I am finding my stride here as I reach Day 4 of my Book-in-a-week marathon. I’m finding – or rediscovering and reinforcing – what works for me and what doesn’t.
The whole idea of this is to just write. Get the story down without worry over details. If you need information on the fragrance notes within a specific perfume, just leave yourself a note in the text and continue on. Don’t worry about a specific word or a gripping emotional reaction. It’s about story. Layers and details can be added later.
I see how this process works because it keeps the muse active and in the story moment. The yet undiscovered plot points, the little twists and turns a pantser like me has yet to figure out, flow from the muse to the page in a natural – and still exciting and surprising – way.
However for ME – and because every writer is different, I believe we need to modify methods to fit our needs – not getting those perfume details or emotional reactions actually stalls the writing process. I can’t move on unless I know how the fragrance layers of that perfume smell because those notes will affect either the rest of the scene or a scene later in the story.
So, for those of you wanting to try this but are worried you won’t be able to accomplish it as it should be accomplished, I’ll say this – whatever you accomplish this week will be a reward for your muse. Just staying in the moment for more hours per day than you normally would, without household distractions (because you took care of all that stuff before you started) and with constant reminders to yourself that this is your first not final draft, gives you the freedom not only to create but to have fun doing it.
Onward! My muse awaits!
I shouldn’t be here because I’m supposed to be offline and working this week. However, I had to check in on Day 2 of my Book in a Week, and say I’m struggling.
It’s my own fault though. I’m not following the rules. Instead of sending my inner editor packing, I’ve allowed it to sit in on the marathon with a promise of silence. Well, that promise has not been kept. Instead, the inner editor – whom I shall call Persky (short for persnickety) – snorts at my ideas before they even make it to the page. My little muse isn’t thrilled with Persky, either. Li’l muse was promised a week of play and day one was only so-so.
Starting today, I’m going to work extra hard to banish Persky and to trust my muse. It’s not something that just happens. It’s something that requires effort and concentration. Kinda like writing.
Yup. You read that right. Book in a Week.
I took a workshop by that title about two years ago and it was one of the gems I refer to with each new project. The main gist of it is this – write. Yeah. That’s it. Write.
For a writer, that’s a powerful word because it means so many things. It means the obvious – write. But it also means – don’t look back, don’t judge, don’t worry. Write.
The fabulous Nora Roberts said something every writer should remember. She said, “You can’t edit a blank page.” The Queen of Book in a Week-dom, April Kihlstrom said something else every writer should remember. She said, “The first draft is for your eyes only.”
So what if it’s crap? If it is, refer to Ms. Roberts’ comment and be happy you have pages to edit.
I have the tendency to write a sentence, study it, disect it and revise before going on to the next sentence and starting the process again. I’m a slow writer because my inner editor is a bitch. Nothing is ever good enough and so I always go back over what’s been written and wonder if it can be written better. You know what? It can always be written better.
Enter Book in a Week.
What’s the point? To get the words – the story – down with the least amount of distraction. To keep the story moving forward – not just on the page, but in the writer’s mind. Once the events are down, in pretty prose or shorthand, and ‘The End’ is reached, THEN the writer can go back to page one and add layers and texture.
April Kihlstrom was gracious enough to agree to an interview on this blog. In it she helps ease some concerns over the BIAW process. Take a look at it here and see what she had to say.
The hardest part of BIAW, I think, is banishing that inner editor. Writing is fun. And since it’s a creative process, there is no ‘wrong’ way to do it, despite what the inner editor says. That’s why it’s vital to lock it away.
And so, next week will start the BIAW marathon for me. I will have a very rough draft of my entire story by this time next week. It’ll be my muse’s chance to play. And when playtime is over – and only when it’s over – I’ll release my inner editor from solitary and let her have at it.
I picture Lucy and Ricky, with my muse being Lucy – all playful and mischief-making, and my inner editor being Ricky – all gooey-eyed over his partner yet logically cleaning up much of her mess. They meld together beautifully but look how much fun they are independently.
Writing is fun. Keep it fun and the story will flow. It has to because there will be no doubt. No looking back or revising. Writing is play and I intend to play with my writing this week.
Muse and Editor? Kiss goodbye. You’ll meet again a week from today and not a moment sooner.