Monday, February 11, 2013


I think the biggest problem I had with writing "Roxie Rides The Train" was keeping a consistent voice. I had to slap myself every few paragraphs and yell "Lori Petty" just to keep on track. I can't imagine what it must be like to write an entire novel (or significant portion thereof) in a dialect of some sort that is not your own. I'd either revert back to my default voice, or worse, get stuck in that mode. I'd hate to finish a dialect story and then realize I couldn't write in anything but fluent redneck or jive anymore.

I wonder if David Mitchell ever woke up at some point near the end of "Cloud Atlas," in a cold sweat, because he couldn't snap out of the Sloosha-speak?

In other news, this story pushes me up to ca 60k words since January 1, counting blog posts. That's an averaged rate of 1400 words per day and the same length as a short novel. While writing Roxie, I peaked at 2000 words per hour at one point.

That's a pretty high rate by any account. Thing is, you think it would result in sloppy writing (okay, you guys in the back, shut the hell up), but I think my strongest writing comes out during those peak writing periods. The days when I'm pounding out 350 words per hour, or worse, writing 900 and then going back and deleting, those are the weak days. Luckily, those are becoming fewer and fewer with practice. I'm getting better at identifying dead ends.

The strongest and fastest writing periods owe themselves to something like this system, although I've been doing this sort of thing ever since grad school (but not realizing that it was even a thing). It just makes sense to come up with the ideas and broad outlines first.

But yeah, the difference between writing with and without a sentence outline like that is night and day. 700 words per hour vs 1500+ for me. I don't even write in complete sentences any more until relatively late in the story process. The cherry on top of the sundae is that it tends to be stronger writing and more fun to do, so win-win, I guess.

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