time to write
|This sticker makes me laugh, yet it is
For three months I’ve been playing with some new characters. I’ve almost filled two notebooks with thoughts. Recently, I found this sticker that says, “The voices are getting louder…Must be time to write.” I picked it up because it made me laugh, however, there is a lot of truth in this statement.
Last night I said to Andy, “I think it’s about time to start drafting a new story.” There’s a tug inside of me, the characters are clearer and yet, at the same time, mysterious enough that I know I won’t learn all I need to know about them until I begin writing the story. There are things I can only learn through writing…by following the characters as they lead me through the story.
This is both exciting and scary.
Exciting because I want to know the story. I want to understand the characters and their choices and their emotions. And scary because it takes a lot of time to write a novel. Not only that, but there is a huge emotional investment. The characters often make my heart hurt. I guess, though, in the end, it is scarier not to write the story than to write it.
This time I’m going to draft differently than last time. Last time I revised too early. I wanted it “right” and spent a lot of time trying to get it this way, only to realize as more of the story unfolded, the revisions I made early on didn’t matter. In order to revise well (and get the story “right” — if there is any such thing) I have to allow the entire story to unfold first. This is hard for me. Drafting is hard. I much prefer envisioning the story and imaging the characters in my notebook and then revising the story after it is drafted. This time I’m going to write the story, allowing it to unfold as quickly as possible and then revise. I think this will make me a more efficient writer (and I won’t have to cut things I spent hours revising and perfecting but no longer “fit” the story).
The characters are ready for the story to be written…now I just have to get ready!
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First, best wishes in this hard writing. I hope it goes well. And, thank you for showing the writing process you are experiencing and examining. It's a good point, that every time the process might not be the right one!
I love these insights into what it has been like for you writing your first and planning your second YA novel. I started one but then it was shifted aside when I went back to school. I am looking forward to getting back to it. With the early chapters that I started I remember going back and revising, but I think I am going to take your advice and just let the story flow – see where it goes and then go back and think about revisions.
I had a feeling this post was coming–and it does sound like the characters are ready for you to start drafting. Love that you are going to change your process based on how it worked last time. 🙂