Wednesday, November 29, 2006

In The Zone

Have you heard of writers talking about being IN THE ZONE, and how it is their favorite part of writing? The words come effortlessly, the scenes build and crescendo at the right moment, and you don't keep checking the word count wondering if you will ever get to your day's goal so you can quit with an easy conscience.

Today I was "In the Zone". I set myself a goal of 1000 words today and wound up with more than 2500!

Maybe it's the scented candle? (It smells like a white birthday cake, complete with cute little floating star sprinkles in the wax.) Maybe it's the fact that the grocery store had Diet Coke on sale, but was out of the caffeine free that I usually drink, and I'm drinking regular Diet Coke. Maybe it's because I made myself write last night at 11 pm so I could meet my goal of 500 words for yesterday. Whatever it was, one thing or a combination of things, I'm now staring my weekly goal of 30K total words in the face and it's only Wednesday.

Another cool thing. Donald Maass, in his 'gut-your-story-and-make-it-stronger' book "WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL" and its accompanying workbook, says think of something your character would never do, say or think, then write a scene where they do, say or think it. I had set this up for a character, him saying he would never do such-and-such a thing, thinking I had a scene in mind where I could turn this on its head. But today, as I was writing, a scene came out of nowhere (with a little bit of inspiration via some research) that had him not only saying he was going to do that thing, but plotting and raging, thirsting to get at it. So very cool!

I hope tomorrow goes as well.


  1. Guess the muse was working overtime. Looks like Stephen J. Cannell with all those papers flying out of the typewriter.

  2. TERRIFIC!! Could have been the Diet Coke or the cute candle---you're sure it was a NORMAL candle? Maybe someone has marketed a candle with this intoxicating scent guaranteed to improve a writer's performance. Or it could be that a good writer hit her pace and everything jelled into a terrific writing day.
    Whatever---I am totally jealous! And now I'm going to have to push myself to catch up to you---I think I can, I think I can....

  3. Great job! Being in the zone is way fun...not that I would know lately. 2500 words sounds massive!

    I like the Breakout Novel workbook too, maybe even more than the book.