So, as I’m getting back into writing, and being serious about it this time, I thought it was time to start a new blog about my writing, with some photography stuff thrown in too this time. I won’t say that this is the first writing blog I’ve started. I’m hoping it’s the last. I can’t even promise regular posts. I’m not the kind of person who posts just to say I’ve done so. I tend to post only when I have something to say, preferrably something I think others might care to read about.
So, writing… I tend to have a lot of ideas (most writers I’ve known do), but I’m not always good at sticking it out and finishing them. I’ve finished a few short stories (3, maybe 4) and have never finished a novel, but have ideas and notes for many dozen of each. I’m working to change that though. My current WIP (Work in Progress) is going under the name Elemental. And by going under, I mean it’s more like a code-name, as I’ve not worried too much to this point about finding a title for it. That can and will come in time, but I don’t want it to distract me from actually writing the book.
This is not my first attempt at it. I started it back in 2009, and got a decent chunk of it written, about 35,000 words, give or take. But then I got distracted by many other things, as frequently happens. I spent a lot of time playing video games, working, walking around taking pictures, and reading. Oh, and writing notes for other ideas for books and stories. I think it was because I didn’t really know where I was going. Where I stopped, the story had started to meander and was quite directionless, likely because I had no idea what the ending needed to be. I had some ideas, but it seemed to change daily. Not a good place to write from. Now that I’ve come back to it, I realized some of the problems in the part that I did write, the ideas I had and that I needed an ending in order to make it through the middle in an orderly and interesting fashion. So I did. I have my ending, though I won’t be talking about it here. What I will say is that the ending I came up with changed my thinking about several key parts of the already written manuscript. I just spent a couple of days going through those 35k words and decided to throw out most of it. Painful, yes. Going from having 35k words in the file to 7.7k made me cringe. I’ll tell you what made it worth it though. When I edited what I did keep to add in the new ideas, remove the old, broken ones, and rewrite what didn’t fit anymore, it’s a lot better. I’m holding on to that as I prepare to write the rest of the book.
I’m also going to keep reminding myself as I write this and other works that it’s okay for it to not be perfect. I am definitely hard on myself in that department. I tend to judge my first drafts by the published works of my favourite authors, and that’s entirely unfair to myself, not to mention thoroughly demoralizing. What they publish isn’t their first draft, and they are pretty much all older at me and all much MUCH more experienced at this than I am. I am as yet a rookie, rank amateur, and I have to remind myself of that. That doesn’t mean I won’t strive to improve, to make my first draft as good as I can, but it does mean that I have to get to the end of it, rather than allowing myself to stop and get bogged down in editing it already (before it’s even done) and therefor get discouraged. I have to learn to press on and get it done. Yes, I know, I just did a major edit (okay, demolition really) of an unfinished first draft. That was done for a specific reason though, because the story itself had changed massively. The amount of editing I would have had to do down the road if I had just started writing from the point I was at would have been even greater had I not done this edit. I might also never have gotten to the end. The storyline bears a passing resemblance to what it was before, but there are such significant changes that it really would have been hard to meld the two together. I am going to try to keep from doing something like this going forward, but it was required by something I learned about myself as a writer, that I need an ending to get through the middle.
So, anyway, that’s where I stand now (I’m not going to get into the shear volume of notes on my ipod touch or on paper). I probably won’t write this long of a post very often. We’ll see how things go, though. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be announcing my first publication here. I could be so fortunate. Well, back to the hard work part required to get me there.