Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Close, but so far away

I am only 3 or 4 chapters from finishing the first draft of the novella I started last month. I have worked on little else and it still looks like I have done amazingly little. I am hoping that I have very little editing to do (ha!) because of my efforts.

So far I am still liking it. It has kept my attention and I think the characters seem real enough, although a little bit of time away might reveal some huge flaws that I am not seeing now.

I am trying several different things with this book that I haven't done in my other attempts (two of which I am planning on editing when I am done with this draft)
1. I don't think this has anything to do with my writing but formatting. I am using a different word processing program. It is called OpenOffice and it seems to be a pretty good program so far. Before this I was using microsoft Works. It is basic but does the job. At least with the new program I can read .doc files.

2. I am breaking into chapters. I know this sounds weird, or maybe not, but before I just wrote through the breaks. This time I am inserting them. It gives me more flexibility in seeing where I have been.

3. I am not trying to write as much. It is much tighter (it is a novella, I know), but I am leaving stuff to fill in the blanks later. I am not waiting around for inspiration. This has sped up the writing process considerably. It has also made for some very short chapters which I am looking forward to fleshing out later.

This has all made for a very enjoyable writing experience. It has also gone remarkably fast. I still think I can finish this draft this week. Just a few days after my initial self-imposed deadline.

Now, if I am going to finish this beast I had better stop blogging and get to work.

Happy St. Pat's Day! I will be sure to enjoy a brew for all of you that don't drink (I don't know how many that is so I will have to estimate ;) )


Fox Lee said...

I can't drink beer, yet I have a high tolerance for alcohol. With that in mind, you should probably drink three for me.

Fox Lee said...

PS: Unless it's wine, in which case drink two glasses then spend the rest of the night randomly giggling. Feel free to tint the wine green.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I used to have a high tolerance for alcohol as well. It usually hit me all at once was the problem. I will have one in your honor.

I can't drink wine. I have only found one I like the taste of and I don't know which one it was.

Bobbie Metevier said...

Point 3 . . . leaving out things to fill in the blanks later. I think that sounds like an excellent idea. Consider it stolen.

Jamie Eyberg said...

Steal away. I spent far too much time trying to fill in the blanks on my last book. I should have plowed through and filled them in later. (I will probably have to redo those parts anyway.)

Aaron Polson said...

The best part of writing a longer work is point 3. I can really work up some momentum if I forget the details and plow on.

BT said...

Point 3 = writing in layers.

This was a light bulb moment for me as well. I write a first draft primarily in the head of my characters so I have lots of dialogue and some narrative. I have to go back and add narrative description, setting, tension, plants, and all that other great stuff at a later date. The whole idea of the first draft is to just get the story out of your head.

A poll has been taken and everyone's first draft sucks. Don't worry about it.

Shrek was right - layers...

Cate Gardner said...

If I'm stuck in a part of my story, I skip right over it and go back to it later.

You can have my share of the beer. I used to be able to drink for England without getting drunk, now I fall over if I even smell alcohol.

K.C. Shaw said...

Chapter breaks are fun! They give you little peaks of action to aim for, and any sentence that finishes off a chapter becomes automatically more significant.

I do the layers thing too, mostly because my first drafts never seem to have enough description.