Creative Chronicles of a Writing Drummer

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The Plan – Updated

In my last post I explained that I had defined my writing goals and put them in place. It’s been a couple of weeks now, and I thought I’d give a little update on how it’s going.

Well, surprisingly, it’s going splendidly. I’m really enjoying my writing time, I can’t tell you. I’m so jazzed right now.

As a recap, James Scott Bell, gave me some ideas on how to define my writing goals. His ideas were great because they incorporated the “study” that I had always used as a means of procrastination. Now I know that I CAN watch movies (in the same genre as my work in progress), I CAN read writing help books (to assist in issues I might be experiencing), and I CAN read fiction novels (again, in the same genre as my WIP as a means of LEARNING – taking notes are key)… so I now read my fiction books on the way to work and write my work in progress on the way home. I don’t get a huge number of words written per day (anywhere from 500-750) but that’s still pretty good for me. More importantly I’m getting through about a chapter a week, of my own work.

I’m in an interesting predicament as I have a completed novel, written in 1st person, but when I went back to it I realised I needed to include a new character (or characters). So, I find myself editing what’s already written and writing (from scratch) what hasn’t been put into words yet. It’s good fun.

Here were the list of goals I wrote down:

  • I will complete one chapter per week until the 31st of December, 2012 (either written from scratch or edited)
  • I will complete Strategem (my work in progress) by 31st December, 2012
  • I will spend two Hours/week studying the Craft of Writing until December 31st
  • I will read one book per month in the Action Thriller genre

Those books are/were:

  • July – James Patterson’s Along Came a Spider
  • August – Lee Child’s One Shot
  • September – Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon
  • October – Thomas Harris’ The Silence of the Lambs
  • November – Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley
  • December – Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game

I also have certain films that I’ve set myself to watch and study…

  • July – Breakdown
  • August – Flightplan
  • September – Red Eye
  • October – Psycho
  • November – Panic Room
  • December – Cape Fear

Everything has been calendarized and I haven’t had any issues following my daily tasks.

The only thing that has changed is I read James Patterson’s “Along Came a Spider” in two weeks… so, that leaves another two weeks to read a second novel each month.

At the moment, I’m reading Harlan Coben’s “No Second Chance”.  All I can say is, WOW! Get it! Read it! It’s great!

I think, at some point, I’ll give a brief overview – not a review – on what I thought about the books I’ve read and in particular what knowledge I gained from them.

For now, I’m looking for five novels to fill the gap over the course of the next 5 months or so. I’m thinking I’ll read “Black Echo” by Michael Connolly.

Ideally I’m looking for Police Procedural books to read. Books with detectives, morgues, forensics, homicide etc…

As always, I welcome comments and any recommendations…

The Plan…

Okay, so I sat down and began defining my writing goals using the techniques James Scott Bell put forth in one of his books.  What I really like about his approach is it incorporates elements of study, so you get a break from just writing, writing, writing.  That’s not to say I don’t write; I do… every… Continue Reading