So yeah this is Maui guys
What did I learn from a week of writing over 13,000 words worth of my novel?
That if you’re going to rent a surfboard and try and surf, you should have some instruction of some kind. Don’t be a lone wolf like me, eager to show the world that the premise of if-I-can-longboard-I-can-surf is a valid one.
Anyways, after finishing a few short scripts up for an upcoming competition, I turned my focus completely on the time sensitive project of my novel that I need to finish by the end of this month!
Now, as you can imagine, writing a novel is not all sunshine and roses. This is my fifth and I can tell you for certain that instead it’s more like you suddenly lose all ability to function and/or write anything good and it’s like help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up as suddenly the walls close in on you and there’s a boulder and snakes and fire.
I don’t know when my novel went all Indiana-Jones-death-trap on me, but it did. My beta readers kept finding glaring inconsistencies in my protagonist’s motivation and flaws, and I also definitely screwed some small picture things up that took my readers out of the story.
Including: Jack Daniel’s isa kind of rum, not beer. Look at me and my vast knowledge of alcohol. I’m so good at adding correct details to characterizations! *facepalm*
So, in order to the remedy the problem, I’ve done a helluva lot of outlining in order to track character arcs and setups and payoffs:
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of the scene and character work I’m diving into.
Luckily, there were a lot of things my beta readers did like — which was comforting because these guys are always brutally honest with me. And after a week of nonstop writing and face-planting into the ocean, I actually came up with story solutions and my novel is nearing a stage where I’m — very hesitantly — beginning to see its potential.
Tips n’ Tricks
Now more than ever, I’ve discovered how important it is to just sit down and write for several hours at a time.
- Writing without distractions (i.e. Twitter and Tumblr and Pinterest, oh my!) is like a kind of creativity nirvana where suddenly you realize why your villain is doing this or that, and what happened to your protagonist to make them that way. Deep story connections are found when you tie yourself to your chair and refuse to get up until you finish a chapter or several.
- Get in the writing zone– you’ll do your best writing when you are just focusing on the task at hand, and really immersing yourself in your world.
- Also, make a chapter outline. Trust me! Everything is easier when you can break up your novel into manageable chunks. I also divided my novel into parts, and it really helped to focus the story — much like the sequence method does for screenwriting!
I got a few questions from people wondering how the heck I keep myself organized while penning and polishing this novel before my deadline, so I’ll be writing up a post on that later.