I’ve actually done a lot of work on the novel the past few days, just haven’t posted about it.
Saturday morning I’d told myself I was going to get up and start writing the next chapter, chapter 7. However, my brain seemed to have different ideas. Instead, I rewrote the story I’d written the day before (from third-person present to first person past.) I also rewrote chapter 6. Then I dumped all the separate files of the novel into a single file, put the text into manuscript format, and printed it out.
Sunday, I started going through the hardcopy, reading it out loud while wandering from the living room to the bedroom and then back to the kitchen and around again. Had a couple of “wow” moments, when I ran across something that was particularly good (as in, “Wow, did I write that?”) Much of the time, though, was spent smoothing things out. I read through about half of what I had (30 pages) twice.
This morning I’d told myself that I was just going to continue with the rewrite, as I’d failed so spectacularly to do anything original throughout the weekend. However, as I was drinking my coffee, I found that I was casting about for the first sentence of chapter 7. And, suddenly, there it was. I didn’t have my computer turned on — it’s too much of a temptation, once it’s on, to do things *other* than write. Besides, all I was planning on doing this morning was reading the hard copy.
However, I knew that if I didn’t capture that sentence it would be gone. So I grabbed pen and paper, just to write down that first sentence.
Three pages later I’m finally finished, most of the first scene of that chapter sketched out. It was probably only around 300 words (about 100 words per page.) Still, I’m very pleased that this absolute need to get the words down has returned, this need to speak in a character’s voice. It’s a new experience for me to hear characters so well. It isn’t that I didn’t hear them before, with the other novels — but these voices just have such clarity. The word choice is so easy this time.
After I finished writing, I got back to the hardcopy, rereading chapter 4 and putting it to rights. I knew that parts of that chapter required a great deal of work, but parts didn’t, the parts that had come to me with joy the first go round.
The absolute joy of writing wasn’t here this morning, but it’s lurking, around the edges. I can feel it. I do feel a great deal of satisfaction for having finished what I did. The joy isn’t lost. And it isn’t as though I wasn’t happy writing this morning, either.
The lesson in all of this for me is that I need to continue to do what strikes me that day, every day. It isn’t that I don’t need plans, I just have to continue to be willing to give them up at a moment’s notice.
Tomorrow the plan is to continue going through the hardcopy. And maybe that will happen. Or maybe I’ll just write more of chapter 7. Whatever. It’s all in the groove. (^_^)
And yes, I owe a ton of people email. Hopefully ya’ll already know that I’m a horrible correspondant. I can’t guarantee I’ll get to them today — need to focus on the day job — have actual *work* to do. And I’m starting a class an ASL tonight. Tomorrow perhaps?
::smooches and random hugs::