A Thousand Words A Day

A writing journal _____________________________ PROFESSORBLOG@HOTMAIL.COM

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Reader, writer, podcast listener, and TV watcher. And real nice guy.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Well, I have heard about this thousand-words-a-day concept ever since I have been seriously considering writing. For my first novel (unpublished, unsubmitted, and even unedited . . . ) I was able to write based on a 1,500-word-a-week goal, but since have had trouble making the commitment to working on novel #2. So in going through yet another book on writing, this one by Caroline See, I see the 1,000-word-a-day commitment stressed (along with a nuttier one regarding sending a note to someone you appreciate in the publishing industry every day, 5 days a week, no exceptions) My theory is that she made these 2 separate recommendations on the basis that the 1,000-words-a-day was the really important one. It seems like an old professor's trick: Give you two things one to do, one so outrageous that the other sounds do-able.

I am not a big fan of the 1,000-words-a-day plan, because it seems too legalistic for my tastes. I am not a big fan of free-writing, writing about anything. Neither of these ideas rsonated with me. Unitl now. I want to get back into the writing habit, and if this is the way, then I swallow my pride and write a thosand words of something, anything every day. I am not so good that I can't learn. I must note my own version of Cee's plan, by taking her recommendation of writing 1,000 words a day, Monday through Friday, and tweaking it to 1,000 words a day, any 5 days, Monday - Sunday. This gives me the weekend to make up for any days missed during the work week.

I expect this blog to include some actual writing on the novels, on theory, general writing and observations, as well as filler, filler being the more traditional free-writing about my life. I have been extrememly faithful to my regular blog, missing one day of blogging in about 2 months. Not too shabby. Now for a little bit about my writing plans, hopes, dreams, aspirations, and goals. Goals may sound a bit pretensious, but here you go.

"Wanted" was Novel #1, still is, and is sitting in a binder next to the bed waiting for me to go through it with a fine tooth comb for revision. One thing I can use this blog for is the re-write process. The book is 100,000 words long, so the rewrite can't take more than 100 days, no? Well, that may be pushing it, but the rewrite is something I need to do. First will be a summary, and again this place is as good as any for doing that, I suppose. I like that idea, I got it from the book "Writing A Novel" by I don't remember who, but it made what seemed to be to be a great point of writing a summary after the first draft is completed. This is a quick way to see inconsistincies, and figure out how to iron out plot wrinkles that will inevitably appear. I fear about a whole forest and trees things happening if I just start the rewrite without a summary. This is a good idea, and I am going to try it. Well, that is Novel #1, finished, my wife read it and fell aslepp, always a good sign, but at least I shared it with her. Counting me and her, a grand total of three people know I was writing a novel, and the third does not know I finished. I am kicking around the idea of dedicating it to person #3, along with the person from whom I heard the original story (true) that led to the novel. I still remember the first time I heard him tell it (overheard, actually) and I knew right then and there that "this would make for a great novel." So far all it has done is make for a novel, not a great novel. But there is still time.

Thank you, Wave and Ione. For giving me 2 completely different kinds of inspiration.

Novel #2 (in terms of how far along it is) is "Country Church", which I envision as the first of three books. Not a series in the sense of being books about the same group of characters, but in the sense of being books about a similar theme. "Country Church" takes place in a small town church with a young new pastor and the things he deals with in his first church. Various young couples, the Atholtons, the Wallaces, the Babbits, etc . . . all are part of the mix, as well as the pastor, Warren Dorsey. So far, all of the coules are in the town (one is moving in the next section I have to write, ti be perfectly honest) and 4 of the 5 have gone to the church. Next up is the process of integrating these new young folks into the life of the church, along with the pastor, who has befriended (or been befriended by) a black pastor in the same town. As the Pastor and the young guns try to institute some (minor to their thinking) changes, they face backlash from the old established members of the 60 to 80 person congregation. Racial issues, generational conflicts, all are part of the story. The balance between moving on to a new generation of leadership while maintaining a proper respect for "thge older brother" of the Prodigal tale is one of the themes, as well as criticizing petty and small church politics. "City Church" and "Suburban Church" come next, I suppose. The arc of planned novels traces the path of my life pretty accurately, from the West End Alliance Church to the Richmond Vineyard to the Columbus Vineyard. Some keen observation, along with leadership posts and a wild imagination . . . who knows? Hopefully, solid writing will ensue. They are all tales worth telling, and I hope that I can do them justice.

Thank you, Ms. Cee. I believe I am done for one day, the first(?) of many.


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