Sunday, November 04, 2007

How not to tell a story

Interesting. Nano proceeds, and I'm finding it quick and easy to get my word counts this year. However, the writing sucks. The story's events are exactly what I want, in fact, I've had some interesting surprises as I go along, all good. But I am not telling the story the way I want to. The voice is wrong, the pov might even be wrong. This actually fascinates me, how wrong everything's coming out. Not wrong, exactly, just not what I want. This will be the first time in the nanos I've done where very little will be kept from this first draft.

And oddly, that doesn't bother me at all. I think with this story and subject, I need to experiment a bit. I think I need to get the whole thing out before I can figure out the proper way to tell it. And I like that. I like that a lot. This time doesn't feel wasted at all. It feels like necessary discovery and learning time. It also frees me up during nano itself. The past few years I've stressed over the words, editing and chopping as I went. It made nano very hard, but it also gave me fairly clean drafts.

This time, I'm not worried over how any of it reads, and don't really care how lousy the sentences are. I just want to see where the characters take me so I can learn what makes this story so different in the actual telling. Why the straight-forward approach that worked on my other novels fails here. The sense that some important discovery about my own writing lies ahead makes me write faster and quibble less. It's quite cool and rather exciting. And oh-so-different from my normal writing experience.

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