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The Summer Writer's Club Hangout
Brandi Larsen
Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013 5:25 PM
Joined: 6/18/2012
Posts: 229


This is the thread for The Summer Writer's Club hangout.

If you've joined us in a writing commitment of 500 (or 250) words each day, then this is the spot to chat with fellow writers who are also spending the summer working on their novels. Together, we'll celebrate when we hit our goal of 53,000 words on September 2.

Starting May 20th, we'll also post a thread where you can show off your daily word count and another one for excerpts.

Want to learn more? Here are all of the details: http://www.bookcountry.com/Industry/Article.aspx?articleId=141661.

RJBlain
Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013 5:52 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 224


This looks like fun! I'm in! Not sure what I'll work on yet or if I'll just finish a side project, but this will be a fun little addition to my normal stuff
Brandi Larsen
Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013 5:55 PM
Joined: 6/18/2012
Posts: 229


It promises to be fun. I'm in for 500 daily.

Timothy Maguire
Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013 6:21 PM
Joined: 8/13/2011
Posts: 272


I'll take a crack at this. I assume it's okay to start with something already in progress?
Brandi Larsen
Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013 6:26 PM
Joined: 6/18/2012
Posts: 229


Welcome! Yes, it doesn't have to be a new work.

Alexandria Brim
Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 3:25 AM
Joined: 10/20/2011
Posts: 353


Hmm, you know what...I'm in. Might finally finish my first draft of "The Conference House"!
MariAdkins
Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 10:52 AM
I sooooo need this! Thanks for doing this.

Voran
Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 10:59 AM
Joined: 4/26/2011
Posts: 57


Fantastic! I'm in!
Stagekat
Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 11:20 AM
Joined: 8/15/2011
Posts: 1


I'm in but I'm a little nervous.  I hate committments.

Maya Starling
Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 12:09 PM
Joined: 4/24/2013
Posts: 45


I'll give it a go as well
NoellePierce
Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 1:11 PM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 227


I'm in! (and this is much less daunting than my original goal of 2k a day. I seriously have a lot to write. *grin*)
Nathan Gray
Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 1:52 PM
Joined: 5/14/2013
Posts: 1


Count me in too.  Need something to get me back off the ground again!

Laura Dwyer
Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 10:25 PM
Joined: 1/10/2012
Posts: 192


This is a great idea, and maybe it will be the kick in the pants I need! I'm in!
Gwenyffer
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 10:14 AM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 27


I'm loving this idea. Should get me back on track with one of the wips and back into BookCountry. win-win!
Atthys Gage
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 10:21 AM
Joined: 6/7/2011
Posts: 467


Alright.  Why not.  May 20th.  250 a day ought to finish off the WIP that's been vexing me.
Jacqueline Fairchild
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 1:25 PM
Joined: 5/15/2013
Posts: 3


I try to write 6-10 pages a day and think this is a great idea!  I will start a word count!  Jacqueline Gillam Fairchild

Georgiana Nelsen
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 4:08 PM
Joined: 11/16/2011
Posts: 1


Ok Brandi, I'm in, though I won't get to report in every day, nothing should keep me from writing!

Nevena Georgieva
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 4:25 PM
Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 438


Hurray! So many people have joined. That makes me happy. 

(For those of you who don't know me: I'm Nevena, the Book Country assistant. Nice to meetcha!)
Jacqueline Fairchild
Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 1:03 PM
Joined: 5/15/2013
Posts: 3


I counted what I write every night and I am right there, so it will be fun to be included.
Jacqueline Gillam Fairchild

Sam Weller
Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 1:15 PM
Joined: 5/13/2013
Posts: 8


I'm thrilled to be a part of this with you, Brandi. Any writing project goes: short story collection, novel, narrative nonfiction, memoir, collection of essays, etc. As long as you are meeting the word-count you have pledged at.

Writing begins on Monday!


Parker Stockman
Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 2:04 PM
Joined: 5/16/2013
Posts: 1


I'm in! I am going to outline my novel before the 20th and start fresh then! Thanks, Sam Weller, for pushing this! And Hi, Brandi! This is going to be so fun!

Aims
Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 3:17 PM
Joined: 5/16/2013
Posts: 1


I did not do well with NaNoWriMo, but I think I'll give this a shot!

AJ Camarena
Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2013 10:41 AM
Joined: 5/18/2013
Posts: 1


I've known about the Summer Writer's Club for a few years now, but this is the first time I'm actually going to commit to it. I'm super psyched!
Chris Mikesell
Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2013 7:05 PM
Joined: 5/13/2013
Posts: 6


I'm in for (at least) 250 a day.

