Spark Tally Friday!

First of all, I apologize for no Thursday review. My Word Press site was up and down yesterday and then I couldn’t log into my account this morning, though I could finally get to the site. I’m glad they got the log in working in time for Spark Tally. Please Like us on Facebook and you will see my announcements of when the site goes down like that. You can also check the old blog where I was planning to post Spark Tally if there were still technical problems.

Next, this might be a rambling Spark Tally. Think of it as an extra post to make up for the lack of a review :)

My word count this week is 5500. I’m pleased, though I was hoping for more. It took me until yesterday to get good focus. Here is the breakdown:

About 1000 words to the new novel SSw. That brought me to the end of the first quarter. I have to stop there and figure out what’s going on in another country in that same world at that same time before I move on. Of course, I can’t just outline it; I have to start a whole new book for it—SD. About 1200 words for SD that I trashed. I restarted and got 300 words out. In a fit of frustration, I started working on a third novel that’s totally unrelated to the other two—DB. DB is a story I’ve started a dozen times, but this time I finally think I’ve got it. I wrote 3000 words in one afternoon for DB. Hooray!

And here’s the bonus blog:

Beginnings. When I first took up writing, I thought the best way to draw in editors and readers was to show how unique and different my character is in a unique and different situation. Oh how wrong I was. The most common critique I got was “I don’t like your protagonist.” I do think part of it was bad writing, but what a reader really wants at the beginning of a story is to be drawn in by a feeling of sympathy towards the character. Look at all the openings with orphans, parents are divorcing/just divorced, spouse/SO left, dead relative, dead pet, evil boss/monarch/overlord, etc. The beginning of a story seems to be to build a sense of connection to the character by means of “Oh, my life isn’t that bad. That poor person.” After you build that connection, then you can go on to build the unique characteristics for the protagonist and the world to keep the reader reading.

I could still be wrong, but since I’ve made this change I’ve gotten some stories published and people in classes and crit groups no longer say at the beginning of my story, “I don’t like your character.”

How do you work out your beginnings? Please post your word count!