Day 879 – Ch… Ch… Ch… Changes

I wrapped up my #MyNoFiMo / #NaNoWriMo on a positive note. I didn’t get Draft 2 done, but I got a lot more finished than I might of. Okay, I admit: I can’t help but feel like perhaps I failed… Hey, any time you set a hard deadline and blow it, that’s a failure. I wonder though if the failure is in the making of the deadline itself, rather than in the blowing of it? I know there are some people who say they can put a deadline on art, but I’m not convinced. Some of my favourite writers have a strong disdain for deadlines. Not sure the logical conclusion is that they are better writers because of it, and therefore I should emulate their bad habits so I can become a better writer. But it’s the conclusion I’m going to go with at this particular juncture.

So I’m going to take this as a win. I’ve been getting back to writing regularly (including tonight) so although I’m still not quite done Draft 2, it is coming together nicely. As art should.

Here’s where I’m at: I’m just entering the final section of the book — Part 4, as I affectionately call it. The main character has just had a major epiphany at the end of Part 3 that will send the story in a whole different direction. I’m very excited with this, as it comes largely unexpected. Check that — I knew he had to have a change at this point, but the problem was what change, and how to show it. After writing through it, the answer came fairly organically, and therefore is more believable.

That’s the hope at least. We’ll see when the reviews come in how successful I actually was.

Planning a few changes for this blog as well. Still way too early to go into any great detail… these changes will take a few weeks at least to put together. But, since I’m trying to journal rather faithfully what’s happening in all aspects of my novel writing process, thought I’d mention it.

Until next time.

~Graham

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4 Responses to Day 879 – Ch… Ch… Ch… Changes

  1. martin says:

    Looks like a win to me. Go ahead and celebrate it!

  2. Andy Heath says:

    Hello,

    Interesting post. Is this to say you’ve been working on your novel for 879 days?

    One sentence in your post jumped out at me: “The main character has just had a major epiphany at the end of Part 3 that will send the story in a whole different direction.”

    My question is if you were planning this or if you realized the novel would go in a different direction after the character had the epiphany? In writing novels, I have found I generally have to plan the whole novel prior to starting the manuscript, but even then there are things I don’t anticipate, changes that come up, etc. I have even found that I have written a few scenes only to find they just don’t work and I have to rewrite them to make them fit better. Is this what you’re encountering?

    To what extent do you believe planning a novel from start to finish is important or not? I’ve run across both opinions and I’m curious for yours.

    Thank you,

    Andy

    • Graham Strong says:

      Hi Andy,

      I come to learn that that’s a very personal question. Some people absolutely have to outline, while others (like me) absolutely can’t. I’ve tried, and in fact I covered this in several previous posts:

      http://www.afewstrongwords.com/2011/01/day-122-cant-get-you-outta-my-head/

      Personally, it just drives me nuts to outline. I prefer to roam with my characters, exploring the story naturally. I find it helps me hit upon things I wouldn’t have otherwise (like one of the characters having an epiphany at that moment — likely wouldn’t have happened otherwise), and, to put it bluntly, is much more fun to do!

      That being said, I’m not against outlining per se. Some people swear by it, and who am I to tell them they’re wrong? All I can say is that it is not for me.

      Hope that helps — and welcome to the blog!

      ~Graham

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