Clarion Write-A-Thon: Day 4

Target goal: 25,000 words

Target daily goal: 775 words

Today’s word count: 1,036

Total words written: 3,007

Today was a slow writing day, even though I wrote more than my daily quota. Mainly because I was gone most of the day, but also because the story is taking me in a different direction, and I don’t quite know what that direction is yet.

It’s exciting, yet scary, when a story tells you where it wants to go–which is sometimes a direction other than which you planned. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a first draft, and just to get everything down and sort it out later in the second and subsequent drafts. This contest is less about finishing a saleable product, than proving to myself that I can write a viable sci fi/speculative fiction story.

In charting this new direction, I had to throw out a lot of what I’d done in the original version of the story, written seven years ago. I will say this: it was crap. There were some nuggets of good stuff there, and that is the stuff upon which I’m building for the Clarion workshop. But 95% of the story needs to be chucked in the garbage because I was trying too hard to be someone else. This is a rookie writing mistake in general, but it hits closer to home for me because I have never written sci fi/spec fict before. I wanted to be like those authors whom I admire and read:  Octavia Butler, Anne McCaffrey, Samuel Delaney, Charles Saunders, etc. However, I am not them, and I need to find my own way.

One of those paths of self-discovery revolves around my characters. In the original version of the story, my character was 25 years old. It is very difficult for me to write than young; even when I started this story seven years ago, I wasn’t 25.  Perhaps that’s part of why I am having some difficulty getting in the Zone today: I can’t get inside my character’s head. I can’t think like a 25-year-old anymore, and I’m glad I can’t. You couldn’t pay me to go back to my twenties.  My solution is to write an older character, in my age bracket. That makes it a bit easier, and can better navigate the story.

Anyway, I’m glad that I pushed through and managed to write 1,036 words today. I’m getting a bit clearer on where the story is going. Plus, I got some exciting news about my upcoming book release, so I admit to having a somewhat scattered focus today. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. Exciting, scary, fun.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

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