Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Penultimate Date of Novel Writing Month- Bitter sweet

A heavy heart fills my chest in direct contrast with my hero's triumph. With only 1,283 words remaining to write, I feel like I am going to miss my characters as they leave me to continue on their own journey without me.

Its been a wonderful ride. I started reading Sol Stein's book On Writing earlier this week. His book's practical advice would have helped my book, but its too late now. I;ve been applying his principles in the last few thousand words. Three things I got from Sol which have made my last few chapters come alive are the following:
1. Fiction's purpose is to create an emotional experience through characters and events more interesting than the readers daily life. Non fiction is meant to convey facts. Once Sol pointed this critical difference to me, I've been more deliberate in identifying the emotion then crafting each word to evoke that emotion.
2. Every scene must be active. I realized most of book just summarizes what happened off stage. Readers want to see events not be told that some events happened sometime before. In my last few chapters I focused on writing active scenes.
3. Characters need to desperately want something. The thwarting of their desires is the core of the plot. I spent far too many chapters giving my characters the things they wanted.

I'll have to keep these three key points in the forefront of my mind when I write my next novel. You might say, so you spent a month writing a boring novel, what a waste of time! But I see it as I spent a month on an exhilarating ride, I developed the habit of writing 1,667 words everyday , and I learned what makes a better novel so that my next one will be even better.

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