September 27, 2002

Only About 900 Words

But I'm not complaining. It went pretty well. I'm about 69 pages into the book now, and it's still rolling. No major problems yet, but the self-doubt is starting to set in, worries that everything I've written so far is crapola. But I'm not going to let myself give into that. After all, even if it is crapola, I can rewrite it. Okay. I'm off work today, so I'm going to enjoy my day. Probably revise a short story and get that in the mail next we. Now there's a goal for ya!

September 26, 2002

Sometimes the Roadmap is Wrong

So I'm working on the latest scene of my novel, thinking I've go the whole scene mapped out in my head. In an experiment to see how this would work for me, I purposely tried to imagine the scene I had outlined in full. I took the one sentence from my outline and built on that all in my head, imagining how the scene would play, even getting swatches of dialogue. I spoke notes into my mini tape recorder on the way to work and on the way back last night, and even drifted off to sleep playing the scene through my head.

This morning I started writing that scene. Outside of the very beginning and some small elements throughout, the scene (done now) is nothing like how I'd planned. But, it's good, it works a lot better. Through actually writing the scene, I realized I was trying to stuff too much into one place. I needed another step in there before I could get to where I wanted to go. So now my outline must change. (Not that it hasn't already, only 64 pages into this book.) I'm splitting this scene in half and putting part 2 about two scenes down. It just works better that way.

But this just goes to show a lot of writing can only happen (for me, at least) in the actual writing. Scenes tend to take on a life of their own. Sometimes I worry that I'm being lazy. Maybe I need to outline more. But really, there are some ideas that just would not occur to me until I'm in the midst of composition. Good ideas at that. But this is probably another good reason to have an outline in the first place. You see, since these changes suggested themselves, rather than just following along, praying it would all somehow fit, I was able to glance at my outline, look ahead, and find a way to weave it into my story without disrupting anything. So, while sometimes the roadmap isn't always accurate, it still helps to glance at it once in a while to make sure you're still headed in the right direction.

Good writing day. Just shy of 1200 words. Much better than yesterday, at around 400-something. But I'd stopped on purpose at the end of a scene, so I could do my little experiment with the next scene. I'm glad I did try that experiment. Though it worked nothing like I thought it would, it has told me a lot about how the writing process works for me. So now I know, and as G.I. Joe used to say, "Knowing is half the battle."

'Nuf said.

September 24, 2002

Yowsa! 1400 Words

Got into the bulk of my first big scene. I've been struggling with this scene for the past few days. It's a long scene. I'll probably do some heavy editing on it. I really had to struggle through some junk to get to the goods. But I got there, so I'm happy. Now I can cut the junk. Yesterday...I only got about 800 or so words, so today makes up for that nicely. These are pretty good numbers, I think, considering I can only fit about an hour of writing in a day.