The finishing of a draft of story brought on some discovery of my own writing process.
Lots of people, probably including you, got the idea that I’m a disciplined writer. I don’t know why. But I’m NOT! Discipline is actually my No. 1 enemy. However something weird had happened during the writing of STOS # 1 (draft). I was able to work on it, especially writing the ending, almost every day if not every other day. Perhaps it is related to below.
I once wrote that I’m not too hung up on word count. O.K. I changed my mind! I realize word count is a great motivator to me. Half way through writing STOS #1 (draft), I stalled. To get myself going, I sweet-talked myself into just write up 200 words a day. Nothing more and nothing less. With this, I was able to maintain a steady flow of out put. The draft finished at 7552 words. (Please, a round of applause!)
I’m never a fast writer. What I mean is: fingers flying across keyboard and churn out 1000 words in 2 hours. On average it takes me about 2 hours to finish 200 words. One of the major reasons is that by the end of the 2 hours, I start hearing The Voice (the name I give to my internal critique). Some days, if I have enough of creative energy, I could shut Her up for long. But usually, the writing session is so intense that I could only hold Her at bay for about 2 hours.
Outline / No Line
I’m never big on outlining a story before writing. Nonetheless, I had mapped out an extremely brief outline for STOS back on December last year. When I sat down to write # 1, I thought I’ll be a very good girl and followed the very brief outline. Sorry mate, the only thing that I stick with is the ending, which is the first thing came to me when I developed #1. I call this my No Line Mapping, hahaha!
This is the first time I held down The Voice long enough in all the writing sessions to allow the words spill over the pages. While working on the ending, I already knew that I will probably drop one of the character, cut out the first 1000 words, flesh out another character, drop in more back story and tighten the entire piece. I’m really glad I did that. Because now I have enough of material to do some major rewrite and editing. No words and effort is wasted as they continue to sharpen my writing skill.
I haven’t done this for a very long time. I light a candle (day & night) whenever I work on the story at home. (see the pix on top of this post) It serves as a "cue" to the creative mind.
I know this might mean a small thing to those seasoned writers, but to me, it is an achievement. Each story, whether it be a draft or a finished one, is like a small pebble which I lay in front of me to cross the writing river. Alright, you out there, throw me a bucket of pebbles …
I’ll be starting STOS # 2 over the Easter holiday. Then come back to rewrite STOS # 1 in 4 – 6 week’s time.
Thank you all for listening. I feel GREAT!