Right now I’m working on a novel and it’s fun and difficult and scary all at the same time. The experience is something else compared to writing a short story: because of it’s size it feels unwieldily. But I’m getting through it and I think it might be nice to share the experience with all of you. (Something that I’ve rarely seen online.)
So this is a development diary. I got the idea from the guys over at Sterling and Stone. It’s simply a diary entry written immediately after a writing session. Enjoy.
I’ve been working on this novel now for four months, and I’m knee deep in the editing process. Something that I was trying to accomplish today is just a moving flow, flow in the sense that the story has enough clicking in the scenes to keep it interesting while vouchsaving information for the reader.
Was I successful? Well I’m not so sure.
When I talked about Immediate Fiction, Jerry Cleaver talked about in the end there is only three things that really matters in a scene:
Who wants what?
What’s the Obstacle?
What’s the Action?
Now this sentiment is shared with David Mamet, though the wording is slightly different.
On paper, when you read something, (especially someone else’s work) it’s much easier to see than to correct. You can look up at those three questions, and if you answer them, then the scene should work. Yet, when editing this, it just doesn’t feel like it’s working even though I can answer those three questions.
For example I have a guy that has just flown into Korea trying to find his father. Now he tries going to an adoption agency, the embassy, and finally a ministry of (well, I’m not sure what the name of the ministry is yet, so I put a little place holder “Ministry of Fear”, because, hell that’s what most government agencies in Korea feel like to me. For example…)
All three places tell our character that they can’t help him. He gets frustratated and has an unfortante outburst and ends up in jail.
It all sounds like stuff that’s working. Even to me, and I’m the one living with it.
Yet, when I’m hacking away at it, line by line, I keep thinking, “this keeps repeating. This is banal. This isn’t exciting.”
Is it because I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, or does this part really drag?
I’m not so sure.