Blog of Writer, R. J. Wizard
Finished of with 50,242 words, so I crossed the finish line with this.
Hunter S. Thompson transcribed every page of Fitzgerald’s _The Great Gatsby_ and Hemingway’s _A Farewell to Arms_ (he also typed out some of Faulkner’s short stories). This exercise was a way to measure the scope of the task of writing novels and to assimilate some of these authors’ writing styles. Whether or not you admire any of these authors’ work, the point is that gauging the extent of a project by physically covering the territory (by any means) is a way of taming the fear of undertaking the task in the first place.
Unlike most aspiring writers, you’ve actually covered the territory with words. You know that writing an entire novel, though still a very daunting task, is achievable.
It was a HUGE learning experience. Number one lesson is the more pantsing your approach (as opposed to plotting) the more journalistically realistic your material should be.
My was a full flung flight of fancy in five different universes and blah blah blah. Writing that with no template, nothing more than a page of jotted notes, caused more discontinuances than a drunkard’s life.
This experience tells me a hybrid of gall inspired pantsing and plotting is the best approach. It is like going out to sea. You could just plop your boat into the water and just go in any direction the currents take you with no instrumentation. You may discover some great things and then die in the middle of the water. At least bring a compass (or sextant). Then, if you think you are going from the coast of Norway to England, but get lost and discover Greenland, you can still get to England.
Light plotting. Because this story took me places I had no conception of before I started. There are at least three ideas in there that could be whole other books.
As per the “stuffing” part I told you about at the bar to get to 50,000. I had a character going through a forest with a mule. The section was called THE CABIN IN THE WOODS OF FABLE. And nothing happened! He got to the cabin and slept there and then made his way out of the forest the next day. I had a destination to get him to and the section had grown way more than the first section.
Anyway. I already got my next project going. Going to spruce up and lengthen my ‘Clown” story and see if I can whack it into submission shape and send it out. As for the NaNo book. That goes in the closet until May to ferment.
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