Monday, February 21, 2011

What I'm Doing Now... A Leap of Faith

I have been posting a lot but then I have been doing such fun things I wanted to share them. However I haven't done any writing posts in a while...

So while on my walk this morning which was glorious...I was thinking about where I am with my writing at the moment. Well I'm about to start revising again...this time Penderown. I recently have learned a few things about how I work. I need to write that first draft in a rush and get the story on the page not worrying about whether it makes sense or not. I need that first draft to be free of doesn't have to make sense and it can if it wants defy the laws of gravity so to speak. It is more an exploration of an idea and characters.

This riotous first draft leaves most of the work to follow. I have this mound of words (anywhere from 70,000 to 90,000 - I under write) which I need to craft a gripping story.

Back last spring I pulled Penderown up on the screen and begin to work with it...boy did I struggle. I spent ages writing 20,000 words which I then cut. They weren't wasted words though because I needed to write them in order to know one of the main characters better. So for my RNA New Writers' submission I sent in the first 80 pages and had great and useful feedback.

Now I have just finished a major rework of A Cornish House and  I have learned a great deal from this. In this last rewrite, I cut the best scene I'd ever written. Ouch, but I could see finally that the story didn't need it. I needed to trust my own writing enough to let go of something I felt was better - if that makes sense. As new writers we frequently hear the words - Trust Your Reader and this I'm sure is true. But at this point I only a few readers and what I really needed to do was trust myself as a writer. This is a huge leap of faith because underneath whether we admit it or not we are insecure. So the lesson I learnt on this last rework of ACH was trust myself as a writer...I don't have to hold onto a scene because it's the best I've written if the story no longer needs it...

So as I embark on Penderown I need to keep that in my myself as a writer. Or as Anita Burgh continually reminds....listen to your Inner Voice.

Now thanks to Sarah Duncan here and here  Ive printed off the script single spaced (much more manageable and saves paper - I don't know about you but I can find a stack of 400 plus pages daunting) and I'm doing index cards for each scene. I need to see where this books is or isn't going and make sure I follow through and trust myself as writer... Do you?


HelenMHunt said...

It sounds like you're making some good decisions and making real progress. As well as learning to trust your writing instincts!

liz fenwick said...

I hope so Helen :-)