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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Red Ink Wrangler

Yup. I've taken on another blog. As I start this new venture, I wonder how I'll fair at keeping it up. Considering I don't do much with my other blog, my expectations of this one aren't very high but hey, who's reading, right?

I've decided to chronicle my experience in writing my first novel. Let me give you some background on my literary experience: I have none. Okay, so I read a lot. A whole lot. I wrote a lot in high school but life kinda got in the way, it slowly dwindled to not writing much and then not writing at all. I still had ideas popping into my head but no motivation to follow through.

I take that back. I did have some motivation on a novel once. It was a disaster. At that point, I hadn't written in a very long time and I was getting the itch. Unfortunately, I worked in the film industry at the time and I was reading a lot of scripts. No, I wasn't doing anything glamorous in film, I was a set painter - there's little glamour in being covered in paint. I started my novel and believe me, it wasn't pretty.

Tolstoy, I am not but even still, this was bad.

It read exactly like a script. Not so good for a novel.

So I put it away. Years later, I'm getting the itch again. And this time, thankfully, it doesn't read like a script. It's not the same book; that one is dead, never to be resurrected. Apparently I wasn't the only one with the brilliant idea and now it's been done. Several times.

This is a whole new adventure.

It's an Urban Fantasy novel and while there won't be many details, let's face it, I would like to try to get an agent and published when I'm done, it'll be interesting to see my thoughts during the process. Call it a diary for me.

Before I set words to paper I joined a writing group. The fact is, there are a lot of us creative writer types that start novels, very few finish them. I wanted to make sure I finished so I joined the group in an effort to be accountable to someone and deadlines. So far, it's working. Although I missed my first deadline.

Since I didn't think about journaling this before I started writing, I'm already on chapter 3. Lucky for you, as there are no pages and pages of rants as I started. A good opening is hard to get right. I will sum it up for you, though.

If you don't use it, you lose it. It took me a while just to start writing to my satisfaction and a lot of red ink. Lots and lots of red ink. I had to tame that beast. I had to find my inner tale spinner again. I had to separate myself from the authors I had been reading to get my voice back. The last thing I wanted to do was write someone else's book.

After about a month, I had a hard fought 24 pages to submit to the group. My first chapter finally had it's first draft. Don't think that because it's a first draft that it didn't have many incarnations before that, though. Remember all the red ink I told you about? I'm not a "stream of consciousness" writer. I write and then I rewrite. And then I rewrite a few more times. I don't believe in submitting material to anyone, be it a friend, group or agent that isn't at least critique worthy.

That brings me to now. I'm in the middle of chapter 3. I am getting my groove back and writing is starting to move a little faster for me. Of course, as you can probably guess, starting this blog in the middle of chapter 3 is basically a procrastination tactic. Clearly, I'm not always going to move along in a clip. I can't get my head into it right this second so I'm finding distractions. There are worse distractions...

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