Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What I learned writing The Gate In The Void

This is what I learned about writing when writing The Gate In The Void:

First up,  I submitted it to Amazon on 25/01/15 at 11:30 am. That's inside the deadline and 9 hours earlier than my first in the series, The Iron Casque. So thats a good thing, although I still spent all day Saturday on it and 6 hours on Sunday morning. That's still too long.

I took a different tack this time from last time.

In view of the troubles I had with The Iron Casque I decided to spend 2 days really nailing an in-depth outline of the story structure to avoid the constant backtracking that plagued Iron Casque. When I started to write, I hoped, it would then be a non-stop blast through my point by point outline and an easy race home to the finish line.

But I ended up taking 3 days of prep to write 3000+ words of outline and notes that only really got used in the first 1000 words or so of the final draft. So, it really wasn't an efficient use of writing time.

Essentially this is again because of my underdeveloped sense of structure / how much plot can reasonably fit into a 5k story.

Like last time, I'm struck by how much I have to learn about the craft of writing - how to get this character on stage to develop this plot point in a believable and prose-economical way, how to show that event effectively, how to make sure each element's word count is proportional to its significance to the story, and so on.

I really don't know how I avoided coming to grips with this stuff in any but the most cursory way in my previous writing, but somehow I did. Its actually quite fascinating. I'm hopeful that by the end of 10 stories in 10 weeks I'll know how and why that could happen.

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