I’ve avoided outlining my story from the very beginning. In the very, very beginning I wanted to write the story something like Jack Kerouac’s first draft of On the Road. Basically he did a mind dump with a typewriter and one of those old paper rolls. I think they were used in teletype machines. Heh. Like that, just sit down and dump out this book I’ve spent so much time researching and developing.
NaNoWriMo Was Helpful
Reluctantly I used the NaNoWriMo most basic suggestion, I wrote three acts. Then I wrote the chapter narratives. I was pleased with myself when I finished. I felt it was worth the effort and proceeded to write my first draft. I especially liked those three acts, they made good sections of the novel. And then I discovered that I’d shot gunned all kind of crap in every nook and cranny of the manuscript.
Throwing Stuff Away, Over and Over
So I tried to reel in all the crap in the second draft, but I felt I needed to take the three parts down to two. Then got some editorial help and further reeled this thing in. Then this led to that and I’ve been re-writing the first chapter for the past two months. Yes, two months and I got no where.
Sometime in the last month I decided I’d be better off if I could put my chapter descriptions into outline form. This is a year and half since writing my “Epic Chapter” post. The other thing is, I’ve come to realize that instead of that original three parts, I’m now down to three novels. That’s not so depressing because I’ve come to realize that the first novel is really backstory for the story I really want to write.
In many ways, the first novel will be a kind of throwaway. It will be an interesting story I think or hope. But the truth is I could simply proceed to the second book without writing book one. I could develop the characters from scratch in book two, but there’s a lot that I think there’s a lot of good stuff that will reveal itself in the telling of the first tale. And for this reason I’m determined to simply press forward and write and publish book one.
Then There’s This…
I never wanted to be a writer. What? Well, okay, I did want to be a writer when I was in high school–there’s that. But this project has never been about becoming a writer or “an author” or being a writer becoming famous or any of that. This project has always been about telling a story that just began to create itself inside my head, my mind. And despite the fact that my mind is an awful place for anything to get created, it got created. I mean, I’m a Gemini and there’s a lot going on inside my mind. Anyway, the characters and plot got created. It’s still getting created too. That’s that too. And somewhere along the way all those elements revealed a story–an actual story. Each time I find myself writing I wish I had greater writing skills. But I can’t let this bother me anymore, it’s time to finish telling the first part of this epic tale.