It’s a wrap!

“So You Think You Can Write” 2013

So do I? I have no flipping idea. From what I can tell, I am creative enough to get a few points on choreography and interpretation. Maybe a few more points from the judges on character. I certainly going to gather a few criticisms on style and technical proficiency, and frankly I ignored conventions almost entirely. (That was mostly due to the fact I have no idea what the conventions are and was too [lazy?] to figure them out.)

All in all I think I would be one of those guys they sent back to practice for the second audition, then dropped like a rusty anchor with no rode off the side of a fast-moving ocean liner in the mid Atlantic, with plenty of well wishes but (hopefully) never to be seen again.

I’m good with that.

The Method
I managed to write pretty much everyday. For the first part of the year I was generally a week ahead and L had time to edit the entry before they posted. By late August I was unemployed and the writing slowed instead of increased (mostly a matter of lack of routine and discipline) and she got busy. I imagine the typos and technical inconsistencies increased at that point — I have no idea because I’m not going back to read that long-winded crap 🙂 — but hopefully not so much to make it unreadable, or any more than it innately was.

I generally wrote entries during my morning 15 minute coffee break. This fact tended to dictate length and content as I often was too busy to go back and look what I had previously said. Weekends were feast or famine: if I was relaxed I would pound out words and multiple entries that at least related to each other. If I was busy you got drivel. After I stopped working, this system sort of fell apart and it was catch as catch can with often disastrous results.

The finale was written all in one marathon session (about 6 or 7 hours with breaks) for a total of 5,531 words. Given my laxity in the preceding days (weeks?) I had to forgo finishing up a lot of threads, but at least I think I brought some conclusion to the table and definitely left myself open to a sequel in case anyone wants the Hollywood rights.

The Audience
Of the 5 or 6 people I know look at my blog, I know for a fact I lost my mother early on. Really I can’t blame her: who wants to see her baby make a mockery of literature? Day after day. Incessantly. Actually I think it was mostly the chronological nature of blog posting. Miss a day or three and suddenly you have to scroll down to figure out where you were and what the hell was happening. Add to that the insane flipping around of character and plot that I admittedly used mostly to amuse myself on days when I had nothing to say and voila!

I am pretty sure I lost L somewhere in September although she is being pretty cagey about admitting it. C stuck it through mostly although I again suspect she shifted to a weekly schedule rather than daily.

As for the other few, who knows. I know they were out there but you would have to be pretty insane to make the effort to keep up given the, shall we say, odiferous, nature of the output. Bravo (or more likely Brava) to those who managed to finish the slog. Your medals are in the mail; wear them with pride!

Oh, at one point Laura seemed to be reading along and passed on my sentimental thoughts about change to other co-workers. I really can’t imagine she kept up after that but it was nice to see. Still of two minds about that entry as it had more than bit of truth in it but was way more wishful thinking than any reality I think I am capable of managing.

By the Numbers

    377 entries in total (including the forewords in December 2012)
      7 entries were completely D’autres
      31 entries were trip reports that I (hokeley tied in)
      8 or so missed days (most egregiously in late December 2013)
    12 and bit months
    361 days
January 13601 words
February 8092 words
   NYC Trip    6166 words
March 9092 words
April 6215 words
   At Last Trip    7045 words
May 6261 words
June 8201 words
July 3744 words
   Sailing 2013    11890 words
August 8892 words
September 8051 words
October 7120 words
November 6446 words
December 9142 words

And the sums are…
94,857 words in It’s Novel
25,101 words in Trip Reports &
119,958 words in total

Short stories are 1,000 to 9,000 words
Novellas are 20,000 to 40,000 words
Novels are 40,000 words and up. Some like War & Peace or Les Miserables exceed 500,000 words.

Tools & Tech
I wrote almost entirely in IA Writer mostly on my iPad but later on the desktop version. Files were stored on my Dropbox account and synched to all my various devices. Upon completion of an entry I would post it to WordPress (generally from the iOS app) and schedule the entry for that appropriate time and date. L would come by later and edit the entry directly in WordPress. Each month I would start a new Writer file and begin again.

All in all it was pretty successful and the only qualm I have with Writer is its habit of making a .md file for use in iCloud as a default. I tended to just make a copy of a preceding file and rename it instead of screwing with their idea of a proper workflow.

Issues and Thoughts
One of the major drawbacks of the digital age, at least for those of us with spatial memories, is the difficulty of looking back to refresh our memories or browse old ideas. I am a skim reader and a pile of paper is way easier to flip through than a digital document, especially one broken up into 12 sections.

For those who have better memories, then the search function is a great tool, but i ma more likely to remember where on a page a character resides than what the hell I decided to name him.

I think word count/writing session would be a better measure than writing /per day. A longer entry has more cohesiveness and less pressure to just get it done.

I can’t type worth sh*t anymore. My arthritis has locked at least two fingers on my right hand and even C mocks my typing style now 🙂 Add into that my brain that works twice as fast as I can type and you get typos, missed words and a whole lot of nonsense sometimes. Actually the most bizarre twitch is the one that introduces way too many double spaces: hate that.

Rewriting is necessary and endless. The few times I went back to seriously reread and entry I almost inevitably started rewriting it and adding plot details which I knew I was going to regret later (see bad memory above). The problem is that you are never satisfied and stopping is more a frustration issue than a happy choice.

The Future
Well, I think I am not going to do that again. I will, however, try to keep up the daily posting, and, hopefully to my Mother’s delight, try and make it more personal—or at least less about bizarre rabbits and egotistical beavers.

I find I have enjoyed Edward and the Beaver and hopefully will try a short story or the like featuring their furry little asses.

I also want to try a few more spoken-word poems, just for the rhythm of it and have been toying with scripts again. Seems I consider myself more of a dialogue guy and less of a descriptive writer.

And visuals. I miss visuals. I think a few more videos and some photography would be nice. I cam considering cross-posting my entries in Facebook and Twitter to drum up some readers as does the inestimable Mr. Woods, but not sure that I am ready for such fame; we’ll see.

Anyway, as the pig always says, “Th-th-th that’s all folks!”

One thought on “It’s a wrap!

  1. I’d call it a pretty successful endeavor, all told. The hardest part of writing a novel is actually writing a novel, and you’ve done it – one day at a time. That’s more than I ever accomplished in my multiple abortive attempts to write something longer than short story length!

    That being said, a post a day is an awfully tough way to read a novel. By the time we reached the end, I’d long forgotten what it was all about – but now the entire work is available for rereading at leisure, in one long session.

    I think it’s a significant achievement, Bruce.

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