Actually Finishing Something July — Week #3

25 July 2012

As impossible as it may seem, we are already up to the third week of Actually Finishing Something July! Below are my answers to Katie's set of questions.

You’ve little less than a week left in the challenge. Now that the end is in sight, do you think you’ll finish your goal?

If I dedicate myself, I just might. And even if I don't reach 20,000 words, I will still have finished the hardest step of all: the beginning.

For me, the last week and a half has been so chaotic that I’ve hardly had the time to sit down, let alone write. How have you balanced life’s craziness with your writing goals? Late night writing? Scribbling down a few lines while waiting in the grocery check-out line?

I've been very busy myself, what with summer reading for school and organizing my blog tour for Violets Are Blue, so the majority of my writing has been done either late at night or in my head. I have several scenes plotted out — now to actually write them down!

Have you written mostly in computer programs such as Word, or do you prefer scribbling in notebooks?

In general, I prefer Microsoft Office Word, but when in a pinch, my notebooks are my best friends. :)

Have any new characters jumped into your story? If so, tell us about them!

Well, Mrs. Williams thought it a fine time to remind me of The Nephew . . . that is, her nephew. I was hoping that he did not carry too many of the family genes, but I was sadly disappointed. The illustrious Leonard Williams, having spent the last several years studying in Europe, has chosen to come home at long last, and, naturally, has every intent of winning our fair Susannah Dixon's heart. He is something of a stodgy character, not very tall, has blonde hair, and the beginnings of a moustache. Europe has taken its toll on Leonard, causing him to grow more conceited and disparaging of the Colonies than ever. He is loyal to the Crown, of course, and would be ashamed to have you think otherwise. I'm going to have too much fun writing his scenes . . . ;)

Share a snippet of your recent writing.

She couldn’t explain the unnatural urge that came over her all at once to crumple the pages and toss them into the fire, to burn those words into a pile of charred ash, never to be seen again. It didn’t make any sense, this sudden flash of rage and anger and pain wrapped up into one confusing emotion. It was as if someone had choked her, and she had to gasp for air once or twice. Mr. Dixon didn’t seem to notice how the headline had affected his daughter and continued his reading unperturbed.

The wave of emotion passed quickly, and Susannah was left reeling, still making no sense of her sudden change in mood. Why on earth should the headline in a newspaper affect her to such great lengths? The memory of that sudden flash of unnatural rage was so painful that she put the thought out of her mind. Fanny was already coming in to clear the tea things, and Mr. Dixon was folding the offending newspaper and kissing his daughter on the cheek, saying he thought he might continue reading in the library and would be there if she needed him.

Susannah felt that she replied back in kind, though if someone had asked her a minute later what she had said, she would not have recalled the words. They slipped through her lips as if they were not her own; and then her father was gone, and she was alone in the dining room.
— Rifles in the South Field

Sometimes the most mundane, simple of things can spark one’s creativity. Have you come across anything, simple yet special, in your daily life, inspiring you to write?

Yes, it seems everything around me is acting as a catlyst. A smile here, a clip of a movie there, a soft strain of music. Now to conjure up the time to write it all down . . .

Any pictures, images inspiring bits of your story?

None worth sharing at this point.

Introduce us to the antagonist in your story and tell us his favorite dessert.

James Campbell, the gruff overseer, is the only antagonistic character I have so far. He is cruel, calculating, and relentless. As for dessert, he doesn't have a favorite — to him, desiring sweets would be a display of weakness.

Pick, from all of your July writing, your favorite three lines said by your characters.

One of the older women down in the quarters can read. She only owns two books — The Bible and Lear — and I can never tell which she reads more. You should hear her quote: she can go on for hours!”
— Lucy

I have made my decision, daughter. It is final. Do not beg me to change my mind, for you will only meet with disappointment.”
— Mr. Dixon

Why, Miss Susannah, is something the matter? You look as if you’ve seen a ghost!”
— Fanny

Any advice for your fellow writers as we reach the final stretch of this challenge?

Perservere. Perservere, perservere, perservere. Note that I'm talking just as much to myself as anyone, as I have been known to put the "p" in "procrastination."

3 epistles:

  1. Dear me, Elizabeth Rose, I think two of my characters may have revolted on me and headed to you! I was enjoying reading your post when I saw "Mrs. Williams". "That's funny," I told myself, "I also have a Mrs. Williams." And then my eyes roved the page till they landed upon your mentioning of "Leonard Williams" - and I laughed aloud, for I also have a Leonard Williams in my novel! Leonard is Mrs. Williams' son! :-)

    Oh, that was hilarious. Perhaps my characters decided to rebel on me and hightail it to you. Perhaps they thought a book during the Revolutionary War was more interesting than a book set in the Victorian era... I'll have to have a talk with these two characters! How dare they run off on me.

    But anyways, thank you, Elizabeth Rose, for this lovely, inspiring post! Your writing and characters are wonderful! Rifles in the South Field sounds lovely - I can't wait to read more snippets of it.

    From one writer to another,


  2. Girly, I need to read your book. :) And I'm sneaking into that Word document to see if you've written more. Because let's face it, I'm seriously excited about where this is going. !!


  3. The more I hear about it, the more my interest is piqued by Rifles in the South Field. Leonard Williams sounds like a perfect pest... in my eyes, anyway :).

    I hope you do finish this writing goal, Elizabeth; but despair not if you do not, because what really counts is the quality of one's writing. One pen-slaying word is enough, and I am sure is worth more than a thousand words. And I really cannot wait to read more snippets of your new work in progress.

    The larger snippet is a favourite; I loved the emotion you evoked through it.

    All the best with your writing.
    God bless,
    ~Joy @


"Gracious words are like a honeycomb; sweetness to the soul and health to the body." —Proverbs 16:24

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