Write Despite

The write-20-minutes-a-day-for-365-days-come-hell-or-high-water challenge

Two Weeks In

Two weeks, 30 pages.

We’re in this for real now, people.

Just to clarify, I have not cheated. I have not skimped. I have not even cried real tears yet. Although there was that one day I got really cranky, but I think that was when the toilet broke. Or was it when our town was well into Day 3 of the fog that has enveloped us like a big…giant…fog-like thing? Seriously, hanging in this part of Virginia lately feels a little like living in Forks, Washington. (Twilight, ok? Yes, I’m referencing Twilight, even though I’m more of a True Blood fan.) You drive around in your big old minivan at night and I swear you expect a vampire to jump out in front of you at any second. It’s been that gloomy, and cold, and just plain creepy.

Anyway, like I say, I’ve been faithful to this challenge. Even though it’s kicking my ass. But I do have 30 pages. Did I mention that? And I do feel like I’m doing something, even if it’s all convoluted and crazy and going in many very strange directions.

My problem with this one is structure. I have five different characters speaking in this book, and I’ve never done that before. I’ve always been too lazy to try to imagine different points of view, and now I see why. It’s like writing a whole bunch of different short stories. And it is HARD.

So the other day I just sat back and thought, what could help? What could guide me? What could give me some basic tips here?

And then it hit me. A BOOK.

Yeah, a real, live, published piece of fiction that actually works.

So I found one on my trusty bookshelf—one that uses multiple voices to tell a story. And I started reading. Not to steal ideas, of course, but to learn something, to absorb the nuances and the rhythm of each character and how the author made them each completely distinctive, and how the events in their lives overlapped and wound apart, and came together again.

It helped. So I guess that’s my message this week. Dust off the books if you feel the need, go back to the basics. Unclog the toilet. Find your way through the fog.

Just do the work. It should, with any luck, all come together in the end, right?

So how goes it for you guys? How far in are you? What’s been hard? How’s the weather your way?

Write well, my friends. Only 50 weeks (or however many YOU have left) to go.

–Cathy

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6 thoughts on “Two Weeks In

  1. Thank you for your thoughts Cathy and you have brought up an important issue which I am having my own problems with. I have found myself tending to concentrate on my main character to the probable detriment of the minor characters. I’m going to have check through my writing aid books for advice on character creating and like you have a look among my many novels to see if I can pick up the methods authors use to overcome this problem. I need to have a real think about how to sort this out.

    I have written something every day since I joined with you. Some days I write about an event or events in my life or a topic I am interestedin such as truth or loneliness and on other days I continue with my short stories. In the past I’ve also tried wrting stories limited for example to 300 words. I average around 800 to 1500 words daily at the moment.
    The weather is appalling here in England….much snow and ice with more to come. and I can’t get out so guess what…… Ive spent the day with the main story I’m working on, I’ve written two poems and begun another story too. LOL.

    Take care

  2. Whoa!!! That’s a lot of writing! Congrats to you for getting so much done and for writing every day. Guess we should be grateful for the crappy weather. At least it keeps us indoors–and maybe even at our desks.

  3. I am writing a story from different POVs as well and it is HARD. I read The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton – and besides being a great story – it helped me a lot with POV.

  4. I’m revising one novel-length manuscript and writing a novella-length.
    Capturing the protag’s voice isn’t usually an issue for me (knock on wood). But she tends to overshadow the others and they all end up talking like her. I found the cure is to spend more time (thinking about) with the other characters. Explore their background–where are they from, what are their interests, etc.
    Happy writing everyone

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