Sunday, September 12, 2010

Slow but Steady. . .

So I was making huge progress with rough draft of DarkShines up to about a fortnight ago. Definitely a lot has to be said for the BIC (Butt-in-chair) technique. I'm well over 16k which probably doesn't seem like a lot but is more than I often end up writing.

Over the past fortnight, due to real-life fun (yeah right - i use 'fun' ironically here) I haven't written a word. But I'm feeling very positive. I have to say this whole writing a book in reverse is great - sometimes difficult - as when you decide to change something, you realise you'll have to change it in following chapters in rewrite - but overall I think I've found my way of writing. It's a great way to prevent yourself from a] over thinking your writing b] not finishing because you have finished the end, now you just have do the beginning.

At the moment the rough draft (RD- i call it this because it's utter crap) is really like a very detailed outline - half the time I just tell rather than show, as I know I'm going to be just using this draft as a guide for writing the first draft (the first of many).

Funny thing is (and i know i won't be saying this when I have to rewrite) I'm really looking forward to writing the first proper draft of DarkShines - as I'm really excited about the story. Over the weekend, I didn't do much writing but I did do some thinking. There were some kinks in my story around chapter 9-10 section (and more to come) but I think I've sorted them out and now my story doesn't sound contrived/deus ex machina but makes sense! The characters as well seem to becoming more real and complex - as I write this rough draft elements and layers I never saw coming are being revealed and I actually feel that if I do this right (which is a big 'if' with my writing) I'm going to have something really good. I just hope that I have the skills to do the story justice now.

But yeah, I never (and still don't - no offence) get what people mean about 'characters' talking to them. At the moment, I feel like I'm more of a psychologist/actress. As I write, I think of the motives of each character separately, then I put myself in their shoes, which is hard (and is going to be harder) especially when you put yourself into the mind of the antagonist (who I like to think of as someone who is weak, not bad - or at least was weak enough to be pushed into doing horrible things).

I definitely think that although I hope to get the rough draft done by October (which will be pushing it as things are INSANE BUSY at the moment). I know that my first and subsequent drafts are going to be slow, but hopefully steady and good.

So wonderful readers and 'leavers of comments', are you slow and steady all the way through? or are you fast on the first, slow on the second or just one of those wonderful people who can turn a polish manuscript out in 6 weeks?

6 comments:

Postman said...

I wish wish WISH I was one of those people who could turn out a proper manuscript in six weeks. I wouldn't still be living at my folks' house, that's for dang sure.

I use the BIC technique (frequently supplemented by the HOD, or Head-On-Desk technique). I go fast on the first draft, VERY slow on the second, because the first is always complete garbage, and has to be refined into a workable second draft. And I do get excited about that second draft when I feel I've worked the kinks out of the first.

Our writing processes are quite similar, it seems. A lot of the stuff you've written down here goes through MY head. First draft's little more than a guide for the second; looking forward to the first PROPER draft, because I like the story so much and am pumped about getting all down on paper finally; new layers of complexity and depth reveal themselves in the process; and I really don't get what people mean when they say that characters (literally) speak to them. I tried to sit down and have a talk with my MC once but I got the suspicion that I was sitting on the wrong side of the two-way mirror.

Anne R. Allen said...

Congrats on getting your 16 K words written. It sounds as if you're still in the left-brain organizing/outline stage (very necessary) and you haven't yet let yourself get into the "flow" where your characters speak to you. Getting into flow takes some courage (and a block of undistracted time) It's a little scary at first, because you lose your sense of self (like an actor losing himself in a role.) But once you're there, you lose your sense of time and place and live entirely inside your story. It will leave you exhausted, but it's an amazing high, and once you've been there, you'll want to keep go back. It's why I keep writing, anyway.

I can't write fast when I'm in flow. But I write down everything and then edit later when I'm back in left-brain mode. Last week I finished the rough draft of a novel I started 9 months ago. Probably needs another 6 months of editing, but i'm going to let it sit a bit before I go in for the slash/and/burn.

Rebecca said...

I'm in pretty much the exact same place with my current WIP. I'm writing a very rough draft, which I've never really done before. Normally I dive right into a first draft and write it wicked fast, but things are happening differently this time. Honestly I think it's because I've been in revising/editing mode with my almost-completed book for SO LONG that my brain just wants rough-stuff to later shape in the same way. I, too, can't wait to start working on a "proper" first draft. :)

chicknamedhermia said...

Congratulations!!!
I'm all about the big start and if I don't get the project finished within a few days, I get bored and move on!

Scarlet-O said...

Oh Emily, psychologist, actress, writer, shaman, alchemist...

You are just an artist. You channel. You're a shapeshifter. I wanna read. Darkshines? It sounds like gothic novel? I wanna read!

Emily Cross said...

@Postman - I wish I was too lol. I like the HOD technique - often use it myself lol. Nice to know I'm not the only one who 'hears' their characters - maybe it's similar to different learning styles. Some people are visual, others are auditory etc.

@Anne - Thanks so much for your advice and best of luck with your draft. It's great to hear from people who have been there and done that :)

@Rebecca - welcome to the blog :) Thanks for the comment. You sound much like myself but I've always been slow. Sadly don't think this reflects quality in my case!

@Hermia - I'm the exact same, but for some reason this one is sticking *fingers crossed* it stays this way

@scarlet - you're making my head big as a house, I'd love to be an actual shapshifter - I'd be an eagle and fly lol!! Anyhoo, DarkShines is a Urban Fantasy YA, but it is dark enough. Not a happy ending sort of book, more of a 'who can I trust and whose the killer' sort of book lol. Think it'll be a while till it's worthy of reading but hopefully someday :)

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