May. 8th, 2009

martinlivings: (Gotta Do)
So, week one of MaNoWaMo has been and, let's face it, gone. And what have I done? What amazing steps towards expanding my short novel into a longer one have I taken?

Uh... I drew some silly pictures.

Well, that's not entirely fair. I've now laid out brief descriptions of the extra scenes I want to write. The plan is a dozen or so extra "chapters" (they'll probably end up integrated into the existing chapters, but in the early writing phase, it's easiest to think of them as chapters), each around three to four thousand words. That should bring my total word count to somewhere between ninety and a hundred thousand words, which is a good ballpark figure for a novel, and also fills in the awkward gaps I found in the structure anyway, increases the gradual build-up of dread, fills out the characters and setting somewhat.

So, if I can do one of these super-chapters every work day this month, I should meet my target. And then...

Writing for me is often more like sculpture than painting. Rather than making something perfect first time, adding subtle layers and artful brushstrokes, I prefer to start with a big pile of clay, and scrape away at it until I see what I want to see. At the moment, I'm throwing new clumps of clay onto it, roughly filling in the obvious gaps. That's what May is for, MaNoWaMo (Martin's Novel Waffling Month).

June and July, I spend cutting away at it. Cutting huge chunks off it, perhaps moving them to different parts of the piece. Adding new clay where needed, more carefully this time. I'll start with a machete, and finish with a scalpel.

And, in the end, I think I might have something fairly special here. And something fairly familiar to regular readers of this blog, especially those who were paying attention last November. ;)

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Martin Livings

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