I am out of the major plotting stage and have begun principle writing on book 3. Throughout this process I will be posting regular updates on this blog and on Twitter about hours devoted to the project and the project word count.
I’ve been looking forwards to writing Entropy for years, since before I even finished Kinetics. It’s the point in the series where everything starts to change direction for the characters, it’s my pivot point into the fourth and fifth books. It’s exciting and scary all at the same time. Will I write the story I want to tell? Will I be able to put in the emotion and feeling it needs? Will the character development be worth it and earned? At the end of the day all I can do is write the journey and direct it as needed. The editing and redrafting phase is where I can really dig deep into turning the mess of a first draft into a cohesive story.
In about two weeks I’ll be going on the first writing vacation of 2020 to attempt to churn out the first half of Book 3. My aim for the word count, as with the others is to have it at 100,000 words, which means for my writing vacation I’ll be aiming to write upwards of 40,000 words in about a week. I’m working myself up into a fever-state of writing and thinking about the book. If you’ve ever done NaNoWriMo then you probably know the intense drive to write that comes out of pushing yourself to new extremes.
The most important thing for beginning writers to focus on is NOT word counts, so why do I do it?
I like the tangibility and I like solid goals to reach for. Beginning the third book in this series is no easier than starting the last two except I no longer frustrate myself trying to figure out how to subvert and defeat writer’s block. I give myself goal posts to reach for and then I run for them. I push through, let myself write the crappiest thing I can, and then let myself go back and edit as needed.
Every time I do this thing called writing a book, my planning gets better, my execution gets better, and my ability to process my skills into completed work improves dramatically. I’ve always been passionate about doing good work (regardless if it’s at my retail job or making new stories) and that is 100% my aim when writing (mistakes and missteps still happen tho). But this is a thing that has taken years of practice, starting from scratch, accepting my failures and learning from them, or, at best, learning how to work with them. It’s taken a lot of humility gained to understand that not everyone is going to like what I write, not everyone is going want to read what I’ve written.
Grammar mistakes are going to happen, I still can’t use a comma to save my life, but I, sure-as-the-sun-will-rise, will write a good story that will compel. I’ve long abandoned the idea that my product must be beat into perfection and while I will always aim for the greatest thing I can do I will be okay with good enough at the end of the day.
This is a problem I see with a lot of newbie and wannabe writers is the focus and over-emphasis on process instead of product. Yes, process is important, but if you’re so afraid of the product and of your own potential failure, nothing will get made. In life and physics all things have potential energy. A ball at rest on the top of a hill has potential energy but that energy will sit and not be useful until something comes along to act on it, to engage that energy and push the ball down the hill. That’s writing. In everyone is the potential energy to write a story, but if you don’t push the ball, nothing will get written. And sometimes you push the ball down the wrong side of the hill and you gotta push that jerk up the hill and push it off the other side. It probably feels very Sisyphean in nature. 😉
The whole point of churning out as much as I can in the span of week is to knock me past the beginning insecurity if I’m writing a good story or not. The faster I get the first draft out the faster I can reevaluate what works and doesn’t work with the story. It took me around 5 years to write book 2, and unfortunately a lot of that was due to the fact that my personal life was in a lot of turmoil. My life is a lot more stable now so I’d like to try and get this one done in a fraction of the time.
I learned a lot writing Book 1, and I learned about three times as much writing Book 2. Every story has its own learning curve, every story a central idea that can get lost in unnecessary muddle, every story a feeling I’m trying to capture. I’ve done a lot of prep for this book, I’ve sat in the dark and let my mind wander through the plot lines for hours, I’ve tried to consider as many of the possible outcomes to character arcs, but now it’s time to sit and put the work in. I can’t let it sit in my head anymore because it will start eating holes in my brain!
TO WRITING and to not driving myself crazy with story ideas! 😊