I'm covered in flour - it would take too long to explain...

Monday, 30 September 2013

Foundation lessons

I am writing. I am currently working on the WIP, which is set in Weimar Germany and which has been rather sticky from time to time. Of course, life throws tar patches in your way when you can't help but drop the word count, but mostly I do solemnly subscribe to the belief that the only way to write a book is to, well, write the book - that finessing and all the rest comes after, and may take longer, but always   after there is a draft to finesse. It may be the first of fifty, but there still must be a first.

Only, but rules are made to be broken.

I was heading down the word count freeway towards the half way point - around fifty five thousand words - when I suddenly hit a tar pit not of the real world but in the world of the book.

A far more serious road block to creativity.

The basic issue is that when I reached a crucial scene that needs my main character's mother to allow her to take a rather unconventional job, it suddenly didn't seem possible that her mother would ever give her permission. I was either going to have a huge, protected scene where my MC leaves home after an uncharacteristic show of temper which I didn't really want, or......

Or I was going to have to look again at the first part of the book.

I needed to push the motivations and circumstances backwards, so that her mother's crisis point comes at the moment the daughter is offered the job, not before as I had it at first. That way, the mother is too distracted and brow beaten to notice the lie she's being spun, and then the deceit becomes one they all 'need' to believe, and the rest of the story unfolds.

I needed to strengthen my foundations before proceeding.

This does mean going back to the plan, it means re-working and moving scenes, it means working over existing ground before heading onto pastures new - and breaking the rule. Just a little.

Because something fundamental like that must be dealt with before you go back to writing, every day, even if it's only 500 words, or 250, or a line, or notes in your plot line - but something, every day.

Today, 1600 words, since you ask.