Posts Tagged ‘character’

New Directions

I’m not sure what I’m doing.  I’ll have to be honest about that.  I finished what I thought was chapter ten on Thursday.  On Friday, I sat down to start chapter eleven, which is a meeting between my protagonist and the primary supporting character for the entire novel and into the next two books after.  As I tried to think about how I wanted this to happen, I realized something pretty awful.  My second character was going to be more than a supporting role.  She was an outright second protagonist.

When you’re writing a novel, you should probably have your protagonists introduced before chapter eleven.  It doesn’t always have to work that way, but as a general rule, it’s probably a good idea.  Long story short (or rather short story longer), my main plot is on hold for the next several days as I write out seven chapters or so for my second protagonist.  I’m about done with the second chapter for her, and I realize that she is a much rounder character than I thought she would be.  I very much like her spunk and charm, and I’m looking forward to how she interacts with my first protagonist.

On top of all of this, I only wrote three hundred words yesterday.  Because I did not finish the minimum there was no blog post.  To make up for it, I’ve already cranked out 2700 today with probably 1500 more coming this evening.  I do not feel any guilt for taking most of yesterday off, though, for two reasons.  One, I did write for a solid twenty minutes.  That may not seem like much, but I feel better about that fact that I at least did something.  Second, I spent the whole evening with my wife, away from my computer.  And, since Ashley is the reason I’m willing to work so hard to finish this novel, I think she deserves to get her fair share of my time as well.  I wouldn’t be doing this without her support, after all, and I think she needs to know how much I appreciate that, from time to time.

I did also work a ten-hour shift and we spent some time with some of our best friends.  So, in all, even with the piddlingly low word count, I feel like Monday was a success.  Also, I pushed past the 40k mark this afternoon, which makes today a success too.  To be fair, I feel like every day this month has brought success with it, and I really like the feeling.

All right, back to work.  My characters, try as they might, will not save the world without my help.

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

I admit it.

I’m terrified.

Tomorrow is the first of November.  Tomorrow is the first day of writing for my novel.  Tomorrow is the day I jump into the icy cold water, where the only way out is to write fifty thousand consecutive words all pertaining to the same thing, and I woke up this morning, thinking and feeling like I must be outside of my mind.

I mean. I can’t write a novel, can I?  That question surfaces more often than I’d like.  But, I’d like to propose that the question itself is misleading.  Writing a novel, I now know, is not a matter of ability.  I am no longer concerned with whether or not I am capable of such a feat.  The matter at hand is whether or not I will write a novel.  And, I’ve decided already, that’s what I’m going to do.

There are so many questions beyond that first one that are scratching away at the inside of my brain.  I have lingering doubts over characterization, setting, comedic timing, appropriate dialogue and even character names.  I found a solution, though.

I’m not going to let myself ask questions about my novel.  Not yet.  See, my novel isn’t a story I’m telling.  It’s a premise I’m creating.  And that part is already done.  I’ve wheeled out the marble and it is sitting, in full block form, inside my mind.  I’ve only left to start whittling away at it to find the story inside.  I’m terribly excited about that prospect, because I think there are some very exciting things in store for me over the next month and more.  I want to meet my characters, experience their world, and ultimately, share it with other people.

But, for today, I’m going to let myself be nervous.  I’m going to let myself worry and wonder and fear.  I have time for such distractions today, so I might as well get them out of the way while I can.  I know that writing about writing a novel is easier than writing the novel itself.  I do get some comfort out of knowing that no one else can write my novel for me.  Also, I’ve put it out there for far too many people to see that I’m doing this.  I can’t back out now.

Whew.  Deep breaths. Patience. Calm.

Eat. Drink. Be Merry.

Tomorrow, we write.