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.


Sarah Hilary said...

"Interactive white-boards" makes me think of House..!

Great post, Jen. I too am up to my neck in a novel right now, so I can empathise. I've found, with discipline, I can manage up to 4,000 words a day but try to do at least 3,000.

Good luck with yours!

Jenzarina said...

Sarah, 3000-4000 words a day is just amazing! I find if I do that much I just don't do anything the next day, a bit like climbing a mountain and spending the next day recovering.

Maybe if I build up my writing muscles I'll be able to do more!

Good luck with the novel xx

Jules said...

I wish i was that productive :)


Jenzarina said...

...And today I cut out 4,000 words. That brings the total number of words cut out to a rather amazing 70,000.
I do still feel I'm going backwards.

Avis HG said...

Jen come and join Fast First Draft WW support for the first draft process.

Avis :-)