Day one hundred eighty-four of my 365 Day Writing Project.
I’m in wrap-it-up mode in the final chapter of my book. As much as I have a need at this point to provide closure and a sense of satisfaction to the reader, I am finding that the plot continues to keep things interesting. It’s not over by any means.
Something pivotal just occurred when my characters are supposed to be winding down. I did not expect it, but I guess that means the end of the adventure has left me – and hopefully the reader – wanting more.
I love how much I learn about the creative writing process from these little surprises.
Day one hundred forty-four of my 365 Day Writing Project.
I had a very long, exhausting day today that left me struggling to keep my eyes open tonight. l was feeling unaccomplished as I tried to write, because I wasn’t sure how the current scene should continue. I was also feeling unaccomplished about only writing 500 words for the second day in a row. Which is really pretty good, all things considered. (Note to self: Any amount of writing is an accomplishment, as long as you are writing every day.)
I have had this ongoing feeling of being a disappointment to future readers because of difficulties I am having as I write. Doubts about the scenes. Concerns about the characters. Struggles with word usage, flow, sentence structure, description, etc. Tonight it occurred to me that none of that stuff matters right now. I will be editing and re-writing and polishing my manuscript many times before future readers lay their eyes upon it. One hopes that by then, the difficulties and doubts will have evaporated. They will be non-existent. And the readers will never know that I struggled with this part or totally bombed that part. They will only see the shiny end product.
I must remind myself that it doesn’t have to be great yet. It will get there. I don’t have to be a writing maniac shattering word count goals. I’m still writing and my book is nearing the end of its first draft. It will get there. And trying to please future readers now, at this early stage, is pointless. They won’t read it in its current state. The book they end up reading will be very different from what it is now. The doubts, struggles and difficulties will be gone and they will be none the wiser. What the reader doesn’t know won’t hurt them.
I sprung into writing today at the beginning of a fast-paced scene. I have so much fun writing those. One reason they are fun is how the words just fly onto the page. I wrote for under an hour and hammered out 1,200 words without breaking a sweat. I don’t want to say it was easy, but as far as how the writing came to me, it was.
I am always learning about the creative process. I have learned how the fast-paced scenes are the most enjoyable to write, while the slower-paced ones tend feel…well, slower to write. Hello, Captain Obvious. But seriously, I find it interesting that the type of scene I am writing dictates my writing experience. I suppose it is rather silly for me to think otherwise, that my writing experience would be the same no matter what I was writing. I know that it is not. I experience the emotions while I write the characters’ experience of them. I feel it as I write it. If I didn’t, I don’t think it would be very good writing.
Tonight, I wrote a fast-paced scene that was dark, dramatic and uncertain, causing me to feel anxious, nervous and worried. Fight or flight ensued. The words spilled out as I hit the keys, my fingers and focus being driven by anxiety and maybe even some adrenaline. So the words came to me faster and I typed with hyper-speed, banging on the keys with aggressive purpose. I don’t think I ever realized it before, but it is coming clear to me now that my viscerally empathetic responses shape not only my experience of writing a scene, but also what will be the experience of the reader. This is yet another reason to love books, and especially, to love writing them.
The writing really flowed for me today. If not for the fact that I have a very long day ahead of me tomorrow, which will start at an ungodly hour of the morning, I would have kept going. Easily. But I had to stop. At least I can look forward to picking up where I left off.
As for today’s ease of writing, I must give all the credit to the sexual tension between my two main characters. What fun it is to write! The relationship between these two characters is something I plan to keep platonic. They are not and never will be lovers. But, they have great chemistry and the more time they spend together, the thicker the sexual tension gets. And the more fun I have writing their adventures together.
Certain dynamics between characters can make their scenes more or less enjoyable to write. I’d like to think that if I’m enjoying writing a scene so much, the reader will enjoy reading it just as much. Whether or not that is the case, I can’t help but wonder what the reader’s experience will be during the parts I didn’t enjoy writing as much. Is it actually possible to gauge what a reader might feel/think/experience based on the enjoyment the writer gets while writing? Who knows. I’m just glad I get to enjoy the writing process when I do and if I can have fun while doing it, I hardly care what the reader will think.