Each morning, I start my writing session by opening a document called Warm-Up Pages. I put my fingers down on the keyboard and type without stopping for five minutes of wild writing – anything and everything that comes into my head. The wildness of that opening exercise kick starts me into serious work. Before I know it, I’ve got my draft document open and I’m on my way.
My current work in process – book five in the Crater Lake series – topped out at 21,500 words this afternoon. I’ve got most of the first two chapters written and seventeen of the thirty characters I want to hear from our now on the written page.
I thought I’d share a few excerpts from my warm-up pages. I can type a lot in five minutes chunks everyday but most of it is as you would expect warming up and stretching to be. Not so exciting if you aren’t there for the subsequent work out.
Feb. 7, 2019
In the space and in the chair – first steps. The day is dullish grey with a snow threatening sky. We’ll see what comes.
For this novel, I am liberating myself from the need to explain huge chunks of back story. Here is my message to the reader who picks up book five in a series without having read any of the previous books – expect to be somewhat confused. Not completely out to sea, but not totally in the know either.
Feb. 8, 2019
Bookmarked a couple of log salvage and boat research sites. I’m as awkward writing some of today’s scenes as the characters are to be in them.
Feb. 9, 2019
Just because something might be sad doesn’t mean I shouldn’t go there – readers don’t mind being sad as long as the emotion is real.
Feb. 10, 2019 – 10:20 am
A two hour block of writing time slips by quickly. The discipline of knowing when to stop is as important as getting my butt in the chair to start.
Had some great ideas while I was out walking yesterday.
There is a gentle snow falling outside my dormer window this morning. I love this space for focus.
I’ve been looking at Paper Raven’s notes on the novel blueprint method and the Act One Tipping Point. I love this … “The story starts when life can no longer go on the way it has in the past. Something threatens the worldview of the characters. There is a sense that all is not well – trouble looms on the horizon. Big change is coming.”
Feb. 11, 2019 – 10:10 am
I finished chapter one yesterday! Rough, of course. To be expected. Setting descriptions and detail work will come later. Cut a huge section from the piece I had roughed out. Way too much talking.
A writing routine has emerged. Write for two hours, walk for an hour, have lunch, knit on my current sock project, work for another two hours.
Feb. 12, 2019 – 10:00 am
Another day – bright sunny skies but the cold continues. I love the feeling of my fingers moving swiftly over these keys. When I come up to the dormer room to get started, I anxiously await those few moment that Word takes to get my document open, so I can start. It is wonderful and exhilarating to feel this way again!
I wrote in my head for my entire hour-long walk. Now, I feel as though I’m going to explode if I don’t get some of these ideas on paper.
Well, that was six days in the writing life. How do you get your writing day going? Is a routine important? Are you rigid with a schedule or is it anything goes? Let me know.
I decided to perk this post up with some pics from Day one of our fall trip because photos of my writing sessions would be dead boring. We travelled from our Island home to the lower mainland, visited Minnekhada park in Coquitlam and caught sunset on the Fraser River.