Hello all you wonderful people!
I hope you’ve had some good days recently; if you haven’t, I hope your days get better. What’s this title about me writing again? Well, a little over a year ago I stopped blogging completely to write a novel. That novel is finished, but it’s a complete mess of a first draft, so what do I do with that? Revise it? Well, if you follow me on twitter you may have seen my small rant about how revising that shit-heap would be pointless because there’s too much wrong with the novel as a whole–the scope is too big; the characters are too one-dimensional; the political structure is a mess; and much more… What have I decided to do about that?
I scrapped the whole thing aside from the top layer of the setting (major area and specific cities) and a few of the major characters. When I was writing that first novel I had an idea where I could try to tell the story through multiple viewpoints; however, that scope kept enlarging itself and I ended up with a total of five, sometimes six, viewpoints for the entire novel. The novel itself was around 90k words, which I think was a decent length, but the viewpoints were difficult to maintain, the story stretched itself and then imploded when characters met and were forced to work together and, in all honesty, it was a dumpster fire of hellish proportions.
And no, I’m not just saying that to be hard on myself. The novel was a complete fucking mess. There were portions that I decided to switch half way through, I cut a character completely when I thought she would have a more prominent role and her role essentially meant nothing in the later stages. She was worthless, but I had her in there because I thought it would be a good idea to have her help another main character. In the end, she didn’t.
With what I’ve decided to do for this next project (which I’ll see through more intently after I finish), my cast of characters will be more streamlined so I can focus on each character in more depth, flesh them out in different ways, and essentially see how each of them would react to specific events. What I realized in the previous attempt was this: each character had their own personality, but once they were all together they became a massive, single organism. It was a nightmare to be honest. A headstrong character would meet another headstrong character, and instead of having them clash and fight (with words or whatever have you), they agreed on almost everything–which is wrong. There was no tension, there were no stakes outside of the ones I made for the novel’s sake, and that’s wrong. Characters are supposed to be three dimensional, their not supposed to be drones that follow whatever I feel like they should do to advance the novel. If a character doesn’t drink, why have them drink? What pressure could that cause another character who has been brought up by an alcoholic mother, or father, or has an alcoholic brother, and fell into it herself? Those are questions I didn’t ask myself when writing the novel in the first place, and it weakened the overall product. Or, the opposite…if other characters are drinking and trying to get the girl that doesn’t drink to do so, why wouldn’t she? Because she has an alcoholic mother, or father, or brother, or whatever and she sees what it has done to her family.
Anyway, with what I have right now I’m actually more happy with my smaller setting, my smaller cast, and even though I don’t really have an idea of what I’m going to do just yet, I think I’ll get there eventually. I don’t usually use outlines to write, and I don’t write for peaks (which is writing to plotted, specific, major events you have planned), so I think I’m just going to wing it. I tend to throw my outlines to the side anyway when I get into a groove, so why bother with an outline in the first place? I think I’ll just write and see where things go.
I don’t have the time period of the novel set just yet, so I don’t know where this will exactly fall, but I was thinking an alternate present day setting. That’s really all I have. Maybe a pseudo-post-apocalyptic setting… I don’t know. I also narrowed the POV aspect to three, which will give me some extra space to flesh out those main characters and their supporting cast as they interact with one another, so I think that’ll work out well.
Here’s to hoping I don’t struggle too much while writing this thing! Oh, and don’t worry, I won’t disappear from here completely. I’ll still be around writing random posts like this one every once in a while because my energy has been low recently and I haven’t had many decent ideas to write in a few weeks.
That’s about it from me! If you see random tweets from me that makes it sound like I’m dying or being destroyed by some other-worldly being don’t worry–it’s just me struggling to defeat myself as I write.
Thanks for reading!