I'm very pleased.  My word count for the week was 4169.  I also made significant progress in outlining my chapters (which I find helped me actually write more) and sussing out my story.  I have always found it a challenge to incorporate my research with my writing but this week I seemed to have fallen into a groove.

Better yet, my total word count so far is 30,041. 

The Duke's Theatre, where Lucian Wilde's plays are produced

After a horrible start on Monday wherein I did nothing very useful, I was determined to make Tuesday productive.  Much of Tuesday was spent outlining chapters, which as I said above, really helped me move the story forward.  Wednesday through Friday was spent writing.

My biggest challenge continues to be an inability to see how this is going to end.  There are several possibilities.  Another challenge is taking what is really a very complicated political situation and explaining it so that it's entertaining.  I have now become a Popish Plot Geek, and the trouble with that is that it's easy to make assumptions that other people will know what I'm talking about.  Conversely, it's also easy to assume the reader needs to know everything, thus rendering my novel boring and unreadable.

I read an interview with David Liss today that perfectly voices my predicament:

"A lot of historical fiction makes the mistake of either not knowing how to effectively deploy research or feeling too beholden to actual, historical events in the script," he explains. "My feeling is that history makes for great history, but it doesn't necessarily make for great fiction, and that if you're writing a historical novel, the history needs to be driven by the things that make great novels. That history is there as a context and setting and background, but that it needs to be foremost a story about characters. A lot of it, I think, is… putting character before research.

"Of course, I'm not saying I make things up. But I feel there's a certain kind of historical novel that wants to basically novelize history; the novelization of historical events… It's a perfectly valid way of telling a story, and I have nothing against it, it's just that I don't do that."

When I'm not writing, I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about why I'm not writing.  One of the biggest reasons, I think, is feeling overwhelmed by this seemingly monumental task.  Outlining helps with this, but I am realizing an even bigger part of my writer's block is coming from a lack of clarity with the story itself.  I know what my characters want, kind of, but not to the extent that they are 100% real to me yet.

Useful Links:

Outlines:  Ruining the Fun Since Chapter One - From Deadline Dames via toniandrews

Guest Blogger Terry Brennan - via RachelleGardner, a first-time author describes the editing process

The Book Deal - Editor Alan Rinzler's blog about the publishing industry

Published Authors Deal with Insecurity - Author Lionel Shriver talks about her experiences with her seventh novel

What do your Characters Want? - A great post by Literary Agent Nathan Bransford

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