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And the result….

March 16, 2014

…is that I need to start writing regularly again.

Okay, so for anyone who missed yesterday’s post, I decided to write a new opening scene for my novel after coming across this.  The events in my novel are largely driven by the actions of an intelligent parasite, and I thought it would be interesting to write a scene from the parasite’s point of view.

The resulting scene, it is safe to say, needs a lot of work. It took a long time to write – several hours for around 300 words – and I don’t think it made an awful lot of sense. This is not to say it can’t be fixed later – redrafting can fix pretty much anything, after all – but nonetheless I was hoping for more.

Looking back, the biggest problem here was that I hadn’t written much in the last fortnight. Essentially, I was out of shape: writing is like a muscle in a lot of respects, and it tends to be easier to do if you do it regularly. Thus, in order to speed up my writing, I reckon I should start making a bit more time for it again.

Another problem, however, was the intended style of the scene. I was trying to write it as a stream of consciousness – a style which I’m not used to. This would have been hard enough to pull off for a human character, but a nonhuman…yeah.

did “learn” a bit more about the parasite character, for what it’s worth. The parasite’s “voice” became a little clearer to me, and I also gained a better idea on how it views the other characters. So in that regard at least, this exercise was worth the time spent on it.

So to wrap up: this was an interesting experiment that may or may not end up significantly affecting my novel.  I’ll probably use it when refining the parasite’s characterization, but it remains to be seen whether this scene (or any others like it) make it into the final book. Regardless, it was a fun exercise, and I can see myself trying this with other characters further down the line.

Has anyone else had any writerly troubles in recent days? Feel free to share below.

 

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From → Writing

11 Comments
  1. All sounds really positive. Now you have your first draft, a few hours for 300 words that really had you thinking and are keeping you thinking sound like very productive time!

    • Very true :). I had another look at it today and it wasn’t quite as bad as I first thought. Changed it around a bit and am now fairly happy with it. It’ll need redrafting, but it’s definitely going to be the book’s opening scene now.

  2. It’s funny how looking back at stuff can surprise you. We remember how it felt while writing the piece, more than the actual words themselves.

    I’m currently editing the rough Draft of my first novel and still writing on a new novel. I’ve also been working hard to get promoted at my day job which has added a lot of stress and taken a lot of my time. My writing and editing started to falter. I couldn’t find time to do one, let alone both. And so I’ve decided to put the promotion on the back burner and really focus on my fiction. The goal being to write full time someday. That was a pretty tough decision to make.

    • Bleh, I know that feeling. I’m having enough trouble simply keeping one writing project going at the moment; having two on the go is highly impressive, in my opinion.

      Best of luck in achieving that goal! Perhaps one day, we’ll both get there 🙂

  3. I have my ups and downs. Some weeks it’s really hard for me to write for a number of reasons (I’m feeling down that week, we’ve had a lot of over time at work, tons of stuff to do at home, I’d rather play games with friends, just any number of reasons.)

    Where as other weeks I’m chomping at the bit to get home and write. I’m still trying to figure out how to distill and synthesize this mood. I think it’s related to reading a good book and being at a part in the book I want to write.

    In regards to writing being a muscle, I completely agree. That’s why I try to make time to write some everyday, even if I don’t want to, even if it’s only a few hundred words.

    Also, I’ve found that writing my characters out helps me understand them so much more, even when I’m not understanding them. I’m fortunate enough to have my girlfriend as a support alpha reader, and I can’t tell you how many times she’s pointed out something to me and said “Wow, this action makes so much sense for this character based upon what you’ve told me about them so far.” And then, baffled, I ask why. She then usually proceeds to explain some connection or behavior rooted in the characters history that I didn’t even make when I was writing it.

    Best of luck to you in getting back into the swing of things!

    • I’ve also been having a lot of highs and lows as of late, mostly due to how much time University has been taking up. I really wish I’d written more as an undergrad, looking back: I had so much more free time back then.

      I imagine reading a good book has a lot to do with it, actually. For that matter, I bet a bad book would also work, if a writer wanted to feel better about their own material :). As for writing the bits you want to write, have you ever heard of the “Writercopter” method? There’s another blogger I follow who talks about that quite a bit; could link you if you want.

      Also, glad to hear you have such good support available. I have useful conversations with friends and family concerning my WIP from time-to-time, though I don’t have any real alpha readers as of yet. I just think it’s amazing how much we authors can miss when dealing with our own work.

      And thanks :D. I seem to be doing it so far, but I just know I could slump again if I’m not careful. How’s your own writing going? From what you’ve said here, I’m guessing it’s going pretty well?

      • Would love a link to the writercopter method blog. Learning about new methods is always fun, and even if I don’t choose to use it exactly, I can probably take something away from it.

        My writing is going pretty well, thanks for asking! I’m not putting out as much as I’d like to put out on a daily basis, but I’ve gotten to the point where I can make sure I write about 500 words a day, and as long as I keep making progress, I’m happy with that. No matter how slow I’m moving. I’m a little worried the book is going to end up being a 150k word monstrosity, but I think (hope) I’ll be able to cut out a great deal when I go back for the first round of revisions. But overall I’m really pleased with how well the characters have come to life (in my head at least) and how well the plot is gelling and growing into something much greater than I initially planned for.

        Thanks for the reply, I always enjoy exchanging comments with you!

      • Firstly, for the writercopter I would suggest giving http://saraletourneau.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/chronicling-the-craft-3000-words/ a look, as well as the article it links to.

        Personally, I don’t use the technique wholesale – I tend to skip around within individual scenes and chapters, if at all – but I still think it’s a good idea.

        Glad to hear your writing is going so good; 500 words certainly sounds solid from where I’m sitting. :). I doubt cutting will be too difficult, though, if your book actually needs it. I’ve already lost over 10k words in my current draft, and I’ve barely even started.

        Same here! Talking is always good 🙂

  4. Eh, mine’s been kind of…bleh. I think it’s pretty much as you said, that I’m kind of falling “out of shape”. I’m going to try to write about 10k-15k words or so in April, or at the very least write a few hundred every day.

    Anyway, I’m glad you got some stuff out of your little exercise. That’s always good. 🙂

    • It actually ended up going even better than I thought while writing this post. Long story short: the parasite’s POV is what opens the book now, and there will be similar sequences later on in the story.

      Here’s hoping your own writing goes well! Have you got a fresh project lined up for this, or are you returning to one of your existing stories?

      • Awesome!

        Eh, I think I’m going to try to work with one of my existing ones. I wrote an outline for a story a while back, so I’m going to try to work with that a little.

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