I wrote over 3,000 words yesterday! W00t!

DOWN AND DIRTY DEATH is past the 30,000-word mark, and it’s true what they say in the pep talks: By the time you have that much material, you have so much in your mind about plots and characters and motifs, you can’t type fast enough.

I’m very proud of myself, because this morning I wrote my first out-of-sequence bit. I tend to write a bit, then write a bit more and go back and stuck something in and write some more, then go back and insert something or change something else. This year, I’m making heavy use of the Comments feature of Word (and OpenOffice), opening the Comments window and making notes to myself about what to go back and put in later, not now. Now, I’m writing. Later, I’ll revise. And I always write in sequence. I have to write A and transition to B and transition to D through C. Today, I wrote a paragraph and realized it belonged later in the ms and just double-spaced and went on with the scene I was writing. It’ll still be there when I need it. Maybe someday, maybe this very year, I’ll get loose enough to have a file called Bits To Put In Later, where I can stash paragraphs and ideas and conversations that come to me out of sequence. This may not seem like a very big deal to some of you but, to a control freak like me, this is major progress.

Here is a snippet from the book. Mama and LeJune have uncovered a crime their cousin Packy is involved in. They’re investigating it themselves, hoping to keep the family from getting involved with the police. Packy is staying with them temporarily. Packy tends to comment negatively on anything he possibly can, including LeJune’s weight.

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“I usually have a snack before bedtime,” he informed us. To me, he said, “I know you do.”

“Can I turn him in now, Mama?” I said, which was just mean.

“I’ll fix it,” Mama said.

Packy and I sat and watched part of some doctor show until Mama came back with toast and hot chocolate.

Packy made a face after his first sip. “What is this?”

“It’s Black Forest flavor,” Mama said. “Got cherry flavoring in it.”

“Well, it tastes like cold medicine.”

“We like it,” I said, dipping my buttered toast into the cocoa and slurping up the soggy bread.

“Ugh!” Packy said, but I notice he drank every drop.

While Mama and I washed up, I said, “I hid the car keys, but I’m afraid the sneaking skunk will call a cab and go back to Aunt Mimi’s house and raid those diaries.”

“That’s just the kind of thing he would do,” Mama agreed. “That’s why I put a shot of cold medicine in his cocoa. He’ll sleep like a baby until we wake him up in the morning.”

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Back to work!

MA

writing prompt: Print out five random paragraphs from some of your unfinished pieces (don’t try to kid me–I know you have them). Shuffle them. Put them together in the order they come out. Try to make a coherent storyline out of them.

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