Monday, March 15, 2010

I'm doing whatever she tells me to

A week from today is Decision Day. Will my sparkly new novel become my manuscript for my MA? Or will I revert back to my original, intended project?

I'm not sure how I'll decide, but in the meantime I've been writing like a madwoman, trying to get as much of Project Sparkle* written as possible. I imagine comparing two rough drafts, side by side, will make it easier to choose. But the truth is, the more I write of Project Sparkle, the more I can't stop. Has my heart made the decision already? Or maybe I'm just a "love the one you're with" type of girl. At the moment I'm aiming for 40K. I've just passed the 28K mark.

My tutor has encouraged me to let my character build the plot for this novel. I've never worked like this before. Rather than outlining my plot, sorting out key transition moments, points of no return, etc, I'm doing whatever my character wants. I finish a chapter and say, "Okay, what do you do next?" Or to put it another way, I'm in a car with broken headlights, in the middle of the night, without a map, and I've got a 16 year-old with anger-issues behind the wheel with the pedal to the floor.

No wonder I'm having fun. But I do wonder if we're going the right way...


*No need to worry, Project Sparkle has no fairies or pixies or sparkly vampires of any kind. I'm just using the name to replace the descriptor: "sparkly new novel". Actually, the reverse is true, Project Sparkle is pretty grim. Which makes the title even funnier.

4 comments:

  1. I'm not a big outliner so this sounds a lot like my writing process. As scary as it can be, I love letting characters steer. You never know where things will end up, and sometimes you might have to backtrack when things go awry, but it's always exciting! Good luck with it. :-)

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  2. Thanks Anna! It does add a level of excitement to the writing process; hadn't really realized that benefit before.

    At what point do you sit back and look at the whole piece and tinker with your plot? Do you wait until you have the whole piece drafted? I'm nearing my climax and getting a little nervous about having no idea what's going to happen. But hopefully my mc figures it out. I'm trying to avoid considering the piece as a whole to see if my mc can pull me the whole way through.

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  3. I'm a big outliner but in the end, there are twists and turns that you can't expect. And even if you've got it all planned, sometimes it's hard to execute the plan right? Give it some time. Daydream. Stare out the window. Sleep! Eat chocolate. :-)

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  4. "Daydream. Stare out the window. Sleep! Eat chocolate"... goodness, this sounds like my daily routine! =) But good suggestions, too. I tend to push myself more and more and get annoyed when I'm inefficient in my daily writing. But of course daydreaming and looking out the window and all of that is part of the process, isn't it? I think I need to work on being more spontaneous and organic in my writing.

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