Finally! Progress!

So, I have run out of planning things to do and ways to put it all off and I finally started writing the new stuff over the previous two nights. The first chapter or so is always full of me jotting more stuff in my notes, because my mind is working so hard that it’s exhausting and I find connections I didn’t know were there. I ended last night by watching part of Burnt Offerings with Karen Black and Bette Davis (they were in the movie; I didn’t watch the movie with them. That would be creepy) and going to bed early. Don’t judge me, it was a good night for me.

It always feels so good to begin, to start something. I’m reminded of a line from Stephen King’s Misery, badly paraphrased as: it’s good to begin, knowing you won’t write as well as you want, but that the journey has begun.

My writing schedule is abysmal. I finished a 400+ page novel in something like 3 months and it was published. I wrote my published short story in a few days (and I like it, but I think it shows, too. Whatever). I’m fully capable of writing more and pumping out several things a year. Sometimes I think it’s my method, but realistically speaking, the individual steps don’t take long at all. Even combined they don’t. I think I’m…well, we’ll go into that later.

I have an idea, do brief character sketches (or long ones) which pretty much tells me the whole plot. I write out the plot, which adds depth to what I’m doing (I also use this later if I need to write out a synopsis for submission), and I put notes in brackets to tell me what to do when I get there. Then, it’s all fixed in my mind and I can pretty much abandon it.

If it’s a world that’s not “normal”, that world building part can go anywhere (but I recommend somewhere in the beginning. First is good, but I usually do characters first). For instance, one of the best things I have ever read about fantasy world building was to draw a map (unfortunately, it was written by a genius/reprehensible bigot, so I try to pretend I’ve never read anything of his. But I have). When I first read that I thought, “That’s stupid, why would I do that?” Because it works, that’s why. You start to realize what a culture would be like in that region (i.e. by an ocean, desert, etc.) and what landmarks would be good or significant. I’m not doing fantasy this time, so what I did was draw a map of the city where the action would be taking place. It put everything together.

Try it. It really works. Think of what Stephen King’s Under the Dome would be like if it didn’t have a map. Even if we weren’t provided with it, it allows him to be consistent and to plot the action. I’ll bet he had a map for Derry in It. And anything that took place in Castle Rock? Most likely. Joan D. Vinge with Carbuncle in The Snow Queen and The Summer Queen? Probably. George R. R. Martin? *pointing to the front of the books and the opening credits of Game of Thrones*

Then I start writing.

I think the problem is that I don’t consider myself a writer. I don’t know if that will change if I ever go mainstream (a.k.a. not a gay publisher), or if it starts bringing in more money or whatever, but I think it’s also a way of not taking myself too seriously. But the pauses and periods of non-writing are more than the periods of writing, and that’s a problem because I love writing. I think it’s difficult for me to make the transition into something that was a hobby to really grasp that it can potentially be more. And it can be more for me. I’m not saying that I could ever be a millionaire from writing…but I don’t think any writer tells him/herself that it’s not possible, or doesn’t at least harbor a miniscule dream of living off of writing.

My problem is that I actually need to DO it. Which I think I’m gonna go do right now. Till next time, have good weekends!

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~ by Darren Endymion on August 28, 2014.

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