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Words Per Minute

February 4, 2010

It must mean something that I am far more excited each day to write my novel than I am to write for this blog. It’s a bit of a stretch coming up with pithy commentary each day, especially after I’ve already cramped my phalanges with an hour of storytelling.

I planned to write this blog because I thought it would help me get the most out of the writing process, though, so I do not want to abandon this piece of the effort. The point of this blog is metacognition. I’ve waited too long to start writing. I have had stories in my head for years and have always found a way to put off writing them. Having found the motivation to finally begin, I feel like I need to expedite my growth as a writer by publicly sharing what the writing process does and means to me.

So this is what I’ve got for today:

All in all it was a good one.  I only wrote 500 words or so, but I crafted a fun scene and got through some tough dialogue.

I sat down to write this novel with no outline, but with a very good sense of the overall plot arch in my head. I knew the main characters (though not their names), I knew the general structure the story would follow, and I knew the key points of conflict and climax. I chose not to write a rigid outline, because I wanted the narrative to develop organically and to get a real sense of who I am as a writer. That paid off for the first time a few hours ago.

That was when I found that the story has taken an exciting turn. I reached a point in the plot I had not foreseen – a point that makes perfect sense and helps develop all three of my main characters while at the same time defining the conflicts between them. It’s also a point of increased action – fast-paced and intense – one of those parts of a book that as a reader I fly through and re-read to be sure I got it all.  It was an un-planned scene, and it was fun to write.

It was an interesting day as a storyteller. My greatest frustration was that I couldn’t type fast enough to keep up with the ideas in my head.  I know that that can’t continue every day, but if I had never started this project, today would never have happened.

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