A few words a day makes a difference, though in truth this morning saw very few actual new words. My story is global in nature and takes place in a fairly short span of time, so time zones make a difference. Under the guidelines that one should write like mad when the fire is burning, I have been forging on at certain points where I was uncertain of the effects of this timing.
In other words, as long as I figured it was daytime in [insert favorite setting here], I wrote the storyline around waking times. I could smooth out the edges later.
The last two days I’ve gotten myself a bit bogged down with things like who should be sleeping and who should be awake. You know, little nits like that. So this morning I bit the bullet and created a full-page diagram of the story along with a world clock that registers the actual time it is at each place around the globe at all moments. This makes things much easier.
Perhaps I should have done that earlier. Dunno.
All I can say for certain is that I’ve got about 18,000 words behind me and clear sailing ahead. I can live with that.
Oct 3, 2009 Daily Writing
Listening To: Laura Love, Led Zeppelin
(I know, not a pair that would jump to mind)
Good progress this morning. Probably only 1,000 words, but I needed to get some research done, too. These things sometimes take serious thinking and reading time, and this morning gave me that opportunity.
I was recently reading something about the writing process wherein the writer said (and I apologize for not quoting the name at this time–I’ll add it back later if I get a chance to) … anyway … the writer said one of the things he liked about the process was that you constantly get to experience the feeling of discovering how to solve a problem that was standing in the way of a story. I can grok it, man. I can grok it.
Restructuring this novel has been interesting. I like its pace now, I like its transitions.
I was thinking about this a couple days ago while I was mowing the yard. What was it that made me realize I hadn’t started in the right place to begin with? What was it that made me uncomfortable? It wasn’t the writing. The writing was good, I thought…or at least the words sounded good to me inside my head–the technical part of conveying information was solid. I liked the characters, but I admit they were getting to bore me. Maybe that’s it, I guess. They were boring me. Maybe that’s how I knew.
But it’s not really their fault. They are perfectly interesting characters.
What I realized, looking back as I cut swathes of green through my yard, was that I had spent a majority of the first thirty pages in the heads of the characters. This means the opening was a classic series of character studies done via thinly disguised information dumps made semi-necessary due to a combination of where I started and the lack of depth I had built into these characters when I first set out to create this work.
And that, my friends, is a helluva sentence to write this danged early in the morning.
So at present I consider the first 40 or so pages of the first draft to be a good piece of story research, and I’ve moved on so much the wiser.