Friday, 31 May 2013

The Write Mood

I've enjoyed writing for as long as I can remember. I don't remember what the very first story was that I wrote, but I do remember creating a little book when I was about seven about 'William Rabbit' who was a rabbit who needed to get glasses. I can vividly recall stapling it together with a green paper cover and white sheets as the pages. I even did the illustrations (it took me quite a while to figure out how you would get glasses to stay on a rabbit's head).

Each year I take part in NaNoWriMo and I've produced some interesting and varied results over the year. I don't kid myself that I'm good enough to actually do anything with them, but I enjoy the actual process of pouring part of myself out onto paper or a computer screen.

There are some stories that I feel closer to than others. One in particular is called Behind The Scenes and I've been writing it for the last ten years. It started when I was seventeen and my friend was visiting, who also liked to write, and she decided to write a story set in Scotland. Not wishing to be outdone I decided to write a short piece which described a car crash without actually saying what was happening.

From that things snowballed. My story also ended up taking place in Scotland so we realised that our characters might meet and whenever our stories got a little bit slow, they would visit each other for a while. My own life, dreams and the Lord of the Rings DVD special features inspired my story and after almost a year of writing it (by hand, in a tatty A4 notepad) I finally reached page 75 and wrote the final words.

And then I didn't really know what to do with it. Until I typed it up and made some changes and printed it all out. And then it sat around not doing very much for another couple of years. Until a little while later when I decided to rewrite it.

Using my original print out (which is basically the second draft) I started writing it out by hand, just like when I first wrote it. This time it has chapters and has been fleshed out. It's quite funny really because it has a main female and male character, both of whom end up involved romantically with two other characters. Upon careful reading of the story I found that one of these couples got together a lot quicker than I realised so it's been fun on this rewrite finding out exactly when that happened.

Above is a word cloud of what I have typed up so far of the prologue-y bit at the beginning which introduces the four main characters. I actually need to rearrange that bit because the events as they stand at the moment are out of order and it's bugging me so I need to put them into the right order.

Will this story ever see the light of day? Unlikely, it's been in the works for so long that first I found myself trying to explain why no one had mobile phones and now I've been rewriting it so that they are slightly more up to date with technology. By the time I finish it I'll have to rewrite it again to include references to holo-phones and flying cars!

I like having something on the back-burner that I can pick up and work on when I'm feeling in a writing sort of mood. At the moment Behind the Scenes, in its tatty polypocket and notebook, resides beside my bed ready to be picked up and worked on whenever I should be studying or revising or doing something else more important.

Recently I've had a burst of inspiration for another story, potentially one for my next NaNo project. It's children's story as opposed to a book for older readers, not something I've written before. I always find it a little bit weird writing a new story with new characters. Abby, Alex, Jack and Anna have been in my head for so long that I feel like I know almost everything about them. These new characters who have popped into my brain are all shiny and new and I know very little about them. It's a little bit scary figuring out where to begin.

Do you write? Have you got a project that you've been working on for a really long time?


  1. I have a project I've been working on with a writing friend for about two years now, on and off. We mostly plan it and bounce ideas at work so it's been a bit slow going. We're finally getting down to some proper writing though so in about five years time it might be vaguely readable.

    I'm thinking of doing NaNoWriMo this year. I've failed the first two times I've tried so you never know, third time lucky!

    1. That's cool. Sometimes I think it's good to have someone to work with, or at least who you can bounce ideas off to help develop them.

      I'd definitely recommend trying NaNoWriMo again. I always do better in the years when I plan everything to the minutest detail before I start, I'd love to be a pantser but I just can't seem to pull it off and enjoy what I'm writing. :-)


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