Friday, April 1, 2011
B is for Breakthrough
Because I started writing my novel with a general outline, I knew exactly what would happen. The book is a mystery but, more than that, it's a story about how grief, guilt, and regret affects us; I thought I had the mystery solved and plotted. But Thursday, as I was editing a scene, adding details and dialogue, I had a breakthrough: by tweaking the plot and resolution, my characters become so much more dynamic. And now I can't wait to write it and have people read it.
In writing class last week, we discussed process. What gets you going as a writer? Do you have a routine? A ritual? Do you write at home or a coffee shop? I mentioned that, for me, it depends on the type of writing. I write a blog post when I have something to write about (or if I've committed to writing one every day but Sunday for the A to Z Challenge); I write in my journal when I need to write but can't share it with anyone.
But for my larger projects, like the novel, I set weekly goals. That gives me some flexibility--maybe I write a lot Tuesday and none Wednesday--and it also allows me to have small victories along the way, like crossing the 20,000 word mark; like figuring out a major plot point.
I've enjoyed meeting so many dedicated writers in real life and online the past couple years. It's interesting to see how we each go about creating our fictional worlds--luckily, I've discovered, there's not one right way. Each of us figures out what works best for us.