In Dreams Awake

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

(Henry David Thoreau)

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Lessons Learned

 We're halfway through NaNoWriMo now - the challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel during November. As of today, the 16th, I have 41,000 logged, so I've broken the back of it now. I had an advantage in that my story was already blocked out in detail, being the final volume of my Troy trilogy. I knew who was going where and what would happen when they arrived, so that part was easy.

 Still, I've re-learned something I was taught in NaNo 2013 - it's easier to write when you have a really detailed plan.

 Sounds obvious, doesn't it? The trouble is that while I prefer to write off the cuff, making the story up as I go (or discovering it), I think I write better with a plan. With the background taken care of I can immerse myself deeper into the story and write it faster, with few of the hics and bumps that normally come along. The result is a more complete piece. I wrote Risen King the same way, years ago, but somewhere along the road I've slipped away from it.

 OK, then. Evidently I'm a bit of a dope, but that's all right. It's never too late to teach an old dog to suck eggs, or whatever it is they say. And if realising this makes me a better writer, well that's OK too.

 It's a good thing I'm going fast, because I've been writing Troy for so long that it's become a bit tedious. I need a new challenge once this is done, and luckily I have just the thing - a whole range of unfinished or yet-to-be-started novels sitting in my filing cabinet. Some are halfway written, others just bones with a few notes hanging off them like scraps of flesh. Stories waiting to be told.

 Isn't that exciting?