Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Novel Update--Breaking & Entering Edition

I was reading Deanna Raybourn's blog today, and one of her posts was about her writing methods. It inspired me to get off my lazy butt and work on my novel tonight. I just cranked out about four pages (wahoo!) so it's time for another Novel Update:

Word Count: 58,958
Major plot devices borrowed from Nancy Drew: at least 3 (hiding in dumbwaiter, discