Skip to main content

The SoCal Exile Daily Journal: Day 1

Words are complicated. Back in the old days, I used to know if I'd
accomplished something by my word count. I'd say: I'm going to write
2000 words today and then I'm going to eat a club sandwich and have
several Arnold Palmers. And I'd know that I was being productive,
because the 2000 words were there, sitting tangibly on my (very
expensive) computer screen. This made it easier to enjoy my club
sandwich.

But the re-write isn't all charging club sandwiches and Arnold
Palmers to your father and asking if you can borrow his car for
several hours to "run errands" by the outlets in Carlsbad. The word
counts go up and down in an unpredictable fashion. Yesterday I
deleted 46 pages of crap and rewrote 18. I have now connected the
entire middle of my book to the end so that it no longer seems like I
spent the middle chapters writing a (hilarious?) short story about
the mall that had nothing to do with the rest of my work. But like
the temperatures in my home state, my word count is low. I need to
get over this, friends, and it starts by ignoring the word count. And
maybe writing more?

My Father-Son Relationship Quote of the Day: "So when you finished
that jar of pickles did it even cross your mind 'hey maybe I should
go the store and replace them'?"

Today I am attempting to clean up those middle chapters I just re-
wrote and plow through the back end of the book, editing with a
passion and fury unseen in SoCal. I will keep you so up in the loop
that you'll feel like you are writing this book and I'm just sitting
in the hot tub text messaging emoticons.

I'm also going to need to get some pickles.

Let's do this again tomorrow.

Oh, also: Song sign offs this week are exclusively coming from the
year 1998. Mostly because that was a great year for network
television. ( Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place, we hardly knew ye)

Truly, Madly,
Deeply

Savage Garden

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Intentional Trail

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Intentional Trail

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character leave clues for people to find them.

Sharon Maas: On Books Finding the Right Time

Sharon Maas: On Books Finding the Right Time

Author Sharon Maas discusses the 20-year process of writing and publishing her new historical fiction novel, The Girl from Jonestown.

6 Steps to Becoming a Good Literary Citizen

6 Steps to Becoming a Good Literary Citizen

While the writing process may be an independent venture, the literary community at large is full of writers who need and want your support as much as you need and want theirs. Here, author Aileen Weintraub shares 6 steps in becoming a good literary citizen.

Daniel Paisner: On the Pursuit of a Creative Life

Daniel Paisner: On the Pursuit of a Creative Life

Journalist and author Daniel Paisner discusses the process of writing his new literary fiction novel, Balloon Dog.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 614

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a summer poem.

Give Your Characters a Psych Eval

Give Your Fictional Characters a Psych Eval

TV writer, producer, and novelist Joshua Senter explains why characters can do absolutely anything, but it's important to give them a psych eval to understand what can lead them there.

Writer's Digest Presents podcast image

Writer's Digest Presents: Vacation Reads (Podcast, Episode 6)

In the sixth episode of the Writer's Digest Presents podcast, we talk about what makes for a good vacation read, plus a conversation with authors Steven Rowley and Jessica Strawser and our first ever WD Book Club selection from debut author Grace D. Li.

Trend Chaser

Trend Chaser

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, an attempt to join an online trend has gone wrong.

Ava Reid: On Literary Traditions and Family History

Ava Reid: On Literary Traditions and Family History

Author Ava Reid discusses how her love for a certain Grimms' fairytale led her to write her new fantasy novel, Juniper & Thorn.