Welcome back one and all. The title might be a little misleading but hang in there. I promise no politics, no music and no religion for a change 🙂
If you follow my blog for a while, you know I’m working on my first novel which is a science fiction slash supernatural. If not, now you have it. You might also remember me working with a writing coach and attending writers groups. If it’s up to me, I’ll be doing that forever as the advantages are plenty and the disadvantages are… nonexistent.
I have minced words, spun plots and in general tore down keyboards like a mad man. I wrote north of 50,000 words for a whooping total of 15,000 as of this moment.
How is that possible?
I wrote a post a while back which I lovingly call “The drive to California“. It had a lot to do with outlining, pantsing and plotting. See, I like to think of myself as a plotter, but I moved a bit away from sticking to a very tight route towards driving from one milestone to the next while taking the liberty to write with some abandon.
This proved to be advantageous on one hand, as I truly believe it improved my writing and the way I can build a scene, stay true to my characters and move the story forward.
The pitfalls are few but nonetheless dangerous… The greatest one is straying away from your route. If the story moves forward, but no longer in the direction you need it to… you might end up in Oklahoma instead of California. And If you want to splash in the water of the Pacific ocean… well you’re in for a little surprise.
So, I first wrote a hell of a lot of filler. We got rid of that. I then moved to writing more to the point. Alas, there were significant holes in the story, characters misbehaving and sounding pretty much the same. After that, well, we killed a bunch of unnecessary characters. Erased them in cold blood. And then… and then we found my story. It was hiding right behind all that smoke screen I USED to call my writing 🙂
So… I found my story, my REAL story. I was happy and even somewhat proud of my improving skills. But then I realized I needed to go back to the map and make sure that I was still going to California.
What I’m doing these past few days is basically restating my main milestones. You know, Start at Atlanta Georgia, drive West towards Alabama, proceed through Mississippi, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, Arrive at California, Hit big blue sea.
I feel pretty good with myself now, knowing I can write much better than I did when I started. I know I’ll be able to write even better as I make my way to the final destination. I just need to make sure that I’m driving my novel to the right place. When I’m done re-drawing that map, I can get back behind the wheel and step on it!
You’re all welcome to come along by the way! So feel free to comment, and hopefully we’ll get there sooner than it might seem.