Saturday, 10 March 2012

I mean it this time...

At last the long dark days of procrastination are at an end.  This is going to be a Big Writing Weekend.

No really, it is.

I know the fact that it’s already lunch time and I haven’t actually started yet probably undermines my certainty just a little, but on any day that doesn’t involve The Day Job my working day doesn’t generally start till after noon.  I’m optimistic.

Ignoring advice from people who know far more about this kind of thing than I do, I have been plotting.  In preparation for the Big Writing Weekend, I now have in my possession that most elusive of objects – my plot.  From start to finish, I know exactly what happens at the beginning, middle and end.  No more “I’ll figure that bit out when I get there,” or “that will come to me later.”  That worked better in the first draft, but this isn’t the first draft, and it’s time to get it finished.

I’ve been sharpening my weapons as well.  I have the teeny, tiny chopping knives ready for where I need them, but this weekend it’s going to be all about the giant red axe.  There are some characters I love, but I love them because they’re mine, and I have to be honest with myself and admit that they don’t really add anything to the story.  They have to go.  Quick, clean cuts – it hurts less that way, right? 

This (hopefully) final draft will also be three or four chapters lighter, and missing a section that has been present in every draft that’s come before it (resisting the urge to curl into a corner and weep even as I write this!)  Doing the old head-over-heart routine, I asked myself “does the reader really need to know this?  Really?  Yeah, but really?”  My first answer, of course, was “YES!  They need to know this!  Of course they need to know this.  If they don’t know this, then how will they understand this, this and this?!” 

I then had a lie down until the spinning went away.

I am learning the difference (again, hopefully) between what the reader needs to know and what I want them to know.  (Note – I am referring, of course, to my book and not my blog.  No one needs to know any of the insane rambling that goes on here.)  If this process was governed solely by what I want the reader to know I would be better dropping the writing part altogether and just recording my ravings on tape.  It would only last for three or four days, be subject to constant editing, weekly updates and my ever-eloquent ums, ahs and “did I tell you that part already?”

Perhaps not.

I digress.  Procrastination is over, it’s time to write. 

I am coming off the internet right now.

No really, I am.

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