Friday, 11 September 2015

I've Got Friday on my Mind

Which can only mean one thing, write a blog entry.

Things are interesting.  Not being shot at kind of interesting, but I'm going through one of those writer phases.  I'm not sure if it's a power-up to the next level or delusional thinking, as in emotional responses are not a solid basis for rational assessment.

Still I've been working on my writing, and some parts of the process seem to be coming together, because contrary to what people think just because one can write a sentence down on paper doesn't mean anything.  Stories consist of sentences – hard to argue with that – and sentences are grouped into paragraphs, but here's the thing, a story is greater than the sum of its parts.

All novels are in effect magic tricks, as in illusions performed by the writer to convince the reader of the veracity of the stories setting, but stories are not reality.

They're a construct to explore the human need to understand the world we live in.  Gosh that sure sounds pretentious, but we tell each other stories all the time.  Usually they're very small stories, mundane in their scope, and explain our actions to others so that they'll understand that we're (insert meme of choice); so that we don't end up in a conflict with them –  as in appear inconsistent and untrustworthy.  In short we want to feel good about what we do, and have others feel we've done something good too.

Exceptions do occur.

So, I've spent the last week reading my first novel out loud from beginning to end.  That was a thing.  My throat tells me it's a thing.  It was a useful exercise, even though at times it was painful, because reading out loud is slow, and I felt the need for speed.  Most authors will read what they've written out loud, it's one of those tools you get told about, but sitting down and reading a novel from start to finish is quite a task.

Inevitably I ended up revising some parts of the text, and made some notes to action after the read through.  This resulted in a couple of chapters being taken out of the story.  Sounds like quite a big thing.

And in one sense it was.  Three scenes that duplicated parts of the story were merged together.  But other overlapping scenes were kept.  I just moved them to another chapter, so in terms of words lost not such a big thing.  As a result I've started reading out loud my second novel, which due to it being a lot less polished is actually taking longer to do. It's taking longer to revise scenes, and the re-ordering the chapters as a result of how the story flows.

The result is that I have novels on my mind.  Everything else pretty much taking second place to my need to finish what I've written and send them out to be sold.

4 comments:

  1. Good on you. The reading out loud thing has been recommended to me as well. I have not yet taken the plunge...

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    1. Have some water to sip helps. Perhaps even throat lozenges if you're so inclined. By the end of the novel I sounded like Wil 'Husker' Adama from Blood & Chrome.

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  2. I read my stuff out loud all the time. It means that at least one person gets to listen to me.

    Top tip. Do it standing up, like an actor. That way you really get to feel the rhythm of the words and what the body language would be to go with them.

    Unless your characters re sitting down, of couse. Or belly crawling. Or swinging across ravines. That would be silly. Don't do that.

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    1. That would be silly, but perhaps I could present my story as performance art?

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