blog, writing process

Reading, writing, thinking

So, my WIP came back from the editor with hundreds of comments and suggested changes. I welcome all of it. It’s the benefit of another set of eyes, critical eyes, professional eyes which see what I can no longer perceive. I am going to revise in line with her comments…next month. Because this month, in a fit of madness, I started NaNoWriMo.

It’s mad because I tried last year, crashed and burned. Managed 17K on the NaNovel, and about another 8K on the stuff I wrote when the novel stalled. This year, my job is no easier, the hours are no shorter, the stress is more; yet I decided that aiming to write 50K in 30 days was a good use of my precious downtime.

Mad, eh?

So anyway, this year’s NaNovel is the sequel to my WIP. Figured I might as well move on with the story, which sending it out for editing released me to do. And an interesting thing is coming through. The need to write, and in quantity, led me to free write without censoring, something I rarely do. Get in a character’s head and write everything.

Last night, this resulted in a passage that has nothing whatever to do with my novel, but is definitely the bones of a poem about love. I have italicised it and moved on. I have no idea where it came from. The character is no sappy poet.

This is the power of writing without censorship; keep moving, keep it all, plan to sort it out later. I read somewhere that writing is like excavating, and editing/rewriting is learning what to keep. My poem bones are an unexpected find and they most likely will not be found in the novel, but they are useful and worth keeping. A scrap may still be woven into the story, who knows? I am a classic pantser so anything could happen.

Talking of writing without outlines- I have a bit of an outline but struggle with them- the other thing that emerged from my session is plot. Right after writing about L’s inner thoughts, a whole series of plot points and story solutions bubbled to the surface. Now I have the raw materials. Grapes are not wine. There’s a lot of work and effort to make that change. But finding the fruit? That’s the first step.

There are parallels here with the morning pages advocated by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way, a fabulous book without which I would not be writing anything, much less a novel. To be doing morning pages without doing them, as it were, seems like a wonderful integration of idea and action.

Time to get moving again.

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