I had another breakthrough yesterday, thanks to ShanShan. We met up at a bakery to write for a while before attending a writer’s group in the area. We barely wrote a word. Instead, I talked about what problems I was having with my prologue (backstory style, not middle-of-the-book-major-event style). I thought I had it figured out before – then I hit my first roadblock during the actual writing process. You can see any other post on my blog about other roadblocks that I have hit before the writing process has begun.
I bounced some ideas off of her. She gave me some insight. She also posed a What If to me and outlined the reasoning behind the question. I now have a secret language between twin brothers based on stacking cairns . I am not sure if I will work on anything linguistic about them – at this point they are just for flavor.
I also worked out the problems that I was having with PoV and the flip-flopping of. Writing a story about twin brothers and wanting each to have their own story told seemed pretty daunting to me. I have a simple fix now – alternate PoVs by chapter. It is either painfully obvious solution to most of you reading this, or a terrible foible that should never be used. I will just have to wait and see. Even though I only wrote 400 words yesterday, I think they were stronger due to ironing out a few things first.
My point is, if I have one, that I am still finding out what works for me. I mentioned in a tweet that perhaps DragonSpeak or some other software is the way to go for me – this lends credence to that notion. I mentioned writing by hand could work. I think it has been great for bullet pointing how a scene or chapter should flow. This process, although frustrating at times, is becoming more rewarding every day. To me, discovering who you are as a writer is the goal and the story is the vehicle to get you there.
SideNote: The Twitterverse has opened doors to encouragement, wisdom, and drive. I have found the extra gumption to get my ass moving on this.
I have to write about 2200 words a day for the rest of July to meet my CampNaNoWriMo goal, and I am still feeling positive about it. I think I will make up my time on the weekends and during write-ins that @ShanBradshaw, @UtahRichie and myself (@wordrew) will be holding.
If you are on Twitter, follow me if you want. Give me all of your writing advice. I will continue with my blog and tweets – if anything strikes you as motivational or some such, you are welcome to it!
Here is instance where my goals are a detriment to my success. I am right in the first week of CampNaNoWriMo and have decided to undertake it just as I would NaNoWriMo in November. 50,000 words. That’s right – fifty with a thousand attached. July is one of the slower months for my career, so I envisioned an ideal writing situation. Leave work, head to gym, home to shower and eat, then write for the remainder of the night. TheWife and I even cancelled our television to reduced distractions (and excessive bills). I thought it a pretty perfect opportunity. However, the truth is in the…well, I am not sure how that saying goes. I would say that the proof is in the pudding, but I cannot eat pudding as it goes against my nutrition and exercise plan. So for me, the facts are in the failure. I have written somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,000 words since July 1st, well off of the pace that I had set for myself. I need to average 1,800 words a day to near my goal and have been shooting for 2,000+ to ensure that I surpass it. That has obviously not happened. This weekend was a prime opportunity for me to make headway and get caught up on my lackadaisical efforts thus far. I failed. I have come full circle to where I started this blog – filled with the fear of writing. I have gone from a rough idea for a novel, to really fine-tuning my plot structure, to filling in some holes with new antagonists and arcs, to staring at my computer screen with nothing but dread to put fingers to keys. I have read other blogs like Lauren’s WriteCity which dole out useful advice and motivation. I read these posts, saying “Yes! That is it! That is what I need to do to get words on the page.” And yet, here I am. I read this article about writing by hand and how your brain works differently than if you were typing. The association for word choice is improved with longhand while with typing, your brain in simply recalling which key to press next. I think that there may be validity to that on some level, but I feel daunted by the thought that I would need to write my story by hand, and then transcribe it, and then edit it. Computers are meant to make these sorts of endeavors easier – I think that I am just looking for excuses. I do not know what to do really. Should I do warm up exercises to get garbled words out of my head – to give me some clarity and focus and set a pace for that day’s session? Should I try using something like DragonSpeak and see if dictating my story would be easier (after all, we are telling a story, so perhaps an oral approach would be beneficial)? I feel as though I have just entered a cornfield and no matter where I look, I am smack dab in the middle of a confusing and endless situation.