Week 17

Finally finished a scene that's been dragging for a week or two now. Okay, not dragging, but I started it with not much idea of where it would go, and things developed to such an extent that I had to go back and add to previous bits. It was flat and boring too, and didn't suit the conflict that emerged during it, so needed rewriting.

Sissy Spacek as Carrie

I learned from Carrie that it's not what happens that's important, it's how you tell it. Not much happens in the book that isn't almost completely pre-figured in the first pages, and yet King comes at events slowly and from one angle after another, until the inevitable is terrible to read. That comes naturally to suspense writers, but it's something I have to work at.

I normally try not to edit as I write, as this is my first draft and I just want to get it down, in the knowledge that soon, at some horrible point in the future, I'm going to have to read it with a red pen in my hand and edit, edit, edit. But the chapter quickly developed a shape I hadn't anticipated, and I had to make notes and write a few extra paragraphs at the beginning to make sense of what happens later on.

Sounds haphazard? It is. You think you're going to write one thing, and it changes altogether as you write. Forcing yourself to give up on an earlier plan and close the scene is a discipline of itself.

The strange character who appeared in Week 10 appears to be sticking around, and has a name. On the whole I'm not giving character names too much thought (the one I have for my main character might not even stay the course), but it was almost like this one appeared, held out his hand and introduced himself. Daniel.*

So now I have a story that's getting away from me. I'm going on holiday on Thursday, and part of me doesn't want to go, I'm so absorbed by writing this down and seeing where it goes.

It's unlikely I'll be able to write as continuously as I've managed in the last few weeks. I hope to write a couple of short story ideas as well as continue thinking about my novel, and I'll be updating this blog as much as I can in the three weeks I'm away.

* I know at least four Dans or Daniels. If you're one of them, don't worry - there's no connection as far as I can tell!

Word count this week: 3,420 Running total: 34,891 First draft: 19,523