Thursday, November 13, 2008

Update on novel writing

It's hard, hard, hard to write without trying to edit as I go. I find myself wanting to go back and correct inconsistencies in the plot, change dialogue that I thought was witty when I wrote it but now sounds less lifelike than the presidential debates, and research details to make sure they're accurate. But I can't. There isn't time. And that's the point, I think. If I get caught up in all that, it'll take forever to get to the end of the story. It might never happen.

I wish my first draft could be like Athena springing fully formed from the head of Zeus (a cliche, but a good one). But I'm learning that it won't be. One novelist said he wrote eight rotten books before he wrote one that was publishable. I guess at the end of November, if nothing else, I'll be one book closer to being a good writer! Which will be a lot closer than I was at the end of October.

I just passed 14,000 words. That puts me about a quarter of the way done. The month is almost half over, but I think I should get points back for being gone for a week. Looked at that way, the math says I'm pretty much on schedule.

Note: If you decide to write a novel in a month, don't read excellently written books in the first week of your writing. I just finished a book, the third in a series, that pulled together every plot arc in a breathtaking and creative way (Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson). And I'm listening to a book on tape (Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde) that is just solid fun. Both books leave me (1) full of awe that people can write such a great story, (2) jealous that I can't write like that, and (3) discouraged as I go back and work on my little novel that seems pathetic in comparison. But I keep reminding myself that even those authors had to start somewhere!

1 comment:

Arborist said...

Tamary, you are amazing! You're over 17,000 words already!! You'll definitely make it! And ditto on the dialogue complaints. I think my supporting characters have more zest than my main character, too. I'll try to fix that...