Sunday, 3 March 2013

Getting To Know You

I'm going to try and keep this blog post brief because I'm in the middle of writing my novel and I don't want to procrastinate... too much. But I couldn't concentrate because something was bugging me immensely and I felt the need to blog about it. So I'm not really procrastinating, I'm finding a therapeutic outlet to vent about some of my writing issues.

Okay, maybe I'm procrastinating a little... But it's better than watching my ER boxset, right? I know, I'm maturing in my growth as a writer!

Essentially my issue is that I don't think I'm selling my main character enough. I've mentioned in one of my previous blog posts that I know David (my main character) better than I know anyone else, even myself. I've done endless character plans, spider diagrams and scenarios for David so that ideally I should know exactly what he'll say/do/think/feel in any given situation. But for some reason this isn't translating into my book.

I think the problem is that I'm in such a haste to get everything written down and get to my weekly word count goal that I'm not giving enough time to the story itself and the actual craft of writing. This means that David is frankly getting lost in translation somewhere and it annoys me because I feel like my reading audience don't know him as well as I do. And it's a pity because he's a great guy.

Ok, I just noticed that I'm really starting to sound like his mother, but then I suppose in a way I am! I did create him (and I firmly believe that no woman will ever be good enough for him).

I've been told by several people and I've read in several writing books that the best way to write is to write; that is get the words on the page and not to go back and edit until the majority (or indeed all) of the book is written.

Easier said than done.

Part of me thinks that maybe I'm doing the right thing. Maybe I should just keep writing (no matter how abysmally) until I finish the first draft and then I can go back and edit to my heart's content. Maybe the second draft is the best time to "let David shine" and really illustrate who he is on paper. It's just very hard to finish a chapter (as I've literally just done) and move on to the next one when all I can think of is "God that last chapter was pure muck. If I was reading a book like this, I'd have put it down long ago".

Maybe this is what all writers go through, but as I've mentioned in my previous blog, I don't know any writers so I'm not really in a position to check this out.

My book is very much plot led - it's a thriller with an (I hope!) interesting premise but characters are the essence to any story and I really, really want David (and his cohorts!) to come alive on the paper. I want people to get to know him, to laugh with him, to cry with him and feel his pain. But because he's my main character trying to overcome adversity, I want people to believe in him. He deserves that at the very least, and it's my responsibility to ensure that that happens.

I'll keep plodding on at the book and my plan is that when I get to a certain word count (that's not too far away) I'll give myself permission to go back and edit what I've written. Hopefully that way, I can develop David further which in turn could motivate me to write even more then, because as it stands I find it difficult to keep writing when all I can focus on is the drivel I've written in the previous chapter.

It's just not possible for me to write a full first draft that I think is pure awful. Partly awful is do-able, but not fully awful.

Indecisiveness and writing is not a good mix!