Friday, January 8, 2010

A Little Less Written, but a Little More Cut

Sometimes the idea of writing toward the word count goal must move aside for bigger issues facing the story.

Today was that day. Despite family underfoot and tearing down Christmas crud, I managed to squeak out almost a thousand words. But I also cut over 900 and shifted them to another file. I put in a lot of time writing, but I didn't make my lofty goal of 2000 words.

Technically, if I want to be kind to myself, I did work with almost 2000 words, but not in the way I wanted to: moving forward and adding words. Nope. Not today. But the truth is, I can't move forward in a clean manner unless I rip out useless roadblocks to my creativity. 

This is where the flexibility of my overall writing goals comes into play. If I had beat my head up against the goal and forced the words, chances are I'd be cutting them at some point in the future. Rather than waste valuable time writing crud, I chose to fine tune a scene, layer in elements regarding scene and settings and build my Villain's persona in a vignette. He's emerging for me and I must pay heed to him.

Now I've never written a true villain before with his own viewpoint. It's interesting to crawl inside his head and try to give him a three dimensional, conflicted personality. He isn't all bad. He's very flawed and needs help, but he's motivated by a need to be seen as good and valuable. Who isn't? I have no idea if I'm getting it right, but I'm trying.

That's all this writer can do...

No time to read today. Brain is dead. Stay tuned... I believe Maass's book is giving me a lot to chomp on and it's nourishing my writing efforts. 


M.V.Freeman said...

You worked on the story! That's outstanding.

I love figuring out the bad guy, says a lot about me. Hmm. Seems I make the bad guy a hero. LOL

Still, you are making great strides and you have inspired me to re-start Maass book.

Keep going..1000 today, another tomorrow. :-)

Christine said...

Thanks Mary! I love Maass's book. I think when we read craft books alongside our writing time, the results are better.

Keep on swimming.

Ellen B said...

Well done :) That's the kind of work you're going to be really glad you did when it comes to editing time!

Christine said...

Thanks Ellen. I was dozing in bed this morning and I realized part of the reason I am doing a lot of cutting now is I am in the dreaded middle--approaching Ch. 10. As I have restructured the S/L and the characters' motivations, this is a section that will be undergoing major surgery. As soon as I trudge through it, I'll get faster again. And then I need to go back and layer in a lot of elements throughout the entire book (the five senses, emotional elements, setting descriptors through dialogue and POV). That work should add the words I need to reach my goal. I hope!

Gwen Hernandez said...

This is where that flexibility comes in. Sometimes goals like "write 1000 words" don't meet the reality of the job. Hmm, like a lot of jobs I've had...

Good job working with it and realizing that you're still moving forward even when you don't add to the overall word count.

Christine said...

Thanks Gwen. Today is very hard for me. I'm super tired and I've constant disruptions. I decided to surrender to the mayhem, let my brain rest and prepare for other writing duties.

Sometimes a break is a good thing.