I'm writing a novel, and the first draft can be found elsewhere on the site. The bad news is that I only managed to write two episodes in stead of the three that I had planned. The good news is that they were nice, long episodes (711 and 948 words respectively) so I did reach my goal of writing 1,500+ words a week.

Episode 46 was easy to write, and the "sit down and get the words out without worrying about quality too much" approach seemed to work.

Episode 47 was a problem. I tried to write the first draft on Monday night and didn't get very far. On Tuesday night I did manage to produce a 500+ word episode, but the whole thing seemed to fragmented and wrong that I didn't post it on the website. I took Wednesday night off, taking a nice, long walk along the beach in stead of writing. On Thursday night I did a partial rewrite, still having serious doubts. I had another look this morning. The rewritten bit wasn't bad, but the rest lacked flow and didn't ring true. I rewrote the whole thing and now I'm quite happy with it. I'm so glad I'm not doing this for a living.

I think my problems were partially caused by doubts about the "they're pretending the storyteller is Merran" storyline, which began to seem like an increasingly bad idea. Now that I've explored it a bit more I feel I'm on firmer ground with it.

Writing from a blind person's point of view is doing strange things to my imagination, by the way. Whenever I'm picturing someone in my mind's eye now, I tend to start out seeing them as blind. When I read a post on the Well today where someone described their new job I caught myself thinking, "oh, that must be a difficult job for a blind person to have" before realising that this person wasn't blind at all. Very weird.

More elements of writing

There was something missing from the previous version, so here's a new one:

The elements of writing: vision, structure, words and, at the root of it all, truth

Asking myself "am I telling the truth here?" is one form of quality control that I'm actually capable of, and I do think it makes a great deal of difference.


This article was written after writing episode 47 of the first draft of my novel After the War.
After the War (47)

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