"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Monday, June 04, 2007

It begins!

So I've officially started writing my new project. I'm 870 words in. That's right - 870 words (which is roughly 3 pages).

Beginnings are hard for a number of reasons:

1) You don't really know your characters yet. You're trying to figure out what they sounds like. I mean, it's one thing to write ideas down on paper, but then to translate that to actual prose is totally different.

2) There's just so much to tell. Trying to eliminate backstory is something I am working on. Just because I know something about my main character doesn't mean the rest of the world needs to know about it. Or at least, they don't need to know about it in the first 870 words.

3) Progress seems slow. 870 words may seem like nothing to the overall manuscript. Let's just say the complete manuscript will be 60,000 words. Unless I have my math wrong, that's only 1.4 percent. But on the other hand, that's already 1.4 percent. 100 days of writing like that and my first draft will be done!

4) I'm trying out first person. This is new for me as I've stick with (close) third person in the past. Now I have to figure out how to convey feelings in a different way.

5) Do we all face the "this sucks" feelings when we start writing? But then, if I remember right, a reread months later will translate to "OK, this isn't actually that bad." And a "Wow - look at all these pages covered with pretty words!"

So here are my goals:

1) Stick to new project. Getting a (sh**ty) first draft done is the most important thing.

2) Write every night. 3 pages * 100 days = 300 pages.

3) Who cares if I can't solve every problem in the first draft. That's what revisions are for.

4) Let my critique group suffer through my revisions with me :)


Christine M said...

Good goals! Sometimes I don't know which is harder, the first draft or the revisions. They both have their own ups and downs.

One thing with backstory in a new story - sometimes what i do is write a few pages of "notes" for myself - maybe a character writing a "who am I" essay and then once I have the backstory all established its easier to weave it in without spelling it all out.

Works for me - sometimes.

Shawn said...

You go, girl!! Whoop, whoop. You can do it. Isn't something like 30,000 words in and you'll hit a groove. I wish. I've been stuck between diapers and dullsville with my writing.

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Christine! I think I am doing better this time around. And for me, the first draft is WAY funner than the revisions (at least the 5th, 6th, and 7th ones)!

And thanks, Shawn! I agree about the groove thing. Like all of a sudden, you look back and think that you're actually making progress. I'll have to keep track of when it happens (but I'm thinking it won't be tonight) :)

Jim D said...

First person can be a bit tough at times, but if it fits the book, you have to go with it!

(One of my two novels under reconstruction is first person in this revision.)

And I'm sure your crit group won't suffer. :)


PJ Hoover said...

Hey Jim,
I've been wanting to try first person out for a while, and this book seems to fit it. We'll see how it goes. It should be a great learning experience!

HipWriterMama said...

Welcome back! I'm impressed you've went back to work on your writing. And your goals. Wonderful. You can do it.