Monday, January 30, 2012

#Writemotivation and 2,000 a Day

Well, #writemotivation month is winding down. Can't say I've accomplished all of my goals, I didn't finish the second look through my novel (or the first). Everyone has a muse when it comes to writing. When I think about my muse, I think of a great quote I heard from a video game (when I actually played them): "Hurry now! My muse is fickle bitch with very short attention span!" As much as I try to tame my muse and focus myself on one writing project, I always tend to jump from one to the other. I guess it's just how I function creatively.

However, even though I did not finish my novel (but I will!), I did wrap up two short stories and took a great step in getting three others wrapped up as well. These are pieces I wrote last summer that have been sitting around for a while. Since I only have my material to review right now, I've been doing the best I can to get the writing out of the way so I can start on a fresh slate.

There are some things I've learned from #writemotivation, and here are some.

1.) KT is really, really cool. :D
2.) Writing is very spiritual event for me as a person.
3.) All of my short stories have followed a theme and has made me realize some things about myself.
4.) I have a much better understanding of how a story is put together, and how details are essential.
5.) Helping others in their writing is a great way of understanding your own writing.

The #writemotivation month was been wonderful. It's been great to cheer others on and to have been cheered. I've connected with new people and really enjoyed getting to know them. :)

Okay, before I go I want to briefly share with you something I do when I write. Take what you want from it. It may help you, it may not. It's just something I do and I find it interesting.

I am currently in the process of rewriting a novella called Treasure Keeper. I wrote the original in June and wrote the piece in about two weeks. I flew my the seat of my pants. I felt great after finishing it and thoroughly enjoyed writing it. However, towards the end of the summer, I looked over the piece and wondered: "What the hell was I thinking?" Don't get me wrong, the piece wasn't bad, but it wasn't anywhere near as good as I had perceived. I looked over, making mundane changes and whatnot, and I couldn't help but feel the story was lacking something. However, despite my best efforts to figure it out, I couldn't.

I shelved it.

I took it down at the beginning of December. I got about halfway through the second chapter before I shelved it again and went on to work on my novel. When I went on my mission to finish up my shorter pieces, and I took this story out again, I realized the problem. Like the story I sent to KT to review, White Haze, the tone was wrong. Of course there were elements I liked, like the female lead character, and the interesting antagonist. I realized the story needed a reboot.

With the core of the story in mind, I started writing out details for a new format around the concept. After four total pages of notes, I understood that not only was the original draft a repeat of what I had written about several times before (lost loved ones), but also the secondary characters were completely uninteresting. What I have on my hands now is more of a metaphorical coming of age story.

I really am trying to get this story right this time. So, everyday I sit down to write, I try to accomplish two things. First, I look over what I have written, cleaning up and trimming down sentences and such (less is more). And second, focus on trying to get a good 2,000 words written. If I feel I can't accomplish this, I will not write and look over my notes and ask myself a slew of questions.

What am I hung up on?
What can I do to make this part work?
What can I do with the lead character to make her point of view more interesting for the story?
How can I put the desires, feelings, and goals into the story without telling?
And finally: How can I write the next passage in a way that feels solid and contains meaning?

These are questions I usually ask before I go to sleep at night. I read for a couple hours, then close my book and just lay in bed, letting my mind wander. Whenever a certain idea comes to mind, and I feel it is worthy enough to work for the story, I write it down in my "idea book". I do this now because I realized when looking over House in the Hills, there was so much written that was just nothing. It was filler. I would literally have passages of about 3,000+ words that dragged the story and told nothing. Writing down notes and constantly putting my mind to thoughts on the current story helps me write passages that are clear, tight, and to the point. And if I can't accomplish these things by thinking them over during the night, a long walk in the woods always does some good.

Brainstorming is key. I use to think I could just let loose and go by whatever comes to me, which sometimes I do, but most often than not, having a plan of attack is a way of getting the message through in the writing. As I have most currently learned, get to the point and let the message itself be the power of what you have written. Don't get carried away with a bunch of wordiness because you feel it dresses up what you have.

How did everyone else do for the #writemotviation month? Did you learn anything? Did you accomplish some of your goals?

Keep Writing.


1 comment:

  1. I had a good month and I learned lots. Mostly that motivating others keeps me going where I might otherwise give up.

    And I'm not cool, but thank you for saying so :P Let's keep the #writemotivation train chugging!