Saturday, 11 December 2010

Pushing Water up a Mountain

It's ever so close now.  It's creeping up on me and i've nowhere to hide.  A couple of thousand words and that's it.  First draft done.  I've set myself an unachievable task; to write those two thousand or so words over the course of the week-end.  I know it's not going to happen.  I know that this time next week i'll be saying 'just two hundred words to go.'  It does feel a lot like pushing water up a mountain at the moment.  I know what i need to write.  I know what i want to write.  I know i've got to write it.  But that invisible force is grasping my hand once again, giving me a chance to reconsider, asking me if this is really what i want to do.

The answer is 'of course it is.'  And by completing those last thousand or so words i'm committing myself to a great deal of work.

I've started to think about the next stage.  Really i should be concentrating on the task in hand, but i can't help it.  The second draft is looming now and i'm getting anxious.  Anxious about the task, but equally anxious to get on with it.

So what will i do next?

Firstly i think i'll rest for a week.  Leave the story somewhere cool and dark to mature.  Then i'll have an initial read through, no corrections or re-wrties at this point.  I want to see if the story flows, if the characters are believable and three-dimensional, if the pace is correct, if the story unfolds in the right order, if it all makes sense at the end.  What is really important, obvious though it seems, is that the story has a clear beginning, middle and end.

After that i'll read the story again, a chapter at a time, writing a brief synopsis of each chapter as i go.  This will give me an at-a-glance understanding of the structure of the story and where my characters are at any given time.  Then i can start to re-write as necessary.

Hopefully this is when the blog will become really interesting and useful to anyone following.  Please feel free to post any questions you have as i start to go through the editing process.  I want this blog to be part of your writing toolkit; somewhere you can come for advice or to share your frustrations.

As the blog progresses i will reveal some of the details of the story i'm writing.  I've already divulged the working title.  Maybe next time i'll reveal the protagonist's name.  Keep reading.

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