Sunday, 10 August 2014

4 a.m. Scribbles

They say the real writing is in the re-writing, and I'd agree - but I'd add that it's also in the pre-writing: the thinking about things; asking what if this happened, what if they did this...and - omg! - then this could happen next...

I daydream. A. Lot. I'm in each scene with my characters, seeing what they see and reacting to it, speaking dialogue that sometimes makes it to the page - it's a proper little film going on in my mind!

Sometimes this daydreaming happens at night (like normal people, I hear you cry!). For me, it's less that I dream something and then transcribe it, it's that in the transition from deep to light sleep, I have a good think and start imagining. Often slumber sneaks in, but sometimes I'm aware enough to realise I need to write these thoughts down. Now.

However, I'm not a quick-drop-off-er; it takes me ages to drift off to sleep (and takes me equally as long to come to in the mornings!) - so what to do when you don't want to turn on the lamp and 40 watt yourself into wakefulness?

Write in the dark, that's what (writers keep notebooks everywhere. Yes, they do - so watch out next time you're in their house!). And that's what I did at 4 a.m. this morning:

Surprisingly, the top of both pages is legible (at least to me; I know my writing is large and loopy in both senses of the word for the uninitiated!) - but ten hours later and I'm still trying to translate what's at the bottom...!

~ ttfn ~ 

Friday, 1 August 2014

Novel Update

So, how has Novel Number Two been coming on, I hear you ask?

Well, I’ve written 43, 188 words so far this year, compared to 48, 267 for the whole of 2013 – so I’ve been more productive and driven the story further on...

...but these words are all First Draft (or thereabouts – I can’t deny myself a tweak or two as I go! Once the current scene is finished, I print it out, leave it for several days/a week while getting on with the next one, then edit the paper copy and transcribe this into a new draft on the I guess you could technically say each that scene is actually either Second or Third Draft.) The novel as a whole, with scenes integrated as chapters, the chapters having cliffhangers, and the hooks and pace controlled throughout the breadth of the book so that the Reader stays intrigued and rewarded and intrigued again...all of that is most definitely still First Draft.

The scenes are still separate, the cliffhangers not constructed. The mother’s POV scenes (deliberately fewer than the daughter’s) have not been placed, tested and placed again so that they’re just right as they appear throughout the narrative.

And most of these 43, 188 words will inevitably be deleted and rewritten or cut completely as redrafting takes place... And, though it might sound a mess or an annoying fiddle-about to some, I’m really looking forward to putting the whole thing together – it’ll satisfy my puzzle-solving brain (!) and it’ll be great to see the book taking shape as a whole.

Yet this has been the hiccup of the last month: I’ve had a redrafting itch. I’ve wanted to go back and start knitting the scenes together, moving the beginning of the book up and slotting in some later-written but earlier-needed paragraphs, rather than writing through a bit of a stall to the following scene and the one after that...

...BUT I have resisted scratching! Instead, I did indeed keep on writing, so that the next scene was done and the narrative nudged forward one more step. This method – of writing the First Draft straight through without going back to fiddle or redraft in any way – is the opposite to how I wrote Book One, and it is a good method for me; it stops me scribing away at the unnecessary details/events that the Reader can be relied upon to fill in.

Okay, okay, so I have dithered a bit. I had to stop writing and plan out the arc of upcoming scenes, and I needed to redraft a previous scene which would have caused characterisation issues and much more redrafting later if I didn’t put a stop to it now (!) – but I have continued to think about the next scene and the one after that, and made a start on the writing...

Now, there’s still eight or ten scenes still to come, but the end of the First Draft is in I’d better get back to it!

~ ttfn ~