The Writing of Challenge Story #18: The Romance Novel Challenge

This story had a number of different starts. And honestly, I have two other stories around two thousand words done from the title I started with. So at some point, if I can figure out how they end, I’ll have a couple of quick stories for the challenge.

How this story came about was from a title, as all challenge stories. Only the title was “Beyond This Page There Be Dragons.”

The first attempt at the story was a Buckey the Space Pirate story. I got about two thousand words and ran smack into a place that beginning writer’s call “writer’s block” but in reality is just project block. So, since it was late, I slept on where I was stuck, sat down the next day and was still stuck. I had gone wrong somewhere, so I typed in the title again and wrote another thousand words on a new story with that title. Not Buckey this time, just something different. Stopped again by midnight this time.

So one more time I typed in the title and wrote this Dee W. Schofield romance story in about 4.5 hours, two hours last night and two tonight.

But when I got done, the title didn’t fit anymore, so I switched the title to “The Romance Novel Challenge,” found this nifty cover art, did a cover, and got the story up for sale on Kindle, Pubit, and Smashwords.

I’m afraid I may have done serious damage to book clubs, though. (grin)

The lesson on this challenge story: Just keep typing and eventually I’ll finish something.

TOTAL HOURS SPENT (Including writing, publishing, and cover and putting it up here and writing this post) 6 hours from 2 A.M. on June 5th to 2 A.M on June 11th. (Not counting the time for writing on the other stories. I will count that time when I finish them and put them up.)

Actually started June 9th. Published June 1oth. Posted here just before 2 A.M. June 11th.

Word Count: About 4,600 words.


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8 Responses to The Writing of Challenge Story #18: The Romance Novel Challenge

  1. Michele Lang says:

    Great story behind the story. Among all the things you do for writers, I especially appreciate your tales of writing. There’s a whole little workshop on beating so-called “writer’s block” right here in your post.


  2. Hello Mr. Smith –

    I was referred here by most likely a colleague of yours. Her name is Sonia Rumzi, author. I am inspired to learn that top authors experience creative tangents as unpublished, aspiring writers as I do. I often find my self starting with an exciting topic and path in mind, only to veer in a new direction as the paragraphs unfold. Sometimes this leads me to a dead end and I return to start anew. Other times I am very pleased with the new course and the result is a better writing and reading experience. I need to learn more from top writers like you and Sonia. Thank you and happy Saturday to you. :)

    • dwsmith says:

      Michele, writer’s block is a myth, but project block sure exists. It’s often when you write yourself down a path and somehow your conscious brain gets a handhold and veers you in a direction. Then your writing brain, your subconscious says, “Nope.” And you just grind to a halt. Or, sometimes your subconscious just hasn’t figured out the next line yet. Which is why I often sleep in the middle of a story. When I wake up I can type again. (grin)

      One big aspect of project block is not trusting your subconscious. This comes from the conscious/critical mind’s driving need to know where the story is going. As long as you just trust that the story is going somewhere and type, this aspect stays silent. But when you find yourself NEEDING to know where the story is going and not knowing, like a junky needing a fix, more than likely the project will stop cold.

      Switch projects and go again. No such thing as writer’s block. But project block for many reasons is real.

  3. I only started doing this a few months. Before, I always took it one project at a time, thinking that this focus would help me finish quicker. I was completely wrong.

    Since I started working on a few projects at the same time, I’ve found that when I get stuck on one, I can just switch to another and keep going.

    It was a revelation, and my productivity has shot up.

  4. Louis says:

    Haven’t commented on one of your stories or what you say about them before but I had to for this one.

    But before I do I want to say that even though I hadn’t thought about it before I can see Michele’s point; in fact charlie’s post proves that point. So thanks for posting them they are not only interesting but enlightening also.

    Now to this story. No I haven’t read yet. If, as planned, I buy a e-reader at the end of the month I will be able to read your stories. I can read them now but I would have to take part of my writing time to do it. I do enough of that when I crit stories for other writers. But that cover, Wowzer (?) It’s great. Even though it looks more like a UF story but still I may buy “Dee’s” story anyway.

    You do get some interesting and intriguing titles. This one and the “It’s a Story” title… got to read them. :)

  5. Jeff Ambrose says:

    Never thought of it in terms of “project block,” but now that you say it, it makes perfect sense.

    I remember reading somewhere that Jack London wrote 1,000 words a day. Period. If he 500 words of one project then got stuck, he went on to something else for the other 500 words.

    Also, both Louis L’Amour and Isaac Asimov had multiple typewriters in their studies and would just switch projects when one wasn’t working.

    Today, we can do that easily by having a number of files open.

    Wow. Just never thought of it like that.

    I guess I can say I learned my one new thing for the week, and take the next six days off. :)

  6. David Barron says:

    I’ve got so many ongoing projects that even if there were such a thing as writer’s block I could not possibly ever get it. It’s fun to finish things…

  7. Louis says:

    A PS here. I had to come back here for a couple of reasons so of course I was forced to see the cover again. :) I feel like I can do my own story based on that cover. Of course a different title and characters and it won’t be a romance, well it might have some romance in it but it wouldn’t be a Romance. I believe I will do one… if there’s no problem with me doing that, of course.

    Actually, the cover for the Slowboat Man story has my muse working over time also. Probably a vamp and/or werewolf story but with a twist. And I don’t do those type of stories.

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