Monday, 21 November 2011

Thoughts on Writing: Juggling & Copious Amounts of Caffeine

The first 10,000 words are the hardest.

I find I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to writing. I'm not a planner of thoughts and ideas and I personally don't find the thought of bullet points and/or spider diagrams a comforting one. As soon as I start to put pen to paper or fingers to keys to actually write down a story it all fits together naturally. When writing my first novel this- I fear- was the problem.

I had a great deal of knowledge on the characters I wanted and how they gravitated around each other. What I didn't have was a proper story. I didn't have a great conflict that brought them all together or a common goal to at least force them together. I had a kind of 'Love Actually' set up where they all had different story lines that were linked in one way or another and they all had their different out comes. This was not what I wanted; but what I ended up with. So I read it through and it worked well enough but I felt a little indifferent to the story and if I barely liked I didn't expect any one else to.

Instead of spending hours labouring over what to do with it I put it away hoping the absence of me obsessing over it might sprout some new and brilliant idea to fix it. I'm still waiting.

So I started something new. However during this time of new beginnings, middles and ends I thought this would be a good time to move- from one end of the country to the other. I sold everything I owned, got on a train, moved house, bought new furniture, set up the family and scoured the town for a job. Fortunately I got a job fairly quickly and painlessly. Therein left me with the realisation that with a job and my small yet busy family writing would take a substantial knock. And I was right. Be that as it may, I feel so much more satisfaction in the snippets of 1000 words a sitting or 3000 a week that they have so much more substance and heart than the work I used to dutifully churned out.

It's too soon to tell yet how good a writer I am, or if my ideas interest anyone other than myself and a few loyal and biased friends, but I enjoy it. I am a writer. Paid or unpaid, published or unpublished.

1 comment:

  1. The first novel I'm referring to here is 'The Influence' which you can read the first few chapters of, maybe you'll see what I mean.