May 20, 2022

I’ve started writing a book

After a long time of thinking I wanted to be a writer, I’ve become a writer.

How? Well it’s actually kind of random. I ended up finding this word that I hadn’t heard before. It’s one of those words that describes a feeling or emotion that we all find familiar. It’s a bit like the word schadenfreude. Anyway, I saw this word and thought of a situation in which that word was pertinent. And then I started writing about that situation.

As I’ve done this, I’ve actually slowly started creating the foundations of my writing process. That is, things like how my mind and page is organised, the tools I use, the pre-work and research I do and so on. A few things that have stood out to me:

  • Setting myself an easily achievable word target absolutely works. My target is 200 words a day (less than 10 minutes of writing), but once I start writing I generally get out 500 words or more without much effort.
  • Scrivener is the program I am using and it helps me structure my thoughts into chapters and then scenes. You can of course do this manually, but this forces it. Not only that I like seeing what the final printed book might look like. It gives me motivation.
  • The temptation to quit this particular book is always there. I hate it already. My earlier chapters seem naive and I’m not sure the story is going anywhere interesting. I’m going to try and persevere as much as I can.

Other things that I am learning about writing fiction:

  • Writing believable and interesting characters is hard. People in real life have a lot more nuance that you expect, and it is very easy to create a character which is either bland or bipolar. They need to be consistent but layered.
  • Managing the energy and intensity of a script is really important. I’m finding with the book I’m writing that some of the chapters have the same tone (read: depressing). You need the light to appreciate the darkness, and the reader needs a break to catch their breath before the next rollercoaster.

That’s all for this unstructured thought dump for now.

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