Saturday, February 20, 2010

Longing glances and HOW much time?!?

I've added little but looked at my little write-up. I'm stumped on one aspect of how the story should go. I know the general plot structure, I have a good grip on my protagonist and antagonist, but I'm not sure about the ending. Normally, that's perfectly okay with me. I don't want to know the exact details of the ending until the words form themselves in my mind and the scene plays out on paper (or Word, but you get the idea). This time the problem is that I don't know if I want a successful resolution of story or just resolution. Do I want a winner? Do I want the protagonist to overcome the conflicts or succumb to them? I just don't know. I am equally a fan of happy and unhappy endings to stories as long as the resolution is complete but I just cannot decide which direction to go and I foresee that being a continuous difficulty for me. I will just have to keep working at it and see what happens. Maybe this will be an instance of the scene coming to light fully formed and perfect (or as perfect as anything could be on a first attempt!).

I've also purchased this book: Is life like this? A guide to Writing Your First Novel in Six Months by John Dufresne. I like that it allows me to acknowledge my failings in writing and understand that they are normal. What I don't like is that he proposes that I spend 3 hours a day writing in order to get the novel complete. Along with that, the first month is to be spent on filling up a notebook with random thoughts and ideas (I do that anyways, doesn't everyone?!?) in order to get to know your characters and allow them to form fully before putting them in their story. I almost like the idea of that, but the 3 hours a day is a bit much. And do you know what he recommends if you have one of those days when you absolutely cannot get those 3 hours out? Make it up on the weekend! I want to write. I want to finish one of my novels. I do not, however, in any way have 3 hours to give up EVERY day. Unless I want to cut out 3 hours of sleep or never see my family, it is just not happening! I have school (which eats ALL of the extra moments of my day, I might add). I have family obligations that cannot be ignored in order to commit 3 hours. I know if Mr. Dufresne were reading this, he would say I am making excuses. I acknowledge that, to anyone not living my life, it certainly sounds that way. It is not, though. He cites people's addiction to television, social lives, etc. which I do not have. I have the unfortunate prioritizing of time that does not allow me time with friends but (at best!) once a month for a lunch or cup of coffee! Television is what is on as I'm falling asleep having exhausted my brain studying. I want to write, but how do I schedule that time in when I don't have the time to finish what I already have on my plate? Reading his entries or just writing this is frustrating me by churning these thoughts around. Great, off into a dramatic fit of miserable pessimism. Good grief.

1 comment:

  1. It's wrong to try and force something for the sake of a timetable. Either you're 'on' today, or you're not. As I am discovering semi-regularly, if you try to shove a square word into a round sentence (for lack of a better metaphor) it wrecks the flow and defeats the purpose.

    Furthermore, nobody writes to a definite deadline like that. yes, writers have deadlines, but they are immeasurably flexible, and were not designed to come at the cost of quality. Do your thing. Write for yourself, as a wise editor repeatedly reminds me, and it will always make you happy.