Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Facing that first draft

Like all writers when I'm floundering I search for commiseration and advice. Writing fiction seems to be something I can't take seriously.

I adore fiction and want desperately to have a novel with my name on it.... Well, actually I have several with my name on them. I've written my name on the fly leaf of many, many, many. And my name has been included on several back covers along with comments stripped from my reviews of the author's little darling. And in a few my name is included in the acknowledgements -- I'm getting closer! But so far it hasn't appeared on the title page with the word 'by' in front of it!

Today I scoured the Internet for advice. Again and again I encountered: 'Get a Rough Draft Written.'

Why is that such a roadblock for me? I write three or four chapters and then stop dead in my tracks. I've either written myself into a corner or I've run out of ideas or and this is the most often encountered problem for me -- I have several directions to go and I don't know which to take and so I don't go anywhere.

Maybe this stems from my lack of compass and inability to know how to get anywhere or back again. On the road I have GPS and my Tom Tom. What do I use in a novel?

In life I take the path of least resistance. But in a novel, at least from what I've read of published works, easy is boring. Conflict -- now that's the key!

Maybe if I put more conflict in my writing, I'll have less of it in my life! Now, that's a thought.

Another thought, of course, is that November is NANOWRIMO month! Maybe that will be the perfect time for me to get that rough draft hammered out! 

A good friend who has completed one novel and most of a second believes the Marshall Plan is the way to go. It doesn't matter that she hasn't sold the novels, it at least got her to finish them! Or finish a few drafts.

I think Stephen King's book on writing is probably the best I've read as far as motivation and some helpful details as well as the story of his stagger to success. Kind of depressing to think that he wrote a whole book (Cujo) while under the influence of drugs and doesn't even remember writing it. Maybe the key is finding the right drugs -- Nah! Maybe some brownies. Nah! I'd like to remember the process and know that I wrote it -- in my right mind.

So I guess I'm back to Butt in Chair!

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