ROW80 Week 12: Worth

I’ve been on holiday since the 20th (hence no Week 11 post). It wasn’t as conducive to writing as I expected, partly because I wanted to make the most of seeing relatives I don’t see any other time of year.

As such, I only wrote one day last week, and 3 days in Week 11. A total of 700 words went towards Conkers.

I did finish reading another book, though: Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson. I especially liked the way he created suspense.

Whereas Dracula just has a cycle of plans and counter-plans, Snow Crash has counter-plans the heroes don’t spot in time, so they have to take a lot of risks to recover. And not every risk pays off.

Round Summary

(Here’s the linky for other peoples’ summaries.)

While I wasn’t happy with my last few weeks, it looks like they’ve been nicely balanced out by my work early on.

Continue reading

ROW80 Week 9: Proceeding by Halves

Another ROW80 update (linky).

Once again, I kept up with half my goals last week. I didn’t do reflection, and I didn’t make any progress on Conkers, but I did achieve my word-count and reading quotas.

I wrote a total of about 1800 words, of varying quality: 990 words recording a dream, 450 re-writing the background from last week, and one sonnet; I also did around 300 words on half-finished poems. None of those seemed finished enough to do reflection on, although I could have probably reflected on my edits to the background stuff.

The book I read was Robbery Under Arms, by Rolf Boldrewood. Unlike in Dracula or Worm, it didn’t create suspense by having the characters constantly in danger. Having their plans mostly successful made for a less gripping story, but also a less depressing one.

Also unlike those stories, Robbery Under Arms makes a point of having a moral. That gets a bit annoying at times, and rather dampened my enjoyment of the book.

In retrospect, however, I think pushing the moral may have been necessary to build up the otherwise-lacking suspense. It meant the problem in the story wasn’t to survive, but to live within the law; and having all the characters’ plans succeed actually made that harder.

Good luck and happy writing!

ROW80 Week 6: Reading horror at midnight

Week 6 (linky) was another fairly average week. I wrote about 1,600 words: 500 on research, 1000 recording a dream (it might be useful … :-] ), and a 100-word alliterative poem.

I’ve wanted to learn alliterative poetry for some time now, but I always seem to end up tacking alliteration onto a metre it’s not supposed to go with. This poem was closer than I’ve got before, but I’m still a long way from having any sort of fluency with the format.

I also got my reflection posted, and on time for once; this time it was reading that got relegated to the last few hours of Sunday.

I have now finished a book — Dracula, by Bram Stoker — but I put it down after midnight last night, and finished it today. Apropos of this posts’ title, I’m not sure whether being afraid to sleep or just up late was more of a problem.

There were a few things about the book that surprised me, but I particularly liked the way the fortunes of the characters were constantly changing. Half the time they were clearly on top of the situation and ready to defeat Dracula, then something unexpected would happen and they would be suddenly losing again, and vice versa.

Partly because of this, partly because I overestimated the complexity of Dracula’s plans, and partly because I’d picked up a wrong idea about the plot from somewhere, the ending managed to be completely unexpected.

Hopefully I can learn something from this about writing suspense.

Good luck and happy writing!