Sunday, June 24, 2007

Working At It

I haven't made a blog entry in quite a while, mainly because I've been using my writing time to work on the WIP. In trying to keep a balance in my lifestyle, there are only so many hours a week to write, and I've been trying to be productive. I know I'm no different than anyone else in that regard, so I'm not making excuses, I just haven't had anything worthwhile to share with the few lonely souls that happen to drop in here.

I still don't have anything worthwhile to share, other than I'm having success in bits and pieces with the WIP. I'll get something figured out for the plot and things start coming together for what I want to do in the following chapters, but it also means I have to go back and change a few things. Now I'm wondering if I've made the right changes. So I'm a bit stuck again. I'm a quarter of the way into the story, and there are still unanswered plot thread questions. This is my first time writing a mystery of this sort, and I don't know if I'm experiencing normal difficulties or if my way of writing this thing is out of whack. Traditional theory holds that you should know the plot - in the case of a mystery, the story behind the story - in advance of writing the novel. Well, I don't. I have the basics down, the actions and events, but not all the of the motivations. So, I'm re-evaluating some characters. Trying different ideas and following the threads and I've still got some problems. I'll work through them. I just wonder if this is normal. My first novel didn't require this type of pre-planning, it was more organic and just kind of flowed.

I guess writing this story is good for me. I think I've developed a voice that works, now I just have to get the story sorted out. Writing a long story in first person is also a new experience and presents different challenges. All of these new experiences and challenges are making me a better writer. Some wise people have said that overcoming difficulty, if the experience is used wisely, leads to growth and strength of spirit. I hope they're right.

Peace and green fairways...


At 3:05 PM , Blogger writtenwyrdd said...

Keep plugging away at it! I have faith that eventually I'll get one hammered out enough to get it published. But really it's the need to find out how the story ends that keeps me going. So many stories, so little time...

At 5:54 PM , Blogger Wonderwood said...

Thanks WW, I appreciate the encouragement. I need it. I think we all do, actually, especially early on. I got a late start on my fiction writing "career". I've only been writing seriously for three plus years (I won't say how old I am, but middle aged is pretty accurate) and I think I've finally come to the conclusion that I can write, and develop characters, and tell a pretty good story. But the story is what I struggle with sometimes. If I were just writing short stories I'd have plenty of material, but I've discovered that coming up with a story that keeps people interested for 90,000 or so words is a little more difficult. If I'm going to make the investment to write the story, I want it to keep the reader awake at night until way past bedtime. I've found a voice that feels natural most of the time, but those kinks in the plot... arrrrgggghhhh ;-)

Thanks for dropping by!

At 6:34 PM , Blogger GutterBall said...

I wrote a lengthy mystery fanfic once. Probably novella-length. I put a lot of effort into plotting beforehand, tying up all sorts of thorny twists and turns, misdirecting, all that good stuff. I was really proud of the results.

The comment that completely knocked the wind out of my sails was, "I've read this a couple of times, so I know [the character] is bullshitting like crazy right now, but I can't tell. It's seamless. You're a genius."

... character's speech was not supposed to be "bullshitting like crazy". Out of all the stuff I did intentionally, feeling so sneakily good about myself...and they picked something done completely by accident, without any forethought or planning.

Write what you know, WW. You can always go back and tweak, if you need to add a little hint here or nip a little too much information there. Get it down like the detective will find it, and then be clever.

You're lucky that this is first person, so you don't have to worry about accidentally dropping Narrator Hints!

At 8:14 PM , Blogger Wonderwood said...

GeeBee! Thanks for the helpful comments. I'm working on it, kind of at a crossroads right now, so I need to make up my mind what's going on. It's out there, but at the moment it's like trying to grab a handful of smoke. I'll get it, at some point, and then be off and running. Thanks for stopping by. You should check out the crapometer blog site, it's pretty awesome for good critiques. It's been helpful to me, for sure. Take care!


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