Friday, February 22, 2013

Happenings In The Outhouse 22-Feb-2013 / The pains of being a discovery writer (i.e. pantser)

On the first draft of my next novel--the alternative military history fiction genre--I am currently on chapter 17 and I have 19,422 words written.  How many the final word count will be, I have no idea.  I'm shooting for between 75-85K.

The writing is a bit slow at times, and one of the reasons is because I am not an outliner (I am a discovery writer AKA pantser [writes by the seat of his pants - I did not make that name up - honestly]).  Whenever I come up with a story, it usually comes to me like a series of dots and dashes, much like Morse Code.  The dots are points in the story (this happens and then this happens and then . . .) and the dashes are scenes (okay, here the guy picks up the gun and . . .).  Sometimes there are llllllllooooooooonnnnnnnnggggggggg spaces between the dots and dashes.  This makes for a complicated writing process.  Complicated, yet highly rewarding, for I typically delve into areas I never intended.

I have a novel I write years ago where the bulk of the book I had no idea what was going to happen.  In fact, I didn't even have an ending in mind, except something very basic.  But, when I started writing, the story unfolded perfectly.

A few days ago, I was staring at one of those llllllllooooooooonnnnnnnnggggggggg spaces and the writing slowed down.  But, it didn't take too long--I believe it all unfolded in the course of taking a shower--that most of major scenes next folded.

I'm still agent-searching.  I've gotten a few more back (rejections, of course) and I've got to send a few more out.  Then, I'm also preparing where to send a few of the short stories I've finished.  I have some ideas.  It's just to do it.

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