WRITING A NOVEL: START TO FINISH, ENTRY THREE
A Jaded Hack afterschool special
This is an empty room. A must! Except for me in there, of course.
My working title of the novel: TUG
Only spent about 45 minutes Sunday night writing. I got the intro down. I feel that I nailed it, but that’s ancient history. We’ll see how I feel later on down the road. I will be re-reading several times though. Each time I start a fresh session of writing, I re-read almost all that came before it. That is, in the beginning. If I’m deep into it, it’s not very practical. In that case, I’m reading the chapter or two preceding what I’m about to write. All this re-reading is done to get me into the voice of the story, the feel, etc. When I do this, I’m NOT reading for content, but the tone. That’ll come later.
Tonight I crapped out so quickly for two reasons. 1. I’m tired, it’s the end of the day. 2. I got as far as I could go without forcing the writing just to say I’m writing. –Writing is not a race. In fact, I’m happy with 500 words a night. Tonight I had 611 good words. I’ll take 500 good words over 1000 words for the sake of words any night.
My next opportunity to write will be Monday night, late though. That being said, I can spend my stolen minutes brainstorming the sticking point I’m at. I don’t want to go any further without fully realizing who, besides Thaddeus himself, is the antagonist here? I can appreciate the struggle against one’s self, but it’s just not something I want to try to carry an entire novel through with. I have some general ideas and should arrive at this by next weekend.
I ended my night writing the way I always do. I write in bold letters a generalized statement of the next scene or any important notes. If the next scene needs to be skipped to get to the one I already know where I’m going with, I note about it. I do this so I can get back into the writing more quickly. It only takes a couple minutes to do. It’s the equivalent of putting shells in a shotgun. It’s ready when you need it to blast away.
Tuesday—wrote again. Too tired Monday after a long day and kid events in the evening. The type of writing I do may not be for everyone. I don’t have a lot of free time. Sometimes when I have the time I’m too tired. I’m a caffeine compelled writer. I am a loud and fast music writer. I need the adrenaline amped up, the pressure of going against a clock, of meeting a deadline. I’m a reactionary writer. That being said, I need solitude to get to the point of all these ideas to actually put onto paper (or the screen as it is). Some of my best writing breakthroughs come from driving in my car with the music off. Monday night, while driving to a sporting event for my daughter an hour away, I had several eureka moments with my dear Thaddeus in mind. I also determined who the thorn in his side will be. I drove along talking out loud like a schizophrenic about my sticking points. Thankfully, it was dark so the folks going down the interstate beside me didn’t witness my nuttiness. Hey, it works for me. When I’m stuck—take a ride and talk. I’d returned home excited to get at it the next day. And I did.
Tuesday found me ready to gun. I mapped out my timeline. When I do this, I can only go so far. I don’t go all the way through. I feel by mapping the entire thing out I would be writing like reading from a cookbook. It’s time to do this now, put this in here right about now, etc. That’s not very organic and stifles the creative process for me.
I re-read what came before and made some changes. I realized two things the night before: my intro was very basic. I didn’t effectively put across who Thaddeus was in as condensed a space as possible. I feel it’s important to get across to the reader who the protag is, what he looks like, his age, a little of his psyche, etc, right off the bat so that mental image can be provided. I also wanted to put across what his family status is, his financial status, his town, his house. But I didn’t want to recipe write it. I had to think of organic telling of this. I did so Tuesday.I wrote sort of guerrilla warfare style the rest of the week. A post it note here while sitting at my desk at work. A scribble here while driving. Talking into my iPhone to take notes. Sitting at the laptop for a 15 minute jam session. At week end I ended up at 1094 words. I’m very satisfied with what I have. I want to point out though, as I referenced earlier in sentence three of this entry, “I feel that I nailed it, but that’s ancient history.” By Tuesday I was completely dissatisfied with what I had put down. I’ll see how these thousand words look this Sunday.