It’s been over three weeks since I confessed to the world I’m writing a book so here is update number one.
I’m not sure I like writing a book!
Ah, I’m only joking! Most of the time I am enjoying the process, but there have been moments.
To begin with the positive, I’ve written over 13,000 words since my big announcement, which means I’ve gone from almost 20,000 to 33,000 words in a little over three weeks. I’ve tried, to be a disciplined as regards making time, turning off social media and my phone, admittedly some days more successfully than others.
As regards the story and plot, anyone who knows me will not be surprised to discover I’m a pantser. To those of you not in the know writing-wise, that means I largely make it up as I go along. Roughly translated this means I began with an idea and had no clue of a middle or end. Thankfully the story has evolved and I now have a better beginning and a middle, sadly no end just yet.
I’ve also discovered writing a book is a big leap from writing a short story and I’ve struggled a little with that. When I write a piece of flash fiction, it tells it’s story quickly, with every word counting. Not being so picky has not come easy to me but I keep reminding myself that this is only a first draft, I can make it better when I’m finished, once I know what’s happening. That’s great in theory until I re read a chapter and itch to write it better, but if I did that I’d never get anything done.
There has also been quite some time spent googling, first and third person point of view. Which is better? How many viewpoints can I have? Google please tell me what to do!
I began writing in the first person, my young bucko telling you his own story, but four thousand words in I decided it might be better to move to third person and that’s how I’ve continued. However, each day I write a part of me itches to return to first person, so he can pour his heart out and we can all identify with him.
My other main issue with the process is the amount of filling in story I’ve to do. Descriptions of people, places or the weather do not come naturally to me. When I’m reading a book I often skip them, looking for the main plot, what’s happening, where’s she going? But now I’m re reading books trying to figure out how the author created a scene and what do I see and feel as a result. I really have a lot to learn on this front.
However, my main characters are now very real to me. We are chatting together by day and even sleeping together by night. They are guiding me along nicely and occasionally shouting at me for daring to think such a thing. Just the other day I realised something about one of them which came as a shock. I was on chapter seven and I’d not known it had happened in chapter two! It was a bit painful having to go back and re write it but I’d no choice.
Last night I took time out to attend the book launch of one of my Inspiration Project leaders, Catherine Ryan Howard. Her first, ‘award winning’ book ‘Distress Signals’ (a crime drama set on a cruise ship) was excellent and launched to great acclaim. As I sat listening to her speak of her writing journey for book two, ‘The Liars Girl,’ it was obvious that even after your first book, writing isn’t easy. Listening to her read from it I thought how wonderful it sounded, how exciting and I despaired, thinking perhaps I should go home and delete, delete, delete. Then I remembered hers was not a half finished crappy first draft and in that moment she inspired me all over again.
I can and I will some day type ‘The End.’
So I’ll leave it there. I’m hoping the next three weeks will be as productive as the last, but I’m not too sure. However, one word at a time and I’ll get there eventually.
Because Catherine has been so inspirational I thought I’d share the blurb for her new book, The Liars Girl, with you all.
Her first love confessed to five murders. But the truth was so much worse. Dublin’s notorious Canal Killer, Will Hurley, is ten years into his life sentence when the body of a young woman is fished out of the Grand Canal.