Monday, May 2, 2011

I'm Growing (I Hope)

I think I'm growing as a writer, slowly but surely. It's been happening over the years, of course, but over the past eight months or so, I've been recognizing signs that I am. I have been told that one of my downfalls as a writer- of novels, of scripts- is that I miss great opportunities in my story. I set up a great "in" for something to happen... and then I don't think to try it out. It's never on purpose- I just never recognized that there was such an opportunity. But over the past few months, I've noticed that I'm catching more of these, seeing new avenues that I've never seen before.

I decided that for next years NaNoWriMo, I'm going to finish up Q/Quarantined/whatever it's going to be called once I'm finished with it. Long-time readers may remember that I started this project back in September/October 2009. I've been working on it on and off since then, and as of now, I have around 31,000 words. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words, and while I'm not sure that Q has 81,000 words to it, I chose to finish this project partially because I know I will be challenged to try new approaches to the story to get those 50,000 words. Plus, whether or not is has 81,000 more words to it, I know it still has a lot; I have so much still to say about the story, and I'm excited about that.

Also, I've found that one of my favorite things to do as I figure out a story is to write a scene or two from a different character's perspective. This allows me to see the same scene from a different angle. For example, for TOSOL, I wrote about Lyddie's mother's capture from the mother's point of view. It didn't go into the novel and I never planned it to, but knowing what happened to her was really helpful, and I can look back on it now months later as I reassess and completey revamp her character. I also wrote a flashback scene between Lyddie and her sister that occured right after their mother had been taken. It's adorable and touching, and while it didn't make it into the novel, I know that they had that moment together and it helps me to write other scenes between them. This is something I never did when I was a younger writer.

I've spent the past couple of days since making my plot chart working on some new scenes. I have a few that I need to write, and as I work on them, I feel like I'm looking at them with a better eye for wording and the like. This is not only from writing, I think, but from editing. I know that if I'm not careful, this "eye" will turn into my usual Type-A1 fear of not being perfect, but I'll try to stay away from that, as that's what keeps me from writing, not spurs me on.

I'm excited to see these changes happening in my writing and I hope they continue. I know I've got a long way to go, but growing bit by bit all brings me closer to my ultimate goal- to be published. And I'm not going to lie- I got an e-mail from a girl who I was in a creative writing class with in the fall. She and I have a lot in common, but we've both been too shy to communicate in anyway but over the internet. I had written and asked her if she was taking any writing classes this semester, and in her answer, she wrote, "I hope you're keeping up with your writing- you're so good at it." Even little stuff like that can make my day :)

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