Thursday, August 02, 2007

Writing but not writing

While the 100 words of my YA novel has been sagging (400 on Monday and none since), I have been doing other writing. My writing group is attempting to write a group novel. We have worked out a plot, each taken a character and written about 2000 words so far. It's multi-viewpoint, and each piece is in the first-person voice of the character. This way we avoid any problems with trying to create a consistent style or voice. The big challenge is plotting. Yesterday we ended up creating a timeline, to sort out what is happening when and in what order (e.g. X can't phone Y before 8pm because Z has to talk to W first and provide that piece of information). We also have some minor characters who have to be woven into the story without having voices of their own, so B is in a scene with R, but we still have to work out who B is, what his motivations are and what he is actually doing there, so that the person writing as R can complete the scene with the right information.
Sound complicated?! It is, but as we sit around the table and work it all out, we are having a lot of fun, and we are also writing something that is exciting, challenging and interesting. And for some of the group members who normally don't write much, it's invigorating and satisfying. There - lots of energetic adjectives!
The other writing I have been working on is actually an interview which provided a lot of great background information for a story idea I'm developing. I did vow last year that I would only work on one project at a time, but when other things pop up and the energy is there to follow through on, I'm going with it! It's another way to get over the winter blues - have several projects that excite and interest me, and keep me moving.
Last night I had dinner with two fellow teachers and a friend who was teaching with us and has resigned. Her new life is about writing - that was what she wanted to focus on for the next 18 months (she writes plays) - and she seemed very happy with her decision to forgo a regular wage and some security for the opportunity to write. There's no doubt that her writing will benefit hugely from the focus and concentration. We are all a little bit envious, but then she has no other commitments or dependents, so she is free to make that choice. We wished her lots of luck, and gave her a voucher for Officeworks (all writers need stationery!).

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