Thanks!
Alexandra Hartley
Posted: Sunday, May 19, 2013 2:57 PM
Joined: 4/30/2013
Posts: 12


I'm totally in! I have a deadline to meet for the story I'm writing right now. I want to finish it August 3, 2013. I'm going to make that happen.

Sagana
Posted: Sunday, May 19, 2013 4:27 PM
Joined: 5/15/2013
Posts: 10


I want my novel edited before NaNo this year, so my deadline is October. (I'm editing and may add a short story or two as well.)
Chrysan
Posted: Sunday, May 19, 2013 7:56 PM
Joined: 5/19/2013
Posts: 2


I'm a new writer and this will be a perfect way to learn the writing habit!  I'm in for 250 words a day.
Jeff Taylor
Posted: Sunday, May 19, 2013 9:40 PM
Joined: 5/14/2013
Posts: 3


How does this aspect of the writer's club work? Is this the only thread? Just one post and series of comments all summer? I can't quite figure it out. Some guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Brandi Larsen
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 12:20 AM
Joined: 6/18/2012
Posts: 229


Hi, Jeff.

There are three threads. This one is for asking questions, getting to know each other, cheering each other on, anything you want to talk about with other writers who have also accepted the challenge.

I just opened two other threads: One for posting your daily word count, and one for excerpts.

We'll continue to post replies all summer. Does that help?


Sam Weller
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 12:22 AM
Joined: 5/13/2013
Posts: 8


38 minutes and the Summer Writers Club kicks off! I cheated and wrote 250 tonight. Already ahead of the game.

Sagana
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 6:59 AM
Joined: 5/15/2013
Posts: 10


I have a question In my novel, my MC (Luke) has a small daughter that died in a car wreck. He'd put her in the front passenger seat next to him in a child's safety seat, and the air bag killed her. As I'm old enough to remember a time when people didn't know that (or even have child safety seats), it seemed reasonable to me that he wouldn't have known it was dangerous to put her car seat there. But my daughter (who has two young children) felt like he was just stupid and she lost sympathy for him as nowadays there's warnings about it all over car seats. The novel is near future (post-apocalypse), but this event took place some time in the past (unspecified). Other writing colleagues weren't at all bothered by it, but they don't have children Would you feel like he'd been responsible for her death if it happened that way - that is, less sympathetic/less like it's a tragic accident?
Atthys Gage
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 10:20 AM
Joined: 6/7/2011
Posts: 467


Sagana.  I can see how it might count against him.  The question is whether you want him to bear some of the blame for what happened or not.  If it is simply meant to be a tragic unavoidable accident, then his mistake could just be a distracting complication. On the other hand, his guilt could be part of the story.  It depends what you're going for.
RJBlain
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 11:57 AM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 224


I wrote a little blog post about the challenge on my site. :3

Looking forward to getting started today after I tear through a bunch of my real work!

http://rjblain.com/2013/05/writing-challenge-the-summer-writers-hangout-club/

Ben Nemec
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 12:32 PM
Joined: 1/21/2013
Posts: 47


Sagana, if you want your audience to understand that he didn't know about the dangers of air bags when it happened, just say so.   The lack of warnings about air bags is part of the setting, so it's up to you to convey that fact.  IMHO, of course.

As far as the Writer's Club, I'm hoping to finish my first draft this summer, so I'll probably participate.  I've been writing in 500 word increments a lot lately anyway (mostly, I think, because I round my word counts to the nearest 500, so that's the minimum where I have something tangible to show so it shouldn't be much of a stretch.  Every day might be more of an issue, but I'm pretty sure I don't have 53000 words left to go anyway.

Chris Mikesell
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 4:06 PM
Joined: 5/13/2013
Posts: 6


Sagana, you might (also) provide a reason for your protagonist to not put the child in the back seat. In a post-Apocalyptic world he might feel safer keeping the baby close (ooh the irony), or maybe the car is simply missing its back doors/seats.
Sagana
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 7:06 PM
Joined: 5/15/2013
Posts: 10


Thanks so much for your comments everyone. That does help clarify in my mind. Oh and nice to meet you all

Atthys, yes I do want him to feel guilty. I chose it for the extra responsibility, but I don't want readers to think he was ignoring warnings and/or common sense. 

Ben, I thought I did say that, but apparently not clearly enough. I'll have to bring it out more. Although I don't want to belabour a point only one person (thus far) has had an issue with, so I was curious what others might think.

Chris, the child's death actually happened before the apocalypse. Although I do love the irony of that! Might have to work that in somehow

Again, thanks so much to all of you and nice to meet you.


Tori Schindler
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 9:44 PM
Joined: 3/12/2011
Posts: 41


Thanks for the heads-up, +RJBlain, I saw your G+ post. I'm in for 500 words. I can usually do that, but it's a great way to make sure I don't drown in just doing blurbs or synopsis(es) or other distractions (like G+). And it means I'll get the WIP I've got done easily. Yay!

Sagana, I remember those days when seat belts and car seats were optional and the whole concept was new. Now I feel old. (Thanks.) I'd say make it clear it was in the past, maybe even mention the car was old enough not to have the warnings. I'm sure it could be worked in naturally if we tried. It didn't used to be common knowledge, it's just a matter of conveying that. It's because of accidents like this that there are those signs all over cars now. You could even make him realize that, with bitterness probably. 
Sagana
Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 7:24 AM
Joined: 5/15/2013
Posts: 10


Thanks Tori. Sorry for the feeling old It looks like that's the scenario I'll try and go with, that they put up the signs in part because of his experience.

Editing - anyone have any editing advice/tricks for me? I've found one thing. I'm reluctant to change my words if they all seem to flow properly - if it reads start to finish, even if I know I want to add something or it doesn't say what I want. So I've taken to adding blank lines and writing in sentences that don't work/break the flow. Then I'm willing to rewrite that part until it all fits (Weird, I know, but hey whatever works, yes?)
Atthys Gage
Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 10:13 AM
Joined: 6/7/2011
Posts: 467


Sagana.  An interesting technique.  I'll sometimes leave breaks, with or without notes about what might fill them, when I don't want to get bogged down in some particular mess, but I don't think I've ever written 'dummy' lines.

Of course they're all 'dummy' lines in a sense, since I try to regard every thing I've written as malleable and ultimately replaceable, no matter how well it seems to work.  (I've thrown out scenes I absolutely cherished when I first wrote them.  Painful, but right is right.)  



Brandi Larsen
Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 10:59 AM
Joined: 6/18/2012
Posts: 229


My best advice for editing at this stage is: don't do it. Keep writing until you have a scene, a chapter, a draft. Only then will you know the scope of the work and can go back and do a real hard edit in terms of structure, pace, characterization instead of a line edit.

That's my personal, not professional advice.

I'll write dummy lines -- the good enough to get it down on the page so I can keep going, keep seeing the scene that I need to get down on paper.

When I have to stop and I'm deep in the groove, I'll write myself a note in the text. I've been using the commenting function in Word. That's been helping me know what my word count is when I start and where I'm planning to take the scene the next time I sit down to write.

Brandi Larsen
Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 12:04 PM
Joined: 6/18/2012
Posts: 229


Chris Terry asked this question in another thread, and I wanted to bring it here for this group.

He asked: When do you write?

While I can write at any time, I think I'm best in the very early morning. I like it when the world is still quiet, when my thoughts flow without the "help" of my internal editor. At night, it takes longer for me to quiet my mind and block out everything that may be taking my attention away from the scene I'm trying to get onto the page.

The bad thing about writing in the morning is that I don't always time it right. If my daughter gets up too early (Monday), I'm immediately pulled out of the writing. (I could have done 1,000 words!) If I procrastinate, as I did Tuesday, spending way too much time researching local South Florida ordinances about the legality of chopping down Banyan trees (it's legal), then I barely get my word count before I have to go into the office. And there's the getting out of my warm bed (a task I failed at this morning). That said, I'm happiest when I've written in the early morning. I feel a smug satisfaction all day long. Somehow knowing I've already made hard choices and done something good for myself puts me in a fantastic mood.

What about you? When do you write?


RJBlain
Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 12:16 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 224


I write every chance I get. I'm in the situation where when I'm not editing for clients or cleaning, I need to be writing. There are some days I goof off, but there are days, like yesterday, where I sit down and work for 14 - 1/2 hours with few breaks and I get stuff done.

Today, I've finished 1,688 words so far, and I'm about to work on editing for a client. When that's done, I have to clean, but I'll be writing again -- in my moleskine. If I reach my 15-20 page goal, I get to work on a side project.

I used to be a night-time writer only. Then I grew up because I had to. <3
Laura Dwyer
Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 2:59 PM
Joined: 1/10/2012
Posts: 192


I write, like many of you, whenever I can. Even if it's to jot down some ideas on my smart phone's notepad. I find lately that there just isn't enough time in the day for all the things I want to do and must do, so unfortunately, the wants get buried beneath the musts. Last night I only had about an hour, but I tried to make the most of it. It would be great to have a notebook, I think - I could open my document and add things whenever the mood or inspiration struck. Right now, it's all over the place and then I lose the connection between the pieces.  Frustrating. But I have faith it will all fall into place eventually.
Sagana
Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 8:08 PM
Joined: 5/15/2013
Posts: 10


Hi Atthys, thanks so much for your advice. I hadn't really thought of them as "dummy lines" but that does make sense. It does feel strange to break them on purpose, but yes I try to make sure I'm able to change (and/or cut) whatever is needed.

Brandi, thank you as well. I agree that one shouldn't edit too soon. I do have a full rough draft (although it needs some additional scenes and a lot of rewriting). I'm editing a novel I started last summer and combined with one I did for the last NaNo, so I have around 80k words to whip into some sort of shape

And for the writing question, I write in the mornings as well. I get up a couple of hours before my family, and try to get things done. And have the same sort of issues - someone is up too early, or I get distracted (or sometimes just have no words). My house is too crowded and I lost some of my own time, but am slowly gaining it back.

And I've also found that lately I start something in the morning and when I get to work or think it out more, I've got some other words that I can put down on my phone. I was very happy today to discover new ideas coming to me later on. I think I was trying to force things in the wrong way.

@Laura, have you tried dropbox? I keep all my writing in there, and can read it from any of my devices (including my phone), so if I can sneak a few minutes, I can look something up and/or start where I left off
NoellePierce
Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013 9:32 AM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 227


Okay, here's a question for you: when kids are out of school for the summer, HOW do I find time to write?? (And after they go to bed is when I do day-job work/grading).
Brandi Larsen
Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013 12:44 PM
Joined: 6/18/2012
Posts: 229


My husband got his word count in yesterday by the Dr, Spock-approved "pop her in front of the television" approach. As a parent, I'm not sure I agree with that one all the time, but in a pinch...

I'm an early riser. If it's 6am and I'm writing, I'm a happy girl. I'm still experimenting, but I've been finding that I can get up as late as 6:30 and get a solid hour in before my kiddo wakes up. The sun's up early these days (as are the birds), so it doesn't feel so horrible to climb out of bed. Hope that helps!


Atthys Gage
Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013 2:07 PM
Joined: 6/7/2011
Posts: 467


I don't know how old your kids are Noelle, but mine are old enough that they all would sleep until at least ten every day, given the chance.  If your's are still at the early riser phase, well, that's a problem.  I got very little accomplished during my days as stay-at-home father of toddlers.   
Dane F Baylis
Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013 11:12 PM
Joined: 5/20/2013
Posts: 5


Okay, so I'm in and running. We're...where?...the fifth day, and I've got 3900+ words so far. Slice of life vignette that's headed for a series of twists and turns in a deeply neurotic way. Word count so far is more than satisfying, considering I've got a full-time day job, am taking part in a 365 consecutive day blogging challenge, am involved in a couple of on-going projects (including editing a chapbook for a small writer's group) and have a couple of other pieces of short fiction I'm sorting through.
Well, tally-ho, we're off to the hunt, hey?
NoellePierce
Posted: Saturday, May 25, 2013 10:33 PM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 227


Brandi - I *wish* I was an early bird. I used to be a night owl, but the childrens have sapped that from me, too. lol When they're in school, I have several hours to do all my day-job work, my art, AND writing. Now that they're home all day, I have to find ways to entertain them. Our stupid Xbox broke, but I loved using Kinect games to get them moving and entertained for a couple of hours. At least I didn't feel guilty for them not being active with that.

Atthys - They're 7 and 5...and get up with the sun. Every. Day. If I could borrow just an ounce of their energy, I'd be SO much more productive!

I'm going to try the night approach again until they start summer camp. Here goes!
Alantis
Posted: Monday, May 27, 2013 2:31 PM
Joined: 5/27/2013
Posts: 108


Okay, first and foremost, hello to all in this chat. I am new to the site and am holding out hope that I can find the motivation to continue my tale. It is in its 3rd year....with a long break, but I cannot shake this tale from my mind and it is bound and determined to be told.

I have no problem writing, well besides using only 2 fingers when I type, or sleep issues as I am most thankful for 5-6 hours of sleep a day.

My problem is that I have stories, that come together to make THE STORY, and I get stuck. I had to just stop because of the struggle. I would love to just drop this down and have it out, for better or worse.

So I will take up this challenge. If not to stay focused, perhaps to just meet some good writers that I can be envious of.

 

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