A Return to Writing
This past week, I’ve been getting back into a steady writing schedule. Honestly, I’m glad to be saying this: the last several weeks have been exceedingly hectic, with very little time spent on any kind of writing besides the academic variety. That is not to say the last few weeks have been bad, mind; just last week, I passed my formal assessment, which means I still have a job for at least another year. Now all I need to do is keep it up for another two and a half years, and I might just graduate ;).
Anyway, the novel.
Much of my work this week has concerned two particular chapters which occur fairly early on. Both have huge implications on the relationship between my protagonist and a certain other major character, meaning that I pretty much have to get these right before writing/editing any future interactions between them, of which there are many. Said chapters were also products of the planning I did in between the first and second drafts, leaving a lot of material still to write.
The problem? I had gone nearly a month without regular fiction writing, which left me decidedly rusty. I knew where the chapters took place and I knew the gist of what I wanted to say, but I just couldn’t work out how to say it.
In the end, I came up with a bit of an odd solution: for each chapter, I wrote a script.
Perhaps I should explain some more. Both chapters are very dialogue-heavy, with both characters learning a number of truths about the other. The dialogue, then, would make or break both sequences. With this in mind, I completely ignored descriptions in favour of simply getting the characters’ conversation onto the page. I simply let the characters talk, including “stage directions” where needed, and tried to get into both of their heads as much as possible.
Once that was done, I began to write the chapters for real.
As of writing, I’m around half way through expanding the second of the two chapters. Honestly, I think this one will need a lot more work even after I’ve expanded it: the crux of it is the protagonist’s choice between the easy course of action and the right one, and she still doesn’t seem anywhere near as conflicted as I know I would be. Of course, this isn’t to say that the rest of the novel doesn’t still need a whole lot of work; I just think that this chapter in particular will take a while to get truly “right”.
This scripting technique, by the way, is something I intend to keep doing in the future. It proved a good way to stop a block in its tracks, and I’d definitely recommend trying it sometime if you haven’t done before.
So all in all, I’d say things are going well. I’m happy with how this week has gone as far as writing goes, and have every reason to believe that next week will be even better. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even get back to posting regularly on this blog you see here. Wouldn’t THAT be something special? 😉