Day 20 – In the Air Tonight

First, I made my own YouTube playlist. This is what I’m listening too lately as I write… (you can click above)

I concentrated on “crafting” the words today rather than just throw them onto the paper. That worked for the first few paragraphs, but then I fell back into my regular writing rhythm. I must admit, I’m a little confused as to what I should do. Having a regular writing rhythm can’t be a bad thing per se. But if the writing is no good, then there’s no point.

On the other hand, if I spend more time trying to “craft” the words, I could trip myself up. In several ways, actually. I could get myself out of the groove that I’m enjoying right now. And, more importantly, each sentence or paragraph might be well-crafted on their own, but the pacing could be off when read altogether.

That’s the bottom line, isn’t it? Until I go back and read what I have so far, I won’t know how good it is. Besides the fact that I promised myself I wouldn’t go back, it would be useless to do so right now anyway — it’s still too fresh. There’s no way I could judge it objectively, even the original stuff I wrote almost three weeks ago.

“Throw, don’t think.” That was Kevin Costner’s advice to Tim Robbins in Bull Durham. Writing is certainly a lot different from baseball, but since I don’t have a catcher of my own, that advice is as good as any. Besides, I might go back and find that I was crafting the story all along…

Wow, I never expected these kinds of trials and tribulations! I mean, I expected some kind of angst: writer’s block, self-doubt, paralyzing fear from being overwhelmed. But to be so immersed in fashioning the style — that’s a surprise to me.

But I really do think it’s extremely important to get this down now, before I worry about anything else. Voice and style are the two most important things in any novel, I think. Plot — the storyline — could be anything. Characters are important, of course, as are themes. But voice is what holds it altogether — voice is the vehicle that delivers it all. You could have the most exquisite vase of roses in the world, but if the van breaks down, their just another bunch of dying flowers at the side of the road.

Voice is everything. My conundrum right now is how to find the best way to find that voice.


(Novel Writing Totals)

Hours Today: 1
Words Today: 1,399
Hours Total: 20
Words Total: 29,038

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2 Responses to Day 20 – In the Air Tonight

  1. Kelly says:


    Treading carefully and absolutely not trying to change how you go about things, but your “notes” post a couple of days ago made me wonder whether laying those notes out as a sort of an outline might help keep you moving on the days when you feel like you’re spinning around a bit?

    In my creative writing I toss out tons of notes (well, actually in my professional writing I do that, too) and sometimes having those as a skeleton in front of me gives me a place to start fleshing out the voice, on the days when it doesn’t just flow as from Heaven. Not all (of my) days can work like that, LOL.

    Like I said, not trying to interject too much. Just wondering if maybe the answer’s right in front of you?

    Okay, going to check out The Best Laid Plans now.


    Kelly’s most recent blog post: Put It in Writing

    • Graham says:

      Hi Kelly,

      Please! Feel free to interject with any thoughts you have. I actually went into this blog hoping to get tidbits and insights — especially from published authors like yourself!

      I am actually trying exactly what you suggest. I went back in my blog posts and found that I hit that voice — or the beginnings of it — on Day 7. Rather than spin my wheels, I think the obvious answer is to just go back and re-read it, and try to latch onto that voice again.

      (Incidentally, reading Tom Wolfe is helping too, though I think I need to get a dose of Hunter S. as well — that will help kick-start it.)

      The funny thing is, I thought it would be the storyline I would be having problems with, but that is flowing like ambrosia. I just have to curve the spout, as it were, to get it to flow the way I want…

      Yes, time to go back and review that passage, and pick up where it left off.

      Thanks Kelly!


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