain.

How's your 365 Day Challenge going?


Anonymous said...

I'm an outliner, so middles don't bother me. I'm at the middle of my WIP right now and loving it. It's the beginnings that are tough for me, when I'm still getting to know the characters and working out the voice. No matter how much prep and research I do, it takes being in the protagonist's head for awhile to become completely at comfortable living there.

Anonymous said...

That was me. For some reason your Name/URL button isn't working.

Lisa Nowak

Brenda Ferber said...

Lisa, I know just what you mean about beginnings. It definitely takes me a while (sometimes the whole first draft) to get to know my characters. And I'm an outliner, too. But my outlines are quite broad, so I still get into trouble in the mushy middle. Oh well. I'm muddling through. :-)

Beverly Patt said...

At the beginning of the year, I'd read your 365 day challenge post but it sent me into a new direction. I had a sweater I'd been knitting for about 3 years but still had a whole sleeve to go. I decided I'd take your challenge, but apply it to knitting. I pledged to knit at least one row a day. I'm proud to say I have done so, except when I had the flu for 2 days. I've finished my sweater and am now working on a smaller project.
Oh, and I am writing M-F and at least a little on the weekends:)
So, thanks for the challenge!

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