My Online Literary Experiment: The Joy and Agony of Reaching 100 Pages

100 pages has always been my writing hump.

I can’t explain why this is true exactly, but it has been for each of the six books I have written (three published, and one online), but I do have some theories. By 100 pages, I will have presented and introduced much of the plot, the style of the work will be firmly in place, and by then each of my major characters would have stepped forward and taken a bow. The only time I can remember this not being true was when I wrote A Jane Austen Daydream and the main love interest would not emerge until almost page 200.

Sometimes this 100 page marker can be a book killer. I have abandoned work and actually started over from scratching after reaching that mark and not being happy with what I did building up to that almost holy number.

When Chapter 8 goes up on Friday, I will have reached 100 pages for Permanent Spring Showers, and with it, just like noted above, much of the plot and all of the major characters will be introduced. Yet, because of how I am creating this work and sharing it the feeling of relief I usually get at this point does not feel the same. Continue reading

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Biggby, I am sorry

Biggby, I am sorry.

I know, I know, I broke our little relationship up.

It’s my fault that our Sunday morning writing ritual disappeared, I understand that. Please hear me and try—try please—to remember that during those magical years, you were my favorite writing spot. That will always be true and it will never change.  I promise that. It meant something to me. What we had was real. I swear it was real for me.

I looked forward to our little Sunday meetings. Me arriving at 7 or so, shaking the rain or snow off of my coat, joking with your staff, playing your trivia game, ordering my breakfast, going to my favorite spot, setting up my computer and writing for two to three hours. It was so very special to me, and I like to think it was special to you too.

Biggby, you generated creativity. And for a writer, there is nothing that means more than that. You allowed me to breath there and relax, allow my writing to work at its own speed, not kicking me out, not rushing me…. and it all meant a lot to me.

Seriously, a lot. Continue reading

Relearning to Write

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has a theory of flow, which defines flow as “‘the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.” (You can read more about it here).

For me, this is more than a theory, this was my reality as a fiction writer. I can’t begin to tell you the days, weeks, and months, I would lose with a project. This is how my creativity used to work:

  • I would get a spark of an idea, scribble down a few notes, but chances are it will sit in my head from anywhere to a few months to years.
  • Suddenly, for some unexplained reason, my creativity is ready, and the idea is ready to be born, all I have to do is sit down.
  • I will start to work on the idea, not always in chronological order, allowing my creativity to dictate what to work on and when.
  • Bliss. Continue reading