During Camp NaNo, and I know it will extend well beyond, I feel the same thrill of climbing that mountain again. There are dangers along the trail, most certainly, and there will be stumbles and pitfalls. But wonders appear at every turn of the path. The pinnacle is in reach, a story complete, and I can see it shining above the clouds.
In our efforts to make the puzzles hard for our protagonists to solve, we set up a puzzle for ourselves that is missing pieces. Our characters have taken us on side paths that we weren’t expecting. This is great because it means we have written characters with true personalities–characters who are real and believable.
It also means that our characters have managed to do to us what we were trying to do to them.
My little supposed 30,000-word mid-grade novel had reached 68,772 words a few days before Christmas. Then the frantic onset of wrapping, baking, decorating, and celebrating shoved the “I can’t stop writing” choo-choo right off the rails. I will pick it up again, hopefully with new inspiration. The story has a long way to go for…
Every writer gets to a place in their story where they question the value of their words. Is the story good? Will it engage the reader? Are my characters deep enough? Is there enough action to move the story forward?
This is the writer’s stress. The self-doubt that always creeps in. I picture it as a little shadow person, crawling toward the Muse, who is laboring away in an act of devotion.
The Muse bows at the keyboard, pouring soul and spirit into the words on the screen. The shadow creeps closer, its hands outstretched, clawing fingers ready to strangle. Its mission is to kill the muse. Its name is Doubt.
Not that kind of roll. I’m on Day 12 of NaNoWriMo and have written 18,790 words. That’s better than I’ve done in the last several tries, and I am actually excited about this story. Considering the fact that I just sat down and started typing without any plan or focus, or even the glimmer of…
Writing, for me, is often like an archaeological dig. I start out delving into what I think will be, and find new discoveries along the way that change my whole perspective, teach me about the people involved, and rewrite the world’s history. I enjoy getting to know my world and its characters as much as I enjoy letting them tell me where they want to go, and how they want to get there.