Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Wading Through Act Three

The story I’m currently working on is one that I’ve worked on, off and on, for nearly five years. It’s one that is very close to my heart, hence the ridiculously long gestation period. I can’t tell you how many drafts of this thing I’ve done, both whole and partial. But that’s beside the point. The point is, right now, I’m working on the latest draft (which I’ve taken to calling Draft XI, because I like how roman numerals look). After toiling with Act One for about a month and getting nowhere, I decided to do something I haven’t done in a while and work backwards, starting from the ending. I’ve decided to do so for a couple of reasons. Firstly, by finishing the resolution and ending I should have a better idea of what groundwork needs to be laid in Act One and Act Two. Secondly, I’ll be better able to set up the pacing and rising action if I know what I’m building to, pacing being one of the specific things I’ve decided to work on especially with this manuscript.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have a plot firmly in place. I have an outline, I know the inciting event, the plot points, the subplots, the character arcs—all of these are in place. It isn’t necessarily a structural problem. The problem is that I’m too close to the project, and I’m losing sight of what is necessary and what can be cut. So having the ending written, in theory, should make some of that a bit clearer. At least that’s the hope.

Anyways, with that all said, I’ve been churning out Act Three for the better part of a month now, and it is exhausting. Mostly because its very action heavy, and, oddly, action scenes—full-on battle sequences, epic set pieces, explosions, stuff like that—have turned out to be my least favorite thing to write. Not sure why that is, especially considering that when I first started this whole writing thing the actions scenes were what I looked forward to the most.

But alas, though progress is slow, I am making headway. The goal now is to wrap up Act Three by the end of this month, but, since deadlines and I aren’t exactly the best of friends, only time will tell if I actually meet that goal.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Good Problems?

I have a problem. Since the new year began—no, actually, starting in about December of last year—I’ve started exactly eight new projects. As in eight completely different stories, all of which are long form, or novel length ideas.
That in itself isn’t necessarily a problem. I believe I’ve mentioned before that I almost never work on just one thing at a time. The problem is, I’m beginning to have trouble focusing. Ideas are starting to blend and bleed over, characters are beginning to warp into one another. It’s very mild and very subtle at the moment, and I’m glad I’m noticing it, so I should be able to halt that before my writing and the stories I’m trying to tell become muddled and bland. But it is still worrisome because it speaks of a much larger complication.
I think that the reason I’ve started all these projects is because I am anxious to finish another manuscript. Now that I’ve got one not only finished, but finished to the best of my ability, I think I’m anxious to prove to myself that I can do it again. That I’m not just a one-trick pony, so to speak, and that I have it in me to be a writer, not just write one thing and be done. So right now, subconsciously I think, I’m trying to top myself. The perfectionist in me will not let me rest, and the compulsion to tell stories won’t either.
So, needless to say, I’ve been…preoccupied these last few weeks. I feel like I’m trying to cook eight different meals at the same time, and I’m struggling to keep the ingredients and the pots and pans and utensils separate and avoid cross-contamination. But I’m limited in that I’ve only got a set number of burners on the stove and a set amount of space in the oven, so there’s a fair amount of juggling going on. Not to mention that, unfortunately, the rest of life can’t be paused while I sort all this out. So there’s that.  
But, on the up-side, at the very least one good thing to take away from all this is that it seems I don’t have a shortage of stories to tell. My problem isn’t trying to come up with something to do next, its sorting through the glut of ideas I already have and finishing one of them. And having said that, I’m fairly excited about some of the stuff I’ve got cooking.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

It's Officially a New Year (And This Post Is Super Late)

Well, it’s a new year, so congrats everybody! I hope your 2015 is better than your 2014. So far—and it’s only been a couple of days, so it might be too early to call it—mine could potentially be awesome. I’m not sure why I say that; just a feeling I guess.

So, anyways, first things first. The book. Or, as I call it in my head, the book. It’s still just as done as ever. There have been some rather interesting developments on the whole ‘getting this thing published’ front, but it’s still a bit premature to say what will come of them. I’d rather not jinx it. But I am super excited and super nervous, and super anxious for this thing to see the light of day, and I hope that 2015 is the year that happens.

But enough about the book. On to the other projects. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m almost never working on just one manuscript at a time. Even though to be honest I think sometimes that I should. I’m still not one to follow my own advice, unfortunately. Anyway, so I’m going into the new year working on a slew of new projects, all of which I can genuinely say that I am majorly excited about and eager to finish. The only problem I’ve been grappling with lately is which one to focus on finishing next. So far, I still have no answer, so for now the plan is to just keep chipping away at one or the other (or the other) until one of them is done.

That’s probably a horrible way to go about this whole writing thing, but…oh well.

Cheers, everyone,

Kirk out.