I decided this morning to do a little bit of writing now and then some more tonight as I always do, although today is a special case as the wonderful Broadchurch is returning and I have been anticipating that for a while — although in the case of US remake Graceland I managed little more than the cheesy trailer before giving up.
This is how I feel about it:
In the first series, with the help of the wildly active Digital Spy forum, I worked out pretty early on who the killer was and spent the last few weeks of the series hoping desperately that I was wrong – as how interesting of a story did that really make? But I wasn’t and this somehow dulled the emotional resonance of the final for me… Although I am still very interested in what is going to happen this series as the dynamic is obviously going to be very different.
It was actually only when I started to write this post that I realised the show was tonight which is probably just as well as I’ve got some uni work to do this afternoon and am going to watch The Other Boleyn Girl with my sister. I’ve decided that I am going to try and do work on a module that I actively hate with a passion today which is interesting.
So just pretend that the module I despise is exactly the same as the one that you do and we’ll be fine. OK, on to the writing as that is what this blog is really about right now. This morning I was also prone to a little bit of procrastination I will admit, but strangely it is only three hours after I woke up and I’ve already got more done than I did yesterday which makes me happy.
I’m still working on the scene I showed the snippet for a few days ago and it has completely evolved. It’s not even at the point where visiting hours end and the part which shows characterisation comes in, but there has been a plot development made… Which is useful and when I revise the book I’ll work in fully. For now though, it’s interesting just to see the effect on this one scene that was meant to be quite simple. I’ll keep the change though as I feel like it links in to something I read in a writing craft book I think it was, where it said that a scene shouldn’t just have one purpose. If possible it should instead move the plot on and aid characterisation.
So far today I’ve wrote six and a half sides and that leaves the total so far for the scene at thirteen pages!
I’ll return later today to do some more writing and hopefully finish this scene, although I am very happy with its progress so far!
It is now ‘later’ and I am in no way in the mood for doing university work, I’ve looked at what urgently needs to be completed before the start of term and have made a list of it. Frankly, the rest of it can wait until I am back at uni and in a mood that is conductive to work. Right now, I am frustrated and annoyed and what I want to do is write. So I will.
Nearly tea time and I’ve added another two pages to the pile – result! It’s slowly accumulating into a rather long scene, especially as I’ve only just reached the part in the snippet. That’s something funny I want to talk about. Unlike earlier projects, where I haven’t outlined at all or have followed the outline so rigidly that all creativity shrivels up and dies, I have used the outline simply as a helping hand.
For example, the scene I am currently writing takes place in a hospital and consists of the character doing a good deed for another patient. That was the focus of the outlined scene, which is currently one of the scenes not yet placed on my outline.
These are the scenes that have already been laid out on the ‘proper’ corkboard outline:
(Try to ignore my arm!)
I’ll return later to do some more writing and hopefully finish off the scene to its conclusion, before picking which one I’m going to write next; although I probably won’t get on to the actual writing of it today!
It is now midnight, and I’ve already done a little bit more writing but decided to stop for a little while to read The Fault in Our Stars, it’s a book that is held up as the pinnacle of YA contemporary so I thought I’d better try it. I did read it quickly but I’m just not sure how I feel about it.
It is nine minutes past one and tonight I had promised myself I would sleep early – before 11.30 as I’ll be awake at six thirty in order to get a lift to meet my Granda to see a film. I got caught up in The Fault in Our Stars, in wanting to see what happened to star-crossed lovers, and so couldn’t find out what happened in the scene I’ve been caught up in in my own book.
I didn’t know what would be said in the scene until it was and it has evolved into a mammoth and would likely be best split into two separate scenes, after all there is a gap in the middle where the main character naps for a very short length of time — I just kept on writing from there uninterrupted but it could be stopped.
I am rambling I know and it is a side effect of both the time and the exhilaration I feel. The last few pages of the scene seemed to write itself, at times so fast that I was scribbling with my pen so quickly my shoulder hurt and all attempts at neatness were lost at the oracle of just getting the story out there.
Even in rough draft form I am proud of what I have and think it could form an emotional pinnacle of the finished novel, although of course that depends on interpretation. I have had an idea, also. It is completely unrelated to what I have written but is more about having written. I have so far been writing on a yellow notepad using a specific set of pens I bought last weekend while shopping with my Mum and Nanna… Two of the pens have now run out and, aside from a quick Post-It note reminder to read some Chekhov, all I’ve done is write this.
We are used to the semi-permanence of computers and laptops, not the fallibility of the written word and it was fascinating to watch the ink in the pens run down in a way they haven’t before; aside from schoolwork, revising past novels and those ill-fated H20 Just Add Water x Percy Jackson fanfictions (seriously!) I can still remember writing when I was about thirteen. Two pens worth of words on the page.
Two scenes written and five days into a new year. It’s a good start, especially for someone who struggled to move on from the last writing project and finally ‘trunk it’.
I don’t know exactly how much I wrote in the last writing session specifically but I believe it is just over seven pages. The scene as a whole (well two scenes in one perhaps now) stands at just over twenty-four handwritten pages. I’ve made notes in my new writing notebook on things I might change in the next draft that occurred as I wrote, but wow. Handwriting so much feels like a monumental achievement even if in word count the days might not be as productive as they once were. This feels very sustainable (although all days cannot be like today when the words flowed like magic) and not like the chaotic word finding of NaNoWrimo.
Even at 200 words per page (and I suggest it may be more than that) the handwritten pages, since not long before the New Year plus the scene I had already largely written add up to around 10,000 words. A seventh of a novel, written in such a short time.
Of course, this is only the beginning of the story of this story but right now I feel optimistic and happy, especially with where I have left the characters, even though I know what comes now.
Mood: Never better!