Clean(er) room, tidier thoughts — novel-writing progress report

I tidied up my room last night, and now have space to walk, pace even, if I find the need to. I still have a long way to go, but I’ve at least reached a level of somewhat ordered chaos. And go figure, tidying up has seemed to help with writing.

Today, after reading (and taking notes on) several more chapters of The Breakout Novelist (my newest acquisition to my ever-expanding library of books about writing and publishing), I set about writing. I had intended to do some character and setting outlines, but instead I got a line. When the stagnation and isolation of rural Kansas finally became unbearable, Alexandra Connolly vowed to leave. And then I got another line after that. And a whole bunch more followed.

What I ended up with was a scene that I hadn’t expected to show up, but I like it. I don’t love it, and I don’t even know if it’s going to resemble anything like the final product, but it’s a start. I’m so thankful to have finally gotten an actual scene, with settings and details and dialogue, onto the page.

When I started this novel, five years ago, it was a completely different story (go figure, people change, and so do their characters). When I wrote approximately 20,000 words, last November, I was largely journalling about the process, because I couldn’t seem to find the words for the action in my mind. I truly felt like the whole process was going to be “pulling teeth,” but I realize that once again, it just wasn’t quite the right time. Now it is.

I intend to write these “progress reports” as a way to avoid running across that problem again. These posts serve as a delineation between the novel and the process of writing the novel. By separating the two, hopefully I’ll keep hacking out the story, instead of getting trapped in the internal dialogue of what it is to be a writer.

Also, I’m on the lookout for a critique group.  Suggestions are very, very welcome.

So, onward!


One Response to “Clean(er) room, tidier thoughts — novel-writing progress report”

  1. I do something similar. I write progress reports and then read them aloud to my elected board of directors. It’s awkward, and sometimes I stutter, or they don’t like my progress and make me put a dunce cap on. But all in all, I think you have a good process going on here, and I would avoid the board of directors approach, if you can.

    Enjoyed the thoughts,

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