5-4-9-2. That’s how many words I’ve written so far during #CampNaNoWriMo and though I think the story is a decent one, I am not in love with it…yet. This tends to happen every time I commit to writing something. I have a great idea and then as I put pen to paper, so to speak, it doesn’t excite me, in the beginning, as much as I thought it would.
It seems to take about 15-20,000 words before I can fully embrace a story. Is this normal? I don’t know, but this is a pattern that showed up in two previous manuscripts. I know three occurrences may not be a scientific way to establish a pattern, however, it is enough to encourage me to keep on.
In the past, I’ve started stories and aborted them far too quickly. I’m grateful that I didn’t discard them because now that I know my pattern, I can go back and revisit them again with a better understanding of my writing process.
When I write, I like to get my characters to a place of pseudo independence. They are selfish, self-centered bratty teenagers who demand a lot of attention. At this point the relationship is love-hate at best and hate-hate at worst.
But, I keep going. Then we get to a place where we begin to communicate and understand each other better. Instead of holding me captive and screaming at me to get it right, they calmly and kindly offer suggestions that they think will move the story forward. I’ve come to trust them because, like Pinocchio, they have become real.
It is a collaborative effort between me and the characters. When I am not writing they are on my mind. I imagine that they are frozen in whatever scene I left them in. This keeps the story fresh in my head and as I go throughout my day ideas, direction, changes come to me so when I sit down to write/type, the characters are so desperate for movement that they pull it all out of me.
I know, it may not sound like a sane way to write, but it works for me. Besides everyone know’s that writers are crazy, right.