Ghost-writing Your Own Book (16/11)

I was half-right, half-wrong about the silver lining I had identified after “The Disaster“.

(For those who don’t want to go re-read the blog-like eulogy to my writing of a few days back, here is a quick summary…No! Tough – I’m not para-quoting it. Go read it, lazy-eye-bones!)

The scene in particular was a dialogue heavy scene, introducing two characters, answering a layer of the mysteries I’ve been weaving, and, in a mis-guided desire to write a perfect first novel, an attempt at passing the Bechdel Test.  For those who aren’t familiar with said test, it’s summed up as a pass/fail test for media of any sorts. If your story/movie/tv show has “…at least two women in it, who talk to each other, about something besides a man”, then congratulations – you’ve a passing grade. It sounds easy, sounds REALLY straightforward, and yet there are fewer passes than you might think. So I have decided that if I am going to do this writing thing with any amount of seriousness, I’m going to do my best to get off on the right foot. And so an attempt is being made!

That was a bit of the silver lining I hadn’t expected – I can work that in without massive effort, and I think it’s worth doing, if only to make me think about such things more prominently in future. The other bit of the silver lining was also the re-writing effort, that was a struggle.

To write something from scratch relies on getting some kind of momentum going in your work. You start slow, and then as the ideas take form and the story begins to gain detail, it picks up speed, and the bigger picture starts to come together, which makes you write faster and…etc. When you lose said writing, to re-approach it is slightly different – you have a head full of half-remembered sentences, turns of phrase and good ideas. You start off with a lot more speed as you KNOW how this thing goes, which is great. There you are, wind in your face, tears streaming from your eyes as you type at a speed that really should bring with it a warning about safety goggles, and then you hit that first, really cool phrase that you used last time ’round, and…

And you can’t remember it properly.

I mean, you know what it is. It was that thing that lady says, just as she opens the door. But…is there a word missing? It feels sort of clunky. It can’t be right. What’s that missing word? During all this second-guessing and forensic wordsmithery, my metaphor has gone careering off the road and landed you in a ditch, your back wheel spinning in the air. This is the downside – for all that work you did, all those great ideas and stylised words that made the writing indelibly yours, you will now proceed to literally re-write it, and whilst this may work out, it’s going to take a long time to do so.

How do I know this? I spent a lot of time myself trying to so. And it didn’t matter that I knew it was the wrong thing to do, part of my brain kept running to the front, like an eager trivia nerd who has a very specific field of knowledge. Once he gets a question at a trivia night he can answer there is no stopping him, no shutting him up. Just like my brain.
My brain is an eager trivia team nerd.

End of Day Word Count: 22,077. (And finally back into the realm of “Never Been Written Before”)

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~ by nick on November 17, 2013.

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