Friday, 15 January 2016

Novel Writing Journal Entry #1


I'm writing a novel.

No, not right now. This is just the first instalment in a series of journal entries that I'm going to write chronicling my... Well, my journey. After all, that's why they call them journals, right? I seriously have no clue but it sounds right so let's run with that.

As I said, I am writing a novel. If you subscribe to the S17 Newsletter, not only are you already aware of this, but you've read the rough draft for the first chapter. So far all the feedback I've received has been positive. I'd write the book either way, but it's nice to hear other people think the story so far is interesting.

I have begun several novels but so far have yet to finish any of them. This one, Formerly Known As the Indestructible Kid, will be the first. It might kill me in the process but by damn it will be finished. Even if it has to be published posthumously. The reasons for not finishing them all pretty much come down to losing interest. It's probably why I'm suited better for writing comic books- a typical S17 comic book script clocks in at under 5000 words. A "typical" novel is usually in excess of 120,000.

Quick math will show that to be like writing LOTS of comic scripts. My attention span is to the point that, while I'm writing those 5000 words my brain has already gone off on three different NEW ideas that I'd like to work on. It's not that what I'm working on (novel or script-wise) is by any means boring, I just naturally run to the shiny new idea. Self-discipline and I are not exactly the tightest of friends. 

To sit at a keyboard or with a notebook (but let's face it sooner or later the damn thing needs to be typed up anyhow) for the amount of time to write a novel, even if it's the thing that you're most excited about in the whole wide world EVER? That takes a LOT of willpower.
Like A LOT.

So, yeah. Lots of other shiny ideas and sitting there hammering away at the same thing day and day out. That's a couple of reasons I have a hard time with writing novels. Pacing was also an issue for the longest time until I realised a chapter is just like a comic book page. You have to have something at the beginning to draw people in, some cool stuff that happens in the middle, and an ending that makes people NEED to keep reading; early mornings and obligations be damned. Once I figured that part out, pacing was no longer as tricky.

The other problem I have is once I know an ending for a story, I start to get bored with it. I read because I want to know the story- from start to end. Once I've read it, I'm good. I don't have to go back to it again. I do, but that's because of habit more than anything. So when I plot out a story, it's essential for me to get to it as quickly as possible before other ideas pop up, ones I don't know enough about just yet, and take over.

I started FKA sometime back for National Novel Writing Month (a pretty neat event where you try to write 50,000+ words of a novel within the month of November) and I've more or less picked up where I left off, adding a few thousand words to where I had stopped a couple years back. Getting back in the groove of writing the character, Jared Rayburn, was not quite as easy as I had hoped but I figured a little rust was to be expected given the length of time between writing sessions. The more of it I write, the smoother it becomes so I take that as a sign I'll be back in tune with him before long.

Right now the goal is to finish the first draft by the end of April/beginning of May. Looking at my word count and how far along I am, that may be a bit optimistic, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try to do it. After all, I've already announced a release date of September 1 and there's a lot to do after just one draft- more drafts, editing, putting it all together for release- tons of work. I'm going to do a few more of these journals to update my progress (or lack there of) and the struggles involved in writing this book (hopefully they are far and few between) to not only keep track for myself, but so anyone else who is thinking of writing a novel sees that they aren't the only ones going through this- because there are certainly times where it feels like that.

Thanks for reading and we'll talk again soon.


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