Update – 24 January 2019

I’ve slowly been working on the novel, still as yet untitled. One day I wrote five pages in half an hour, and the next I wrote a half a page in an hour. But I am doing it. I am writing.

I’ve changed my main character’s name again. Cora didn’t quite fit. She’s Sofia now, and it feels right. Anyone who’s written may understand the struggle of a difficult character. Still, I love her for it, and I love her lots. She already feels like a friend.

I’ve written a lot in the past two weeks. I’m not sure I’m going to keep all of what I’ve written. I may condense it. The scene I’m thinking of specifically is nonessential to the story. It is, however, essential to the characters and their relationships, and leads to smaller conflicts between characters. So, in a way, I guess it is essential. Plus, there’s the fact that I don’t plan on going as in-depth as I have on the building of this relationship throughout the rest of the story.

I think the action I’m going to take regarding this is no action at all. I’ll keep what I’ve written, for now, and just keep writing. If I feel the need to add or edit, I’ll do it later. God knows I have a problem with going back to what I’ve written and editing or adding to it, so there’s no need to worry that the scene in question will be forgotten, because it most definitely won’t be.

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Update

Update

Hello, everyone. I realize it’s been awhile. I honestly have no good explanation as to why.

I’ve been working on the novel with Vivien, whose name is now Cora. I’m entirely rewriting the thing. Of course, I haven’t deleted anything of the old version. I’m keeping it. I worked hard on it, and I don’t want to just throw it away. There’s some decent stuff in there, too. Besides, I read somewhere – I think it was Gail Carson Levine, the author of one of my favorite books from my childhood, Ella Enchanted – that you should never throw away anything you write.

So, I haven’t abandoned the almost fifty pages I had written already. I’m just rewriting the story. There was some lazy storytelling in the original, anyway. A hint to some vital information was revealed in a dream, which is quite possibly the laziest way of revealing information there is. Dreams themselves are not necessarily evil in writing, but they are typically a show of laziness or lack of imagination in the writer.

I’m also rewriting the novel from a different point of view. It’s completely changed my style of writing the thing, I think for the better. I’m about twenty pages along, and not as far in the story, but I also think that is for the better. There are scenes in the original that I always knew to be unnecessary, and I’ve added others that I think are much more pertinent.

Hopefully the story, as yet untitled, will not be complete garbage. I’m inclined to think it won’t be, but that could be my ego talking. I know the writing of the rewrite is good, at least, if the story is not necessarily genius. I will finish it, though. I must finish it. I must see it through, if only to get the idea out of my head entirely.

Walking the Walk

Walking the Walk

Well, I do a really good job of talking the talk. I’m trying to actually walk the walk.

Yes, you guessed it. I’m writing.

Well, I do write every day. But, I bounce around projects as I am inspired to write them. Sometimes I create even more projects for myself, which is silly, since I already have so many going. Regardless, I do write every day, and that writing is important, make no mistake. It keeps the conversation with myself going, and the creative juices flowing. It is practice, and practice is essential in any art. But still, careening from project to project, finishing and beginning and making progress on any number of them, is definitely not the most productive use of my time.

The book that I’ve been working on for about a year had eluded me for awhile. I’d write it in bursts, and stalled out with about forty pages written. While bursts are certainly better than nothing, if I truly want to be a writer, they aren’t a sustainable way of making a living. I signed up for NaNoWriMo, but I haven’t yet begun anything and I am now so far behind I don’t know if I’d ever catch up to where I should be by now. But, I still think I’ll try. I finally have an idea for it, at least.

I’ve also been reading fiction again, an excellent way to study how to write. I’m currently reading Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss, The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes, and Big Stone Gap by my favorite contemporary author, Adriana Trigiani. I had been reading all nonfiction, and while that was fine, my body ached for a story – a storybook, fiction. So I sold some old books that I don’t need in my future library and picked up a few new novels. I am enjoying them immensely.

But I digress. I’ve been trying to work every day on the novel I’ve begun, the one starring Vivien. I am, I am happy to report, on the forty-sixth page. Vivien lives!

Happy writing, all!

 

The Block and the Sludge and the Muse

The Block and the Sludge and the Muse

The block is coming.

The writer’s block.

I know what needs to be written, for the most part. The thing to do is to write through this less-inspired moment until I reach inspiration again. The only way to reach inspiration is not to rest and expect the mountain to come to Mohammed. Resting is all well and good and can help on the journey, but it won’t get you anywhere in and of itself. The only way to reach an inspired place again is to work through the sludge. To write anyway. To write and write and write, even if it’s trash, to write even though you hate every word, to write.

Like I’ve said before, the only way to do the thing is to do the thing. Even when you don’t want to do it. Even when you feel like trash and everything you’re writing is trash and why are you doing this and maybe you should wait until you’re blessed by the muse once more.

Except, the muse won’t work unless you do. While a benevolent deity, she won’t bless a lazy writer. She won’t bless the writer who isn’t already actively trying on his own. She sees the effort, she appreciates it, and then she nudges the writer along to keep the work going. An object in motion tends to stay in motion, but something has to be the first mover.

I am the first mover.

Excuse me, I’m going to go write.

Frustration

My story is coming along well. Vivien (I’ve changed the spelling of her name) and her adventures are slowly gearing up to begin. I’m on chapter five, and I’ve written over thirty pages total.

Still, I feel the story is very much lacking. Or, not so much very lacking as slightly lacking, which is somehow worse. There’s a transition within it that skips “the better part of a year,” and it’s a little awkward. I have nothing to fill that almost-year with, though. There isn’t any major action that occurs in that space of time, so I don’t know what to do with it. Also, the rising action, after a diversion, will culminate soon. But I only have a little over thirty pages!

I oughtn’t worry; I can always go back. This is just a first draft. I can always expand and refine later. I just have to get the words on the page.

Besides, I know this story isn’t my masterpiece. I do think it could be a decent novel or, on my current path, novella, though. It must be written. It must be finished. I don’t know if it will go anywhere. I’d love for it to be published, but if I only finished it and it never saw the light of a bookstore, I’d be content as well.

I guess I’ll just keep rolling along.