Finished another fun writing session and then returned to my completed novel and read it. I remember the beginning and the end but not some of what transpired in between those sections. Yet I enjoyed them. Although I heard my voice as I read the words, I wasn't really reading it to edit or revise after a bit but to see what happened next, like it was a book.
Well, it is a book, I told myself with a laugh, but I understood the difference. The essence in the difference was that it flowed more smoothly and seamlessly than my previous works. Richer depths and words could be found. Just like when reading another's work, though, sometimes there was a stumble where I re-read a passage, dismissed by how it read, ejected from the story by clumsy phrasing or a point that seemed out of sync with the rest.
My writing process is organic and a bit wild and undisciplined. I throw seeds out and see which volunteers take root. I typically then begin writing the story. After writing a while, the ending's form begins emerging and I write it, further fleshing it out later, as the story grows. I think that one out of every four writing sessions takes the writing I'm working on into a different direction than I expected. When that happens, I address what's been written, beginning and end, to see what must be adjusted. It's not a fast process. I finished that last novel, what Jan 1st or 2nd, and started this one a few days later. I've written 18,000 words in just over two weeks, decent progress.
Even the character development is organic. I've heard many other writers and teachers suggest sitting down and getting to know the character like speed dating. I treat my characters them more like a neighbor, observing them, becoming more friendly with them, asking them what they like, discovering what they don't like. Then I slip into their bedrooms, spy over them bathing and eating their meals, and steal into their memories.
This is all while I'm writing. I end up going back to add greater depth and more facets to the characters. I prefer involved books, characters and stories, with versamilitude and a wealth of personal insights into their lives. I think that's why I enjoy Tana French, Michael Chabon, Jonathan Frantzen. I see those depths. These details enlives the characters and adds substance to their situations.
Did some agent and publisher searches again for the finished novel last night. I want to read more this weekend but I want to get on with doing something with the finished novel. My pile of books is growing like a volcano emerging from a plain. My wife just finished Louise Eldritch and loved the descriptions in Eldritch's books, so I want to read them to see what I can steal - I mean, learn. No, emulate.
For now, hitting pause on the writing day. Going to spend time with my wife, help her with her projects for the town MLK tribute and International Women's Day. Hitting pause but the novel is never far from my thinking, and my thinking is rarely far from my writing.
I think that's the nature of writing when you write like crazy.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com