WRITING A NOVEL: START TO FINISH, ENTRY FOUR
A Jaded Hack afterschool special
Ended the week at 1686 words. I feel MOST of them are good. I must admit, I am a cannibal. I’ll cannibalize all that was written before this. If it’s something you I can use, I use it. I don’t care if it’s a sentence out of a story I wrote in the eighth grade—if it can be ripped out of the flesh of something larger, make like a zombie and rip it’s heart out and use it. Or consider eating it. If an entire story can be retrofitted with my new characters, that is, if it matches the tone of the new piece or can be matched, use it. I gained over 600 words this week by doing as such. I wanted to describe my town, or the fictional town of Humphrey as it is in my book. But, hey, for purposes of full disclosure: the town is my hometown of Kincaid. The main character is me. The other characters, well, their names have been changed for all those reasons dramatic pieces or made for television shows tell you.
I’d written an essay in college about where I live and how it helped to shape my identity (a writer almost never gets rid of something he think has any merit). I remember my professor had went on and on about it. I wondered if it is still good, was his perception viable, and was I swooned with too much praise to see the faults in it. Yes and no. About 75% of it was crap. But, 25% was pretty good and could now be made better because I’m a better writer. So I ripped the decent portions out, put them together, and stitched them into my story.
A week of only 600 words may sound lazy to some, but it was a productive week. I fit a great setting into my novel, I re-read what had came before and upgraded it, I had some major epiphanies about the book. I also destroyed a lot of stuff. Some of my handwritten segments of story just weren’t right for this book. So I burnt them. They had no merit. They had to go. It’s something I do which I’ve never really shared before. It’s a sort of hoo-doo-voodoo ritual do. There’s not a lot of ritual to it actually, there are no theatrics. I don’t don a special robe or kill any small reptiles. I simply wad it up and burn it. And what happened the next day after my burning? I had a huge breakthrough which I will write today.
I now have a Point Z. I can now wrote from Point A to Point Z with clear direction. I was parallel parking my car when the ending of my novel came to me, all courtesy of an empty, junked up lot on the passenger side of my car. I immediately wrote it down when back at my desk.So, become a cannibal and burn to death your babies before they grow up and tease you with a promise that never was.