|20/50 and Right on Target.
||[Nov. 12th, 2010|06:43 am]
|||||Florence + The Machine - The Dog Days are Over ||]|
The last three days have been productive ones -- productive for two reasons. First, I found and enforced upon myself the time necessary to write a good deal more than I have in any other three day period so far. Second, in the time I have been writing, I haven't come upon too much editorial stumbling and I have kept up a very reasonable speed. Thus, I am now at 20,000 words. When I passed 14k, that marked this novel as the longest anything I have ever written.
In response to my last post where I described taking the planning time to ensure I was writing something with as much technique as I can put into it, my brother proposed that why go even as quickly as 50k in one month when you could take four months and think it through even more.
This led me to think to about a metaphor for creating. In any creation, you start by designing the skeleton. It doesn't have to be pretty, but it does have to be sturdy. It is the backbone of your creation in terms of dictating in what shape it will stand and how it will support itself. For my story, I have finished the skeleton. It consists of five or six handwritten pages of notes, arrows, and lists.
Next, you must design the muscles of your creation. These are what allow it to move, and in part, the muscles actually connect the bones to one another. The muscles are the flow of a story, the transitions, and the finer plot points. These also need to be much sturdier than pretty.
Finally, the skin. The skin must be pretty, and eloquent, and even breathtaking if you so desire it to be. The skin is the final layer of presentation. It is what a stranger is first exposed to when encountering your creation, and for some strangers, the skin is sometimes all that they are exposed to.
Reading my novel right now, it looks like a blemished and smudged, sweaty layer of skin. That is why I'm not handing it out to anyone because in fact I am only designing the muscles at the moment. I'm adding a faux layer of skin as I write to help me imagine the final product, but this draft is me sculpting out the muscles.
I will return to paint the skin and finish its details, but for now, I am setting a goal for myself to find the time within one month to shape a great deal of the muscles of my story. And to be honest, it's looking like 150k will be a more realistic final length for my novel based on the story I'm getting into.