Friday, November 21, 2008
Well "one of those days" is here. Something finally clicked in my brain and I honestly believe my outline is complete enough to just write dialogue and prose now. In fact, in the last couple days all I've done is write prose. Yesterday alone I wrote almost 4000 words in just over a couple hours time.
Every morning I've been beginning to wake up at least an hour before my son to write. I'm not setting an alarm or anything, it's just naturally happening. Not that I could set an alarm with my toddler's crazy sleep habits lately... but that's a whole different story. Anyway I wake up, grab my 3-ring binder that I keep by the bed and start hand writing dialogue. I don't even have to think about what I'm going to write anymore, a scene just pops into my head and I struggle to take dictation of what my characters are saying.
Now that I'm focused on just writing out scenes in their entirety, it's amazing how I'm able to jump around between them. With the two scenes I wrote out yesterday I went from writing Casey at one of her most depressed, hopeless points to, five minutes after completing that scene, writing her at one of her happiest times. While I was writing I was completely engrossed in what I was doing, feeling every emotion that she felt; but when it was time to change focus, I found that I could so easily. It was so weird, almost like flipping a switch in my brain. One minute I'm feeling total despair and emptiness and the next I'm feeling exuberant and completely overjoyed. I guess this is a sign of me growing into my own personal writing style. Whatever it is, it's completely exhilarating!
At this rate, this book will be done sooner than I ever expected. I'm easily writing 2000-4000 words a day in a very small amount of time. It looks like so far my preferred writing style is:
1) write a VERY detailed outline of the entire story, writing small scenes and bits of dialogue as I feel inspired to do so. When I say detailed, I mean DETAILED. Before I finished this stage of my writing process my outline + random scenes was already over 30,000 words and the average novel is only 80,000 - 100,000 words.
While doing this I:
- complete any research necessary to fill out the outline. I seek out various pictures and useful resources and compile them into a set of files.
- fill out my in-depth character development documents. I try to really get into the heads of my main characters and learn as much about them as possible so I can write them as accurately as possible. I know things about these characters that will never appear in any of my stories with them, but is important for me to know so I know their motivations. I know how the parent's of one of my main characters met even though they never make an appearance in the story, nor are they ever mentioned. Yeah I'm a little obsessed...
2) When I feel that I know exactly what is supposed to happen in all of the major scenes, I begin writing up chapters with prose and full dialogue. Right now I'm just writing whatever scenes I wake up and feel inspired by. As I continue on this stage of my writing, I'll have to see what method I use from here on out.
I'll definitely keep posting what I'm learning on my journey to writing my first novel. Wouldn't it be funny, when I go to try and publish this story, if publishers end up being more interested in this blog than the story itself? I keep having these crazy thoughts that I'll find a publishing house willing to read my manuscript and, in researching me, they'll stumble across this blog and be more interested in the story of an amateur author's writing style while writing her first book than my work of fiction lol.
Not that I think I'm writing anything utterly profound in these blog entries, but I have a wild imagination and totally bizarre thoughts like that pop into my head all the time. That would probably explain my file folder full of rough synopses and outlines of various stories I've thought up. Topics ranging from stories for young children all the way to more adult books. Then I have my collection of stories that I wrote when I was much younger that I'd like to re-edit someday and see what I could turn them in to. Then part of me wants to research screenplay writing, it's just a fascinating subject to me.
I'm just glad that I've found a positive outlet for all of these bizarre thoughts that come to me. It's also very therapeutic when I can transfer my various stresses over to a character. When I finish writing a scene after doing this, it's almost like I can leave all of my worries on the page with that character and truly move on. I was lucky that I could do this within my Instinct plot line. I recently had a falling out with a friend on an online game I play and, if you take the gaming-related context away and just look at the emotions involved, it pretty much mirrors something that Casey and Heather go through in the book. Casey is pretty much in the same emotional state I am during those scenes, so it's been really easy and therapeutic being able to write those scenes and work through my anger and betrayal. I honestly know, first-hand how she's feeling and since this is from her point-of-view, I think the emotions come across fairly well.
But anyway, I don't want to type too much on that as I'm still writing those scenes and I don't want to leave all my good emotions in a blog when I might need them later.
Well, I need to get packing for our trip up north for the holidays. It's gonna be awesome going back to the area where I first dreamed up these characters and the original plot for their story. I'm hoping, in my free time, to get some good writing done this coming week with us having so many people to help watch the little guy. But if I don't, I know that the story will still be in my head when we get back.
I'll post again next time I have a good writing day or if I come up with something utterly profound... What? I need a back up plan in case this story fails and I need another way to get my foot in the doors at the publishing houses.
Talk 2ya all later...
P.S. - Page Count......126 (1.5x spacing so it's easier to read for edits)
Word Count......37,697 (Outline + Chapters)