My story is getting longer.
Obviously you can tell that from the word count. It’s climbed to 12,000 now. Compared to last weeks WiP Wednesday this means I’m setting a trend of 4000 words a week. It’s not as much as I would like, but hopefully when I move house and finally have my dedicated study I can increase my daily total. What I mean though, is that the story that I had intricately plotted out (in my head), has grown in more than just word count.
Title: Remembrance in Blood
Word Count: 12,000+ Approx.
Status: First Draft
One thing I love about writing is how organic it is, how it grows. I think you see this in all creative mediums, I often come across it in photography, but I feel writing is truly the one art form that contains its own life. One thing I was never really happy with in my book was how it had started to feel quite choppy, like a badly edited Hollywood film. Characters went here, did this, then went here, then did this. Characters arrived and moved as quickly as pages turned. Everything happened too quick. Still, this was a problem I was going to address on the Second Draft. I just needed to get there first.
However, good stories are alive. I fully believe if a story wants to be told, it will tell itself. Authors are just a vehicle in that sense. We just drive, whilst the story helps navigate. Sure we know the end destination, but the Story itself will take us off the beaten path, will take us the scenic route. I’ve found this to be no truer than in the section I’ve just reached of my story.
The main characters have all reached an encampment, where originally they were going to settle down for the night, heal up, gather strength, accidentally cause a bit of ruckus, and leave… Just typing it out here it sounds rushed, it sounds naff. I knew this was also the place in the book when some themes were going to be explored, and how I hoped to fit them into the original model is anyone’s guess. Thankfully, my story didn’t want to be told this way. Instead it’s pulled to a halt and said “Lets wait here”. A night or two that characters were going to stay in the Encampment have become days, perhaps weeks. The themes I knew I wanted to explore here can now be woven more tightly into the narrative, rather than feeling like tacked on exposition. It also means Minor Characters, who would have been in the piece for a few pages at best, are now fleshed out better. Sure, they’re not going to be the focus points, but suddenly they feel more like real people and less like devices for administering plot.
It’s this kind of thing that makes me passionate to write my book. There is no worse a feeling than when you don’t like what you’re writing. When it doesn’t feel right. I find you sometimes have these days where you just hate your entire story. I find these are natural. There’s a big difference though in hating your story just because of your own doubts and fears, or truly knowing that something doesn’t feel right in your book. I think if you trust a good story, it will help you to correct this, and it will help you to feel more confident in what you write.