September 20, 2011

Procrastination...Key Word Being "Pro"

So I'm moving somewhere in the ballpark of 10 days from now, and I've done a shockingly small amount of packing thus far. Yep, I am a pro at procrastination. This is nothing new though.  It's taken me years of hard word to get to this level of awesomeness at putting things off.

Here are a few completely random - mostly useless, sprinkled with some useful - distractions I've run into this week:

1)  The Arrival of Autumn
I know technically it isn't officially Fall yet (am I the only one who thinks that Sept. 23rd is a completely weird date for Fall to begin?) but it sure looks and feels like it here in Saskatchewan. Though it's nowhere near as pretty as where I grew up in Northern Ontario, the golden leaves outside my window are still quite beautiful. Something about this time of year makes me want to drink pots and pots of tea while scarfing down anything pumpkiny that I can get my hands on.

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." -George Eliot

2)  Creepy Creepy Ventriloquist Dummies

This is probably the randomest of randoms, but unfortunately these abominations keep rearing their ugly heads and it's pretty darn distracting. I don't know why, but lately I can't seem to get away from them. They're showing up in TV programs I'm watching and on websites I'm visiting like they are the next big thing. Maybe that will be the next paranormal craze instead of vampires - the mad hot ventriloquist dummy who actually is a 'real boy'. "And so the dummy fell in love with the..." Argh! That's about all I can take of that! Maybe if he sparkled...? 

3)  Something Actually Useful
I frequently visit the Adventures in Children's Publishing website and am always wowed by the sheer number of useful resources they've managed to compile. One of the links they posted this week was to the Donald Maass Literary Agency site, and their list of Breakout Novel Prompts. Here are a couple of the prompts that I personally found useful for my own WIP:
  • What's the emotion or experience you're most afraid to put your MC through? Go there. Do it. Now.
  • What secret is your MC keeping? Who is keeping one *from* your MC? Spill the truth at the worst possible time.
  • In your current scene, what's a setting detail that delights or disgusts your POV character? Why? Elaborate and add.
  • What's the worst thing your MC does? Whom and how does that hurt? Now work backwards, set it up to hurt even more.
  • ...and many more
Nothing new or shocking there, but I still found these prompts to be useful in that they gave me some ideas to further enrich my current WIP. I printed the list of 40 prompts out and made notes beside a good chunk of them and I fully plan on putting them to good use. The devil is in the details, as they say.

Speaking of my WIP, I'm rapidly closing in on my word count goal and am starting to realize how useless the count actually is. I only ever set this goal for motivation, but also to rein myself in. Now I'm finding that I've wasted a lot of words on character ramblings and still have so much story to tell. I plan on tightening it up in the revision process, but it's alarming just how much it has gotten away from me. There is still plenty of hope for it, but it seems I'm only just beginning the really hard work on it.

And on that happy note, I need to stop procrastinating and work on said WIP followed by some intensive packing. Yeehaw.


  1. What is/ was your word count goal? Mine was 65,000 or thereabouts, but it ended up at 74,000 which is still totally fine for the genre. Happy Writing!

  2. My WIP word count goal was 100,000 (it's a sci fi dystopian story). I'm currently at about 77,000 words. I plan on tightening it all up a lot in the revision process, so who knows what it will be in the end. I don't want to pass 100,000 words if I can help it though (even though lots of books in this genre surpass that). How's yours coming?

  3. I love fall, and I have an obsession with all things pumpkin. Is it weird if I look forward to the first day Starbucks serves Pumpkin Spice Lattes like it's a holiday? :)


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