Tuesday 11 March 2014

Writing Bad Habits: The Lure of the Shiny

It's the 11th of the month. I've been working hard, but I realised today that I haven't completed much this month.

I've been busy, with my novel, with edits and admin for sold short stories, with a crazy submissions challenge with my writer's forum, that's true. But the real reason that I haven't completed as much as I'd like is the lure of the shiny.

Oh, I could first draft all day. I love starting new stories. Only this morning I started another short story, that I thought might make a good sub to a new Mythos anthology.

This has to stop! This blog is part shaming document part working document. Here's what I've been up to this month:

The Good: ie The Finished. 
  1. Asimov Story Intro non fiction 500 words
  2. 'Thrash' fantasy 1000 words
  3. 'Brass and Bone' adaptation fantasy 1300 words
  4. 'When We Were in Thrall to Venus' science fiction/literary 1000 words

The Bad: ie The First Drafts.
  1. Mother Mythos dark fantasy 500 words
  2. Wide Shining in the Remote horror 3000 words
  3. Sea Spider science fiction 2000 words
  4. The Dame with Silver in Her Veins fantasy 4000 words
  5. Child of Pearl fantasy 6200 words
(edited to Bold the ones I mange to finish 20/3)

Don't be off put by the word counts. Remember I have a lot of time to write each day, plus it takes me a long time to convert first draft into finished work.

It's not as bad as I thought, I have managed to get 4 works completed.. I do work with more than one story at a time. But if I let it, this first drafting habit of mine would get out of hand. It's a good job I keep my eye on these things, otherwise, I'd just first draft all day and everyday.

All those bad stories have lost their sparkle, except for Mother Mythos, which I started today. I think I should just start at the bottom and work my way up. Maybe working on two stories at a time.

Do you have any bad writing habits? What's your strategy to combat them?


  1. I"m like you, need to finish some works before starting on the next. My bad habit is that if I don't get the story polished up enough to read smoothly through, I tend to drift away from it. So before starting a new story, I like to polish my current WIP just enough that going back to it won't involve a major haul of edits - more of just tightening and tweaking things.

  2. Novel? Yay! How is it going this time?

  3. As long as you're writing, there are no bad habits. Get it all out, clean it up later. I've been procrastinating in the agent-querying department, so I remedied that yesterday. Now I just have to keep it up.