Monday, November 26, 2012

Total Words Written Today

I've been away, in my head, writing. I just finished the first draft of a novel called FLOAT. I signed up to NaNoWriMo this year as an incentive to write 50,000 words (that's 145 pages in old money) in one month. As it turned I wrote that in three weeks, not bad going! It is of course only the first draft, so more like 50,000 words of ideas and notes! But still, it's on paper. It's a start.

Mock-up Cover for FLOAT
I didn't really get into the whole NaNoWriMo thing, the community, the forums etc. I'm not big on clubs and clicks etc. Always preferred to do my own thing at my own pace. I really just availed of the online word counter! Which I could have done myself I suppose, but there was something different about it being live and online. An incentive I suppose. Which I guess is why the whole thing works.

I enjoyed the process, it was nice to write just to write and not to have to worry about trying to put it into production at the end of it. Philip Reeve once said to me "I much prefer writing - 5000 warriors appeared at the top of the hill, without having to worry about providing lunch for all of them!"

So often what I write is just the start. So this was certainly refreshing. It also showed me it could be done. And relatively quickly. I have three of four, maybe even five, half written novels on my computer right now. All of which I enjoyed writing and was very excited about at the time, still am. I think I just ran out of steam or moved onto other things.

I also found on this that it was right between the 20,000 and 30,000 word mark that I started to slow down. I started to feel like I was running out of ideas and steam and perhaps wouldn't finish it. But I muscled through. I got myself out of the corner and I ended up writing to the end very quickly. As it happens all the other books I've started are stuck between 20,000 and 30,000 words! A lesson? I think so.

So now I go back in. It came out as quite a short book. I had planned to go on, hit other points, but when I got past a certain point in the story, a lot of things came to a head and it felt natural to end it where I did, leaving a lot of things explained, but a lot unfinished and open. I guess that means there's going to be a sequel! But then again, I could go back in and find away to bring the lose ends in earlier so everything is tied up at the end. Though it's good to leave it somewhat open ended, let the characters live on somewhere.

It was a very enjoyable experienced. I've always said my favourite part of filmmaking is the writing, it always has been. I enjoy everything about it, the ideas, the storytelling, sitting down and letting it flow, being lost in my imagination and that feeling of being witness to something, like a war photographer, trying to capture a moment before it has passed.

I'll definately keep writing like this. It's something I've always wanted to do but have always been distracted, usually by writing... screenwriting! But I love the idea of the pure, uncompromised, story. Might be the way of the future!?

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