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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Year of the Novel: In The Trenches

I finished Chapter One of Part Two in a Panera Bread this week. It would have been better if I hadn't forgotten my headphones, but it felt good to finish the chapter. I feel like I've sorted some of the crap out in my head and can make a smoother road through the rest of this section. Some things emerged in the story that I wasn't expecting. That happens sometimes. Stephen King once said that writing a novel is like archaeology, in that you start with a bone sticking out of the ground and you start to dig and then sometimes it's just a bone, but other times you dig out a fucking Brontosaurus. That's both the horror and the adventure of writing. It's also a secret of the book biz. Writers usually don't know what the hell they're writing until they're writing it. At least I don't. 

The last half of Chapter One was a pretty classic moment in Tres Crow writing history. I started writing this whole series of events for a character named Katrina, which I didn't know was going to happen when I sat down to write, and then mid-way through writing it I started getting hives because I thought I was wasting the reader's time and was just stalling because I didn't know where to go next. I sat like this for a week feeling bad about my novel and about my writing ability. But then I thought about what was happening to this character, and where she was going to go later on, and it clicked that what I was writing was actually a pretty perfect book end to what happens to her later, and in fact foreshadows those events. Not to mention it gives the archangel Gabriel a chance to kick some ass. So then I felt awesome about what I was writing and I went to Panera and I wrote like a madman and then I was done with the chapter.

Classic Tres.

The rest of Part Two should go a little bit smoother because the characters are starting to arrive at the training camp for G-d's army and all sorts of funny business will ensue once they are there. It's a strange thing to have expectations; they do something to people. Let's see what expectations do to my characters.

Also, Earth is pretty much gonna go to hell in a hand basket during this section. These should all be fun things to write.


Nicholas J. Carter said...

Funny how little control you have over a story sometimes. My current project details the adventures of several puppets in Hell. It's currently sitting at 30,000 words and is at best half-done.

When I made the decision to just write and not give a damn how ridiculous it sounded, or adjust to make it more "reasonable" (whatever that is) the thing kicked into overdrive. I'm averaging 1,000-2,000 words per day and enjoying the hell out of it.

To think that I gave up on writing a novel earlier this year and I now have one on my hands without even trying.

Tres Crow said...

I hear that. There is a certain amount of "channeling" in this profession. You just have to let the spirits guide you sometimes.

Curious that you're writing about puppets in Hell, I'm writing about an apocalyptic battle between Heaven and Hell, Alan Stewart Carl's finished a novel about the end of the world. That's like six degrees of apocalypseperation, or something like that.