Trudy 12: What Have We Learned From This, Dorothy?

And here it is, the Twelfth Day of Trudy. This has been a valuable experiment and I have learned many things.

1. I should plan to write about a thousand words a day. That I can do without any trouble. (I did 1500 tonight, which gives me about 13,500 words.)

2. Forget me writng to an outline. I really do need to just write what’s in my head and figure out where it goes later. All you linear people, go yell at somebody else. I tried it. I hated it. :p

3. But I do like writing what I hear in my head and then going back to the white board to see where it goes and what it does for the story. So I think working out turning points and listing scenes on the board in a kind of organic outline as I go is a good compromise.

4. The collage is crucial, and putting it together during the first push of the first draft is essential. (I actually found the pink kid’s nail file yesterday at Kroger’s. I couldn’t believe it, they actually do put nail files in kid’s toy manicure sets. So much for “no sharp objects in children’s toys.” Which is great because there’s a pink nail file from a kid’s manicure set in the story. Well, you have to be there to enjoy this as much as I do. Never mind.)

5. When things go really wrong outside the book, don’t even try to write, just deal. Tomorrow is another thousand words.

So I’m pretty pleased even if I didn’t get to 20,000. I’ll do Trudy updates as I get it finished, but this forced march gave me what I needed and I’m happy. And it’s looking as if there might be another novella on the horizon, so I may try this again with that one–her name’s Mariposa–if it pans out. Having to report here kept me honest, and that’s a good thing.

Although I realise this was probably not exactly riveting. Argh. Well, it’s good to set the bar low. Let’s lower those expectations, shall we? Thank you.

16 thoughts on “Trudy 12: What Have We Learned From This, Dorothy?

  1. It was kind of interesting… seeing how you think. Expectations, like rules, are made to be broken. (Or they should be, at least.)

  2. Actually it’s dead riveting if you happen to be a writer. Especially an up-and-coming one who is sitting and staring at the screen and thinking “Real writers never have this problem.”

    I do feel a lot better now about my method of outlining, ie writing an outline but putting it in a format that I can change the bejesus out of later, while I’m actually writing. I tend to tweak the thing beyond recognition in very short order. Only diff is that I use a computer program, not a whiteboard, because I don’t have the maturity for a whiteboard and always end up drawing little stick figures beating each other with mss or something instead of writing.

  3. I find it fascinating how everyone handles writing differently. I’m a writer, that might be why.
    Still I’m glad to hear that I am not the only person who has difficulties w/outlines. I have tried to write out outlines before I get started on a project. I feel really good about it until the writing stage. After about 100 pages I run out of outline. Always happens.

  4. It’s riveting. Maybe it doesn’t seem it because it inspires less comment, but, nonetheless, there is a whole tribe of us out here reading, and thinking, “Hrm.”

  5. Well, I was riveted. And rooting for you (and still rooting for you, however long it takes you). Oh, and although I’ve never net her, I’m rooting for Trudy to tell you her story too.

  6. I go into the “riveted” camp. Well, actually, Trudy 11 was more of a cliffhanger than “riveted” — I was on the edge of my seat, and I’m so happy to see that things have worked out pretty well. Fascinating and enlightening look into the Life of a Writer. (-: Makes me want to try it myself.

  7. I loved the saga! The pathos! And, since I will be writing my first novel in November, I love the insight.

    I even made a collage – an idea from you, Jenny, I have a picture of it here:

    (only if you are interested, of course)

    Thank you for your candor, I love reading your blog and your books.

  8. I find it fascinating. I admire you for your brilliantly funny characters and books. Knowing that you are willing to try new things to see if they work and then adjust as you need to only adds to my respect. Also I’m really looking forward to reading this book so I can see how all the little things you’ve mentioned fit together.

  9. Another vote for “riveting.” Reading your blog has been my carrot for donkeying through reports on the future of health care in America.

    Good job on turning the blog into another way to help you write.

  10. Glad to hear that you gave up on the outline idea–I find it to be too rigid and I can’t go where the people in my head tell me to go if I have an outline. “No, Agnes, the outline says that you meet Derek at the roller rink, not at the adult book store! We don’t want people thinking you are some low life hussy do we? Ok, ok, but you are NOT wearing Spandex!” Better to use the white board–I think I am going to get myself one–I have this blank wall right next to my computer. Of course, it won’t help the aesthetics of my lving room any, but what’s more important–aesthetics or creativity?! Whew–dog just farted–gotta go!

    Hurricane Cherry Torte

  11. Well we both stalled out the last week or so. I’d planned on having Lost Girls done before National. Haha. Then before Maui. Haha. Then before– well, you get the drift. But this week I am finally bringing all the characters together for the big showdown, high body count already and it’s going to get higher. I hope by the end of the week to have a draft done. And also the outline for Agnes to Jenny. Hehe. And then I have a book due 15 October for Avon. Damn, guess I’d better get on that.
    Hang in there.

  12. I’m trying to reconcile the bob post up above with the image of bob in those flip flops- it isn’t happening.

  13. Wow Sheri, if I could use my dog farting for motivation to write, I’d have finished three books in the last 4 months since I rescued her… I’m impressed with ya, lady!

  14. Jenny,

    Although this is mostly unrelated to the blog of the trials of your writing (the informative, fascinating, hilarious blog), I wanted to write anyway.

    I read Fast Women when i was eighteen and I loved it. Then I went to the bookstore, bought every single one of your books, and read them too. Then my first long term relationship ended, and i read every book over and over and cried, and picked myself up, bought myself new clothes, decided that I was a bona fide sex goddess and pursued all my goals. Then I met my partner (named Gabriel, amusingly), and learned how to have great sex and believe in myself and that I can be happy, if not every day, then pretty much every day.

    which is why when people pity me for reading romance, i just mentally spit on them because hey have literally changed me. And that is why i believe that you can do no wrong. and no matter how long trudy takes or how hard it might be, i have complete and sincere faith in your ability to make me run to the bookshop, spend the last of my paycheck on your book, and read it in three hours because I just can’t stop myself.


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