So today I hand the blog back over to good friend and flegdling writer Amie Johnson. Take it away Amie!
Amie can be found on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/amieblinks
From The Beginning
Part Two – 23/09/13
So since my last blog things have changed with my novel. After having a major lack of confidence in my first draft I made a brave decision to scrap it and start again. This turned out to be a really good choice as I have now re-written the chapters, and more, and I am feeling so much happier with it. My first draft was very wordy, and as an avid blogger and reviewer, I think this is going to be something difficult to shake off. A bad habit I need to find a solution to.
Currently 8,671 words in, I am reaching pinnacle points in my story that deserve lots of focus and a creative mind. This is my second setback. I won’t write unless I feel ‘in the mood’. It makes writing a much longer process but helps me feel confident in my work. I would rather produce something shorter that I deem to be good, than something lengthy but rubbish, in my eyes. Quality over quantity every time. It’s about having a working ritual and how to get yourself into a creative mind frame. Normally, my best work is produced at night. I don’t know why, it’s just how I am. Maybe this stems from my insomnia?!
As for my ritual, I tend to live by the philosophy; ‘Write when the mood takes you’. Forced writing is not how I work. If I was to just add to it every time I felt I should to stick to an invisible deadline, the quality of what is produced would be very low.
As the weeks have passed since my first attempt at starting my novel I have yet to create a name for a few things in my book, mainly the place where all the action happens. It isn’t set in England, or indeed at the present time. It’s very different to the world we live in. Therefore, I feel it deserves it’s own name, but this is something I’m struggling to generate. My initial thought was to use districts but that is becoming too popular in YA novels so I chose to move away from that idea. Now I am seeking a made up word! Something that is a slow, but working progress.
I do fear that procrastination has swayed me off task quite a lot recently. Now back at work and having started my teacher training degree, my main focus isn’t to write anymore. It’s to do my job and do well on my course. When I started this novel in the summer holidays I was hoping to have miraculously finished the first draft by term ones beginning – how wrong was I. Very mis-calculated there. So now I juggle my time between work, PGCE, partner, friends, family, blogging, reviewing, reading and writing. Also keeping up with the X Factor which has also now started, creating yet another block!
An author provided me with a tip in my latest blog ‘Workspace and Ritual’ which was to mark in my diary a block each week where I would commit to writing my novel. Even if it’s only once a week, I have to not change my mind, regardless of potential invitations thrown at me. I must stand my ground and switch the creative side of my noggin on. Maybe I should consider testing this theory. I’ll keep you posted…
I have managed, through listening to my characters, to fashion new journeys for them to embark on in my story. It sounds weird – ‘listening to my characters’ – but it is something that can happen to writers, should they tune in enough. My characters now guide me through the story, telling me what they want to happen. My mind feels completely weird when I write now because these characters in my book have overthrown my original ideas and as the words flow out, they inject scenes I wasn’t expecting, emotions I didn’t know they had. It’s key to have a plan when writing a story, but my advice is to not stick to it word for word. Allow your characters to express themselves through your writing. If you’re creating a scene and suddenly instinct tells you to change direction, go with it. As they say; ‘go with the flow’. What’s the worst that could happen? You have to highlight a paragraph or two, press the delete button and start over. At least you’re experimenting and during the last month or so, I’ve realised, that’s what it is all about. That is the key element that makes up the beauty of writing, experimentation. Grant your characters permission to explore. You never know, they might just help you in creating a masterpiece.
Thank you for visiting.
Please see my blog for more writing tips or any of my reviews: http://amielou89.blogspot.co.uk/
Thank you Liz for sharing me.
Until next time, stay happy 🙂