• Are You Writing? Week of 10.16.17

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Are You Writing?     Comments 11 comments

    “Are You Writing?” is a new weekly space that will allow you to post your writing, editing, and reading goals for the week — in public! for accountability! — and to let us know how you did the week before.

    Anyone remember AccountabiliBuddy!? It’s like that, but with many more partners.

    New posts will appear every Monday.


    This week:

    What are your literary goals for this week (writing, editing, reading, whatever)? Let us know in the comments.

    Last week:

    Did you hit your goals from last week? If so, good job! If not, what kinds of roadblocks did you run into? Share your experiences below.

    (Check out last week’s post to refresh your memory on your goals!)

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    My goal for this week is to start drafting a story for which I took notes on vacation and to continue work on a project which is already in progress. There is a third story in the wings, maybe I’ll spend time on that one in place of one of the other two. So… make progress on two out of three projects.

    David Duhr

    Thanks, Teresa. I like it: no specifics, just progress. That can be a good approach.


    My goal for next week is to begin the fourth revision of my novel. Do you think we can learn from our characters? It is just what happened to me. A problem about POV was pestering me for quite a long time. Then the protagonist gave me the solution. I wobbled behind him as if with a camera on my shoulder, just shooting the scenes he was showing me. Characters when well defined by their actions could go on their own for some time. I remember critics having some reproaches for some writers who interfere too much with their characters… Read more »


    Nice, Alia. I love writing descriptive scenes but hate writing dialogue. I suppose it’s because I look at the scenes as an observer, too, and I have to become the character to get inside his/her/its head. I like your technique. While I’m here, I have a question for everyone. I have heard two schools of thought on sharing your work before it’s published. One, some say nothing until the story is done. If you describe it out loud, you tell the story and have less of a psychological need to write it. Plus, then you might have too many cooks… Read more »

    David Duhr

    I have a novelist friend who says, “My characters know more than I do.” Even if a character’s decision seems odd to him, or runs against the plan he’d made or his outline for the day, he just kind of surrenders and goes with it. Your “We should let them live their experience” is a perfect distillation of that.

    Marie Hammerling

    When I write about a character, I picture him/her as in What Would – Do. Sometimes, I picture myself as a scene director. Sometimes, I pretend I’m one of the characters and in an alt reality. Sometimes, it’s a bit nerve wracking, but it helps me with dialogue and plan out action.

    David Duhr

    Hi Marie,

    Sounds like you and Alia would get along well; note her comment above, “I wobbled behind [my character] as if with a camera on my shoulder, just shooting the scenes he was showing me.”

    I think we’re onto something here!


    “Director” hits the nail on the head. I see it played out in my head like a movie, then write according to what I saw. However, I rewrite scenes after I go back to them to make the movie play better. My book will never be done!

    […] you reach the goals you set here last week? If so, bust out and do a little […]


    In 26th page of the fourth revision of my novel and still cannot get used to the pain of killing my darlings. My production is in negative terms since I have sometimes to get rid of entire beloved chapters that previously gave me so much pride. Well-written paragraphs who gained many good feedbacks and that no longer fit in the text. Am I exaggerating if I say I grieve for days for such losses? Fourth revision and I feel that I shall have to go through as many revisions. Writers often debate about the right moment to let a novel… Read more »

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