I’m actually writing two pieces concurrently at the moment. They are not related, and they don’t overlap thematically except in broad terms and themes; as noted previously, it’s hard for me to write a strictly happy story. The mystery of why remains such, and I’m not going to investigate it too much. So how does writing two things at once help me keep my drive?
To write an answer to this question, I began in the same way I do before starting most ventures; slumping in my chair, looking at my desk in an unfocused, slightly sightless fashion and breathing slow enough that I could well be hibernating. At least, that’s the physical manifestation of me being deep in thought. Not a compelling image, and certainly not sculpture worthy beyond the real of satire. I’ve been told I look faintly depressed, but this is not the case. The cogs are whirring, and rarely have any dust to shed before they work properly now that I’m doing this writing schtick full time.
I have not been the most prolific writer, since finish the first draft of my second book. In fact, I took a month off – mainly. Mostly. I took feedback and decided on edits I’d need to make, wrote a little bit of another project and typed up a short story that was previously only recorded on scraps of dog-eared paper held together by a broken staple and hope. But mostly, I didn’t write.
Midnight in Hyde Park. The hour for couples to wander aimlessly, whispering sweet nothings while clutching hands beneath the sparsely placed street lights, or predators to prowl around the fringes waiting for an unsuspecting victim – but not tonight. I stood, crushed shoulder to shoulder among a crowd of hundreds, thousands. There were no fights, no arguments, no movement. We stood there, locked in place not just by each other but by the sight we had come to behold. We were one of hundreds of other groups that had gathered across the world. Tonight, six billion people from all across the world turned their gazes upward. Not towards the heavens, not towards the stars; we stared at the moon, and the crack spreading silently across its pale, eerie surface.
I’ve now finished my first novel! And by ‘finished’ I mean I wrote the end and most of the story has been drafted out. I think I have 10% more to do, corridor and elevator scenes for the most part, to match everything up and then I’m ready to submit it to places! How very, very exciting!
Amongst all the excitement that’s brought on I have to say my grand finale, the great and climatic action sequence that brought everything to an end in an exciting crescendo of violence, action and heart pounding excitement, was actually pretty difficult to write. And that’s because it involved violence, that key part of most films and books people think is easy to write, easy to make exciting because it’s something that gets the pulse pounding – indeed, our pulses were designed to pound when we needed to do something violent. So why was it so difficult?
I’m going to continue my story/adventure with our heroes of the Wild West – last time we saw them Hank, Saphi and Javier were looking to blow some demon-things to kingdom come. That segment began the story, or rather explained why the story was taking place. There wasn’t really much in the way of plot besides what I’ve written above, however. It is often assumed that ‘story’ and ‘plot’ are synonymous – this is a terrible mistake to make while writing. Plot without story is a step by step break down of things that happen which can brush over subtle events or character development, and makes plot twists either hard to hide or worryingly close to breaking a reader’s suspension of disbelief (Deus Ex Machima). Story without plot has no direction or purpose and will rarely be enough to keep someone reading for an entire novel.