Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Finding a different kind of writing style

For so many years my writing has been about facts. Finding good sources, getting details just right, fitting all the pieces together. But when I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo, I knew I would have to take a very different approach.

Now it's all about writing and huge quantity very quickly. At an average of 1,667 words per day (while still working a full-time job and fulfilling all of my other commitments), I don't have time to double check my information and research the fine details of everything. It took me almost a year to finish my last manuscript, and the majority of that time I was in school or unemployed. Plus that manuscript is only 34,000 words, 16,000 fewer than what the NaNoWriMo rules tell you your manuscript has to be. That means I've had to totally change the way I write.

No rewriting or even rereading as I go. I have to use a setting I'm intimately familiar with, and characters need to come out fully developed. As soon as the plot point, character trait or line of dialogue pops into my head, it needs to get written down, even if I'm not sure it will go anywhere in the end.

None of this sounded easy or even very fun, but I needed to prove to myself that I can write a complete story in a defined period of time. I was worried that this writing experiment would turn into a numbers game with stock characters and a flat plot that would never be anything more than the Word document on my hard-drive.

Surprisingly, this could not be further from the truth. In the past four days, this group of characters has taken on a life of their own. I feel like the story is almost writing itself. I'm already in love with them and want to learn more about who they are and where they're going.

But check back in two weeks. By then I might be at a complete lose and hate this experiment.

1 comment:

  1. I have faith that you'll be able to persist and finish your manuscript mostly because I know how determined you can be and what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it. You go girl! If I wasn't sort of lost in a funk as of late, I might try it myself.