Okay, so I'm painfully aware that I have not blogged all week, especially after supporting the decision for a Daily Dime Revival. I almost feel bad except that some things border on the trivial and this is a gray area since I've been spending my time on productive pursuits. I just finished World History for Dummies and moved onto a (small) fantasy novel called Waylander based on a recommendation from a fellow blogger. David Gemmell is quite fantastic so far and I think I will look forward to reading his other books that I've reserved at the Library.
You can see on my sidebar that I joined the Denver Writers Meetup Group, mostly to discuss and whatnot - not so I can steal other people's ideas; I have quite enough of those, thanks.
My novel project is in one of the tougher phases, I think, even though my last few hardcore writing sessions have seriously flourished. Writing 5000 words in a day, on more than one occasion, brings me confidence, but I keep looking forward to the end of the story and trying to take in the "scope" of events vs. the landscape. After reading the first quarter of Waylander last night, I began to realized that my own story takes up far too much space for the amount of ground my characters cover within their timeframes. Of course, I've been basing this on a world map drawn long before I started writing the "actual" novel. And I am most certainly not a cartographer.
Some of you may be surprised to find out that earlier in my life almost all of my energy was pushing toward becoming a video game designer. Some of you may not be so surprised. Honestly, partway through my Bachelor's degree program the concept started to become possible and I even went so far as to scope out what a company like Bioware would be like and what I would need to apply there. I considered having to move to Canada for a job like that and the idea was even more encouraging but I think my own caution held me back from dreaming too big.
Regardless, I first planned this project as a video game and the story began in outline form. Like so many story ideas of mine in those days this one was unfortunately doomed to failure, becoming bogged down in the middle (after many many many "chapters" of dawdling). I can't exactly pin down the moment in 2005 when my outlook on writing shifted but I decided to start over and write the story as a book rather than a video game story (which, as you may or may not know, the former takes quite a bit more thinking). Though I'm proud of what I've wrought so far, I still can't help but think back to those days and wonder about my motivation for decisions. I switched the focus from the catalyst to a "true" main character, someone with weaknesses that a reader could relate to, and introduced some other personalities that rounded out the cast of misfits that I have now grown to love.
My plan is now to finish out the story, to really put on the ending, and then do a true "rewrite" of the novel itself. I used to think the words "draft" and "rewrite" were completely abhorrent; no explanation of these words without a project to perform them on can possibly be fathomed, especially not for a sometimes-perfectionist (when it comes to creative works). It's clear to me now that it takes looking at the story as a whole that I can truly "create" a novel. Terry Brooks prefers to use an outline prior to writing to look at the story as a whole and I think that perhaps next time I will attempt this approach so that there will be less room to stray from the path of the story (and therefore include thousands of words of embellishment). Every page, every sentence must keep in mind that there is a goal to be achieved and not just some advancement to be relayed. But, again, I believe it takes having a project to put these things into perspective. No matter how many times I have read these things in "how to write" books, they have not made sense until they were actually useful.
Maybe at some point the "write every single day" concept will become useful. Unfortunately for now, particularly this very moment, the duties of life call. I'll do my best to post a Daily Dime Revival story today as previously promised but, if you know me at all you should know this, I can make no guarantees.