Thursday, 27 May 2010

Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back

I have been powering ahead with the novel this week. Unfortunately, a change to a sub plot meant I also had to delete 4000 words.

That's a total of 70,000 words I have deleted from the novel altogether. The word count is now still hovering at about 40,000. There's a long way to go.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Knee-Deep in Novel

I haven't blogged recently because I've been writing. So, I really shouldn't tell myself off for not blogging.

I have read various books about writing by writers, people like Ray Bradbury and Stephen King, thinking that they must be doing something right.

What leaped out at me from their books was their sense of discipline. Stephen King writes 2000 words every single day. Ray Bradbury sits (sat, now) down on Monday and wrote a story. He rewrote it on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and on Saturday he sent it to a magazine.

I have been getting into a routine of writing 2000 words a day. I used to write and edit simultaneously, going back and rewriting chapters endlessly before moving on. Now, I have taken some very good writerly advice that says 'Plough on! Re-writes are for second drafts, just get the words down.' And they're right.

By creating what I'm calling the Critical Mass, the writing starts to take your ideas and run with them. The characters begin to pull their own weight and, without you knowing, keep on working when you're not. So, you sit back down at your desk to find they have had all sorts of thoughts that you would never have had on your own.

The price of this productivity is jettisoning all short stories and poetry for the time being, as well as my lovely writing community over at WriteWords. They wander in and interrupt the secret meetings my characters are having behind my back, demanding their own meeting rooms and interactive white boards. So I've had to sent them on extended leave, at least until this first draft is done.