As I write this I am 13,000 words into the first draft of ‘Hidden Messages.’ It is going well. The wonderfully detailed plan is no longer wonderfully detailed. As I sat down to begin the first draft, I had an idea. It was, I’d like to say a twist but it’s more fundamental than that, the addition of an element that solved weaknesses I hadn’t realised existed. The moment it occurred to me I thought to ignore it. I had my plan, if I kept adding little things on a whim, I’d never begin, never mind finish. But second thought and third thought saw its necessity. Now I can’t imagine the story without that new idea being incorporated. What I didn’t do however is go back to the plan and alter it. Impatience took over. I wanted starting and I wasn’t going to wait for ever more preparations to be made.
I will pompously reference the adage about plans never surviving first contact with the enemy. The plan had gotten me this far. And when I hit a wall, and I surely will hit a wall, I will go back to that plan to find my route around or through it. But for now, I’m keeping that new element wholly in my head. I haven’t even gotten to it yet but I’m excited to discover how it looks and feels as I write it. I think, and don’t forget this is before I’ve written any of it, it makes the story more cinematic. I never make a conscious decision to make a story cinematic or otherwise, but I will wonder about this quality as I write it. When I finished ‘The Bucket’ the only other medium I could imagine it in, was some sort of play. ‘Blue Eyeshadow’ is perhaps a made for TV movie. This one though, I think has the bright visuals and large scope that would suit the big screen.
This isn’t an entirely redundant and self-indulgent form of escapism. I’m not writing a movie. I’m writing a novel that I hope will appeal to the cinematic part of our brain. I want it to be easy for the reader to picture the scene, as it were. The next novel won’t be cinematic, it will have a different appeal. Knowing what I am hoping to produce is as important as knowing what I am trying to write.
For now, I am enjoying myself. I am having to invent some scenes on the hop as I alter the plan in anticipation of the new element (possibly elements) to come and this is doing my confidence a lot good. It’s necessarily slowing me down but it is a heady feeling, spinning something out of nothing. While I write purely for the money and acclaim, it is just so wonderful to invent. To create. To shape. I know that even if no one reads this one, I will write the next one. And the one after that. The act of creating is addictive.
I am going to take a break from blogging the novel though. I have another 60,000 words or so to throw at the page, before phase two begins. I am in that exciting and boring, glorious a tedious phase of telling myself the story. And it’s going well. I wish I could hurry it up a bit, but there are about two months of this slog to get through. It is a weird thing, my confidence in the story is so high at the moment I just want it all down on paper so I can polish it. But I can only go as fast as I can go, a thousand words a day. The only thing of note I will be working on is seeing if I can somehow increase my daily word rate. When I reach the half way point, approximately, 35,00 words I’ll blog again.
Blogging about this process has thus far been a great fillip for my confidence as well as a source of motivation. So, thank you reading and see you in 22,000 words time.
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