Tuesday, July 19, 2011

40 minutes and 400 words

With my "real life" job, all my other projects and everything else that's been going on in the Life of D lately, I sneak in my writing when I can. One of these times is during my lunch break at work.

I get an hour, and it takes me about 20-ish minutes to microwave-my-lunch-and-eat-it, so I spend the remaining 40-ish minutes working on my laptop. I have three short stories in various stages of completion right now, and I'm focusing on one of these so that I can submit it to an anthology (which has a submission deadline of September 1); it's also a work-in-progress that's allowed me to develop two characters that I plan on using in future projects. For better or worse, I've put a lot of pressure on myself with this particular story, but I don't mind because I'm having a great time writing it.

During my lunchtime writing today, I knocked out between 400-500 words. I like the dialogue. The character interactions were good. The inner dialogue of my viewpoint character is solid.

And then as I'm walking back to my desk to go back to work, it occurs to me that what I just wrote in 400-ish words could have been knocked down to around 20-30 words and work just as well, make the story tighter, not fluff up the wordcount and solve a mechanics-issue I was starting to see sweeping toward me if I continued on this path.

40 minutes. 400 words.

I'm trying not to feel robbed of the writing time today, as in the end, I'm sure it's a good thing. I was talking with a friend/fellow writer about "shaking off the rust" and there not being such a thing as "wasted words." Sometimes we just need to ge through some thick patches of extra words to get to the sumptious prose behind it.

(Did I just say "sumptious prose"? I think I need to head to bed . . . after I write for a few minutes.)

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