Adjusting–Row 80 check-in

Things haven’t gone as smoothly since Wednesday. The daily writing streak is still intact and I’m totally excited about that. I like the feeling of commitment and accomplishment that I get from it.

Novel analyzing isn’t faring so well. I think there are two reasons for that. The first is that I’ve been totally preoccupied with NaNoWriMo prep. The closer it gets, the more distracting it gets. I had a plan set already, but I’ve been tweaking like crazy. New, and in my mind, better ideas have been popping up all the time. So, I’ve been spending time developing the new twists.

The second reason is the novel that I chose to analyze. I’d completely forgotten how much I hated the beginning of Undead and Unwed. Analyzing it makes me just as crazy. There’s a lot of summary. And this is when the main character is her most annoying to me. I chose the book because it was shorter than most of the others on my list, but it seems to have just as many scenes. They are just condensed. I still have to do a note card for each one which, in this case, makes me feel like I’m wasting time.

It’s highly unlikely that I’ll finish this book and another this month. I’m changing my goal from analyzing three novels this month to two. I’ve put that particular novel to the side for now. This week I’ll work on analyzing a Jim Butcher novel instead. His writing style seems more conducive to productivity for me.

Still moving forward. Hope you guys are too.


Posted on October 23, 2011, in Miscellany and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Congratulations on the unbroken writing streak! I’d love to see a post about how to analyze a novel.

  2. Well done on reaching the writing goals. Keep going. 🙂 xxxx

  3. Hi Yolanda! I’m also curious about how you are going about analyzing a novel. It seems like SUCH a good practice. There are a few books I’ve reread more times I could count, and analyzing them might put a new spin on my next read.

    Keep on chugging!

  4. Your writing streak sounds great! Glad it is going so well for you. I love when new ideas hit as you can’t think of all the twists until you are really into it (or at least I can’t). Hope you keep it up!

    As for novel analyzing, it is tough. I haven’t really tried it myself, but do make mental notes these days of what I like about a book and what I don’t like. Mostly so I learn from the good and bad of the authors I read. Sometimes, I just look at their intros to see how their styles, dialog, and narrative go so I can get an idea of what the bestsellers do to grab people’s attention. It does help. Yet going through an entire book would be quite the undertaking. I admire you for trying 🙂

  5. As far as the novel analyzing goes, I am doing the plot drill that is recommended in James Scott Bell’s book, Plot & Structure. The drill requires you to analyze six novels in the genre you write. You go through each scene by scene. Use a note card per scene. You write down the setting, POV, a two line summary, the type of scene, and whether or not the ending makes you want to read on (and why or why not).

    It is tons of work, but I’m learning a ton about plotting and writing in general. I have a long way to go still but I think it’s worth it. The book was very helpful.

  6. Wow, this is crazy intense. How do you keep reading just for the love of reading? I know I am always in edit mode when I read and I find it gets in the way sometimes of being able to enjoy the novel for what it is. Do you find the novel analyzing takes away the fun of reading even though you may benefit as a writer?

    Keep up your writing. I’m glad that went well for you this week.

    • Thanks Jen! And yes, it is intense. Part of the drill is to read the novel first, just as a reader. And I’ve committed myself to just analyzing the six novels required to complete the drill. I probably won’t do it ever again. I chose novels that I’d already read and that were written by authors with the type of writing skill I admire. Mostly anyway. I’ve had more trouble reading in “writer” mode than I’ve had going back to “reader” mode afterwards. I curl up and it’s a go. The only time I can’t get into “reader” mode is when the writing is just bad.

  7. It’s great that you are writing consistently, Yolanda!

    I’m still tossing up between whether or not to do NaNo or not. It’s seems like a big, scary task but I thought it could be part of my ROW80 goals. I have a few more days to decide so we’ll see. It’s good you’re making a plan before you dive in. It’ll probably help you a lot.

    All the best with your writing for the week!

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