Novel in Progress: Week 1

I’m only human. That’s what I said this morning, trying to make myself feel better for having neglected my work yesterday.

Why did I break my promise to write every day? Well, I finished Geoff Dyer’s Paris Trance (about 200 pages), watched a movie, The Lincoln Lawyer, based on Michael Connelly’s novel, walked, played with my dogs, did some chores, and just…well, and nothing.

But of course the main reason for my falling off the wagon was none of that. Thing is, if I knew what to write I would have squeezed an hour in between reading and watching TV, or I would’ve spent an hour after the movie, even if it was almost midnight. Because yes, I can type a thousand words in just one hour—if I know what to write.

So I said to myself this morning: OK, I’m crossing last Saturday out my productive life, irrevocably, but now it’s time to catch up.

I sat down, scanned the last scene that I’d done on Friday, then leaned back in my chair and closed my eyes, getting into Nick’s persona, imagining his words and actions in that particular situation…

It took me…I don’t know…fifteen, twenty minutes…visualizing Nick’s method of persuasion and Kate’s reaction to it…until my fingers reached the keyboard and began typing it all. I finished the scene in sixty minutes. Voila!

Then I remembered what Brandi Reissenweber said about  voice: “If you’re writing from within a character’s perspective, then everything should be filtered through that character’s unique viewpoint. The human experience is complex, and as a result, a lot of factors influence any given moment. Let’s say your character is looking at a tree. No two characters are going to experience that tree in exactly the same way. Both characters may notice the prominent physical characteristics…however, each character is also going to see the tree through a personal lens of emotion, experience and state of mind at that particular moment.” (The Writer, Mar. 2013)

Right. Nick’s perception of the snow (in my case) should be totally different from that of Kate’s, due to their gender, temperament, background, and current situation. So I went back to the scene that I’d just finished and made some adjustments. And I felt a little better. 🙂

I decided to blog about my progress not twice a week, but once, on Sundays. This way I’ll have more to say at the end of each week.

Plan for Week 2: write 7,000 words–at least!

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