Writing, Rewriting, and the Holy Mother of Potter

Man, I’m rocking and rolling with this new book. I’ve set out a plan–oh how I love plans!–to crank out two chapters a week, and I’ve been sticking to the thing. Each chapter is about 2,500 words or so, and as I’ve done a super wicked awesome job plotting this bad mama-jama out that the thing each one of those chapters is swimming in nail-biting conflict.

Oh, yeah. I’m stoked.

Bad jokes are what I do!

Writing 5,000 a week is actually a step down from how fast I pumped through the first draft. For that one I was doing three chapters a week and those things were bloated like nothing you’ve ever seen. I’m talking about 3,500-4,000 word chapters kind of bloat. Chapters like that make for a monster book, eh? That’s the problem with plotting out a bunch of crap and then packing in a whole bunch more crap on top of that crap. I started having to set a word limit for each chapter–a rule that’s become useful for this draft as well, actually.

No Potter? No problem!

On a non-writing note, who’s been following the news about J.K. Rowling’s new book? There’s been a bunch of hype surrounding the news, most of it good, some lukewarm. I’m more on the she’ll-knock-it-out-of-the-park side of things. Of course, I might be biased. If it wasn’t for HP I would never have started writing, and what a sad tale of woe that’d be to sing.

Which side are you on? Think she’ll crank out another amazing tale, or will the lack of Potterness end up a bust? Seriously, I want to know.

[those clever pictures are from here and here]


4 thoughts on “Writing, Rewriting, and the Holy Mother of Potter

  1. Dude, first off kudos, because HP were the first books I actually read outside of school in 5th grade, and they were so awesome that I began reading a lot more. HP is also the a main reason I started writing as well. I think that her new book will be a home run, regardless if it’s a total tank, just because of HP – that is why I would read it to begin with, but I do really love J.K. Rowling’s voice, it was always a thrilling read. I have a page up on one of my blogs, http://1stwrittenword.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/the-testimony-of-my-literary-mentality/
    Interesting design, I like it. I know I already put up one link, but here’s another that describes why I choose to write, and it touches on a few things you said in this post. Again, kudos, and if you take the, time, thanks for reading. http://1stwrittenword.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/the-testimony-of-my-literary-mentality/

  2. Man, give me your inspiration. My writing has been non-existent lately. College and being sick have killed it dead. Dead-dead. But I have Skyrim music now, so maybe that’ll inspire something. From what you said about your plot though, it does sound interesting. How do you find the time to churn out that many words?

    I think people shouldn’t compare Rowling’s new book to Harry Potter. Let’s face it, Harry Potter was a world-wide phenomena a writer is hard-pressed to repeat. I don’t know if I could live up to those kinds of expectations, so I hope that people can set aside Harry and look at Rowling’s new book as its own thing, for good or bad.

    • When I think about whether I want to do something–in this case, write professionally–I have to break that desire into its constituent parts.

      At this point most people say, “What the hell is this guy talking about?”

      Think about it like this: each of us has a finite amount of time alive, right? Ask any economist and they will tell you that a finite supply of something makes it super valuable. You’ve heard the cliche, “time is money.” Well, I like to modify it a bit and say “time is opportunity.”

      You can spend your life doing whatever you want. Some people spend it making money at work, doing homework, hitting the gym, playing video games, raising kids–anything you can think of. Me, I want to be a professional writer–so much so that I am willing to burn many days of my finite life in the pursuit of that one goal.

      Whenever I come up against the problem of not having enough time I have to think about whether the things I am choosing to spend time on are worth more to me than my desire to write. If something is more important to me than writing then the question becomes, “how bad I really want to be a writer?” Is this other thing in my life more important than writing?

      With very few exceptions, the answer is always, “no.”

      • I need to be more like that. For a while, because my husband and I aren’t doing too well financially, it’s been all about what career can make me the most money — one I won’t be utterly miserable in. But, really, the only thing I want to do as a career is write. But that’s unrealistic, isn’t it?

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