Only day three of trying to write and the lessons are already coming on strong. Having never written anything more than a few pages in the past I had no idea what I was diving into. Plenty of ideas for specific scenes, or for the over-arching story I hope to tell. But ah, right. A name for characters. Location, age, voice, appearance. How specific to get? How many characters to involve? An outline? Yes, that would have been a wise idea. And so I find myself writing. Then drawing a line. Then writing another scene completely unconnected to the other. And avoiding the “main event” that will set up the entire trajectory for my story.
I made the wise and foolish decision to research grief as part of my book. I felt so proud of myself, heading to Powell’s to snag a book covering some societal ideas of grief, cultural, historical. How smart, I thought. Then I started reading and suddenly found myself questioning all of the ideas we commonly hold to be true in our culture, and it shook my idea for the novel. And now I must revisit and alter some things.
All will be well. This is a learning opportunity. And a challenge. And I sit now in the downtown library, tapping away on my computer surrounded by old men hacking, students writing papers, and a man reading “Who’sWho in America Volume 2″ while noisily crunching CornNuts, trying to avoid frustration and learning to be forgiving of myself and of horribly structured sentences. For now it’s all about getting the words down, of practicing, of shaking off the awkwardness until it becomes natural and habitual. One doesn’t run a marathon in one day.
Now if only I could count these words towards my count for the day… back to work.