I’d be the first to say that sometimes when you write, things can get away from you. Some writers talk about how a character acts autonomously, or how the events that happen on the page divert wildly from what they first imagined. It seems strange to others since writing appears to be a conscious act, but for some the subconscious interjects with its take, unable to be wrangled.
I don’t do this very often. Yes, blog (shush), but also follow up a previous must. In Use Your Characters, I extolled the virtues of being lazy, and by being lazy I mean using the characters you’ve already built up in ways that makes sense for them characters, instead of trying to force a new path through your story.
So time to talk about For More Than Earthly Ends, that thing I should be working on more but have had trouble fitting in after moving house, jobs, offices, gaining a baby, having a regular game journalist gig, and well, all those other bits of life. I have been floundering on the rewrite since about December, and a lot of the reasons listed above are big reasons.
I’m still struggling with one particular chapter, and I think it’s because there’s a lot more that happens in it than originally did.
I used to have a serious issue with sticking to ideas. I’d begin work on a new story idea and once I’d gotten past the honeymoon stage where things shift from fresh and exciting to actually being work, I’d start getting new ideas.
2014 is a funny sort of year. After having a few runs at the gauntlet that is NaNoWriMo, I’m about to embark on my sixth attempt. While I’ve suggested I know what I’m going to write about, the truth is that (like every other year), there’s a strong chance I’ll change what I’m going to write about before the month of November begins.
I won’t try to relate this to a theoretical writer today.
Many of these posts are aimed at the readers. Well, whoever those are that might benefit from reading them. Sometimes they’re sounding boards – I’ll speak to the unspecified collection of writers, but in truth I’m writing it at myself, and often about whatever stage I’m at.
Rewriting is progressing at a slow rate, however believe (so far) that it’s making solid improvements. Whether this means I only need to edit three more drafts instead of eight more is yet to be known. At the moment I’m up to chapter four, and thoroughly planning out all the structural changes that should elevate the story into something better.
Following on from my recent post, I enacted the new approach, at least in terms of writing (though yes, I’m also addressing the game-related stuff in my own way, as described in the post). I started dabbling in a piece of fanfiction where I could switch my brain off and just write, which is perfect for something I’m passionate about but where I’m okay with things being off.
As writers, we tend to be somewhat imaginative. As well as living through them, we absorb the events and conversations in our lives, the various fictions we consume, and the general bits and pieces that make a life lived in. When there’s things we haven’t experienced ourselves, we extrapolate, finding a frame of reference we can relate to, or simply make it up.
If I feel like I’ve done it, if I’ve read it, or otherwise confident I know enough about it, I’ll come to some conclusions on the matter and write about it here. Sometimes I know I want to write about a particular topic, but haven’t yet worked out my angle. Often it’s me swirling ideas around in my head, and seeing what tangible points come out.
The biggest caveat with writing advice is that you should treat it as a suggestion, rather than an unalterable truth. It’s a point I belabour here whenever the topic of writing advice comes up, in a general, non-specific sense: If it doesn’t work for you, ignore it.
Howdy 🙂 It’s been a little while since I’ve done an update, which wasn’t much of an update and more of a way of shirking responsibility. I completed the first read of my first draft, and while it was difficult at times to not start changing things around, I was able to get through it.
It’s almost two weeks since I finished the first draft for For More Than Earthly Ends, and it’s still with some of the beta readers, though there’s been a bit of feedback. I’m not really writing about that at the moment, but I’ll say that while there are criticisms (and who wouldn’t expect that on a first draft), so far it’s been positive.
Little bits and pieces are falling together with For More Than Earthly Ends. At first it didn’t seem like they’re things that are at all crucial, but the nature of writing is such that every bit builds momentum for the next to take advantage of. Some unexpected thing happened during the course of writing over the past two weeks, which was all a little strange.