Of all the writing I do, why is blogging and journaling the hardest? Don’t have an answer; I promised myself to do more of this but end up only doing it two or three times a year.
But what I can say is that I’m really happy with my writing at the present.
Last November I participated in a novel writing contest called NANOWRIMO or National Novel Writing Month. Along with thousands of other writers, I had to produce a 50,000 word novel in the one month time.
There had been an idea bubbling in the back of my head for sometime, a science fiction story that I though would be perfect. So I wrote and wrote and wrote for those thirty days, and was able to not only complete 50,000 words, but also type The End to the entire story.
I put the novel aside until January when I gave it a read through and the first rewrite to clean things up, but what I discovered was that this story was far larger then I had anticipated. In truth, maybe I knew it would be too massive because I had first conceived the original idea as a TV series. I’m not going to give up on this story, but am going to sit on it for while and see if there is something more focused that can come out of the greater whole to tell.
That said, I am still a successful writer.
About half way through my Nanowrimo project an idea came out of nowhere. An idea completely different from the grand experiment I was in the midst of. I jotted down a “working title” for this new idea, and one line of the concept and put it aside. This new idea sat in the back of my head as I dealt with the first one.
With December and the Nanowrimo novel finish and sitting a virtual drawer, I pulled out the new idea and began to write a second novel completely from scratch.
I immediately began to love the characters that were growing in this novel; they weren’t restrained by the “high concept” of the first novel, and began to do what they wanted. It was fun to watch them and a great ride to experience their lives with them.
However as I approached the 50,000 words on this novel I realize there was no ending as I currently had it. These characters just wanted to go on past the original story.
So I knew what had to happen next. I put it away for a while.
In January and February of this year I did a rewrite on my earlier novel and gave it to a friend to read. The story was still too expansive so I worked on it some more, but knew I was going to have to rip the whole thing apart. Find what the heart of the story really was and fix some major continuity problems. So my science fiction story has once more gone back into the drawer. It’s not dead yet, but needs to sit for a while.
Pulling the second novel out once more I dove right in and pulled apart the ending that wasn’t working and began to ask my characters what they really wanted to tell me. And they told me. I found a whole new part of the story for a new character, and discovered secrets about several other characters I didn’t know anything about. The novel began to finish a whole lost smoother.
After letting my friend read this novel, and dreading similar notes as the first, I went back in for more rewrites and from the start to the finish and back again I fine-tuned it.
At the start of this month (June), and 80,000 words, I declare the novel finished! Because if I didn’t I’d never stop, or ever do anything with it.
Then after weeks of research I send the novel off to publisher. To make it all the more exciting; the postal tracking I used let me know the publisher received my manuscript on my own birthday. So I take that as a blessing.
I don’t know what will happen with this novel, or the one sitting in the drawer, or the new one that began to fall from my fingertips today, but I remain faithful and declare myself a successful writer no matter what.
Will let you know when I hear from the publisher and what happens with the rest of my writing. Maybe this blog will be filled with something worthwhile yet.
Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity