Thursday, April 07, 2005

Novel VI: Write

When I've finished visualizing and I'm ready to write the novel, the only non-writing task left is to work out a per-day word quota that will allow me to finish the book one to two weeks prior to deadline.

From there it's not real complicated. I sit down and write the book.

While I'm writing the book I do not back-track to read and mess with what I've written, edit or rewrite the new material as it lands on the page, change my mind about the story, hate myself, hate the work, avoid the work, wait for the planets to align correctly before I write, let my inner rabid bitch off her leash, wonder how what I write will affect the reader, worry about the state of my soul, chakrahs or ego, or otherwise railroad myself.

My apologies in advance to the writers who do any/all of the above. My methods are a professional necessity, because honestly I could not handle what you do in order to write a novel.

I do mentally review each scene as I've visualized it before I write it, but in reality, I don't think much at all when I write. Snicker all you want, but it's true. Being overly conscious of what I'm doing slows me down, so I shift into auto. I also complain about this phase of the work, because it is the grunt phase, and I resent being turned into a typist. At the same time, it can be fun, in the feel-the-burn sense. When I'm writing at top speed and I get into it, I'm like song says, a steel town girl on a Saturday night.

While I write, I hit my wordcount quotas or go over them every day. This started as a goal and became a work ethic for me. If I want a day off from the schedule, I write above and beyond the quota and buy myself time. The only way I won't make quota is if a medical or family emergency intervenes, and then I make it up at the next possible opportunity. Writing completely absorbs me, too, so clocks with obnoxious-sounding alarms are a big necessity around here.

I write new material in the mornings and afternoons, and do a light edit on that material in the evening. The editing portion I'll describe for you when I get into Novel part VII, aka Letting the Inner Rabid Bitch Off Her Leash.

This is the way I write until the book is finished. I wish I could make it sound more important and involved than it is, but that's it.

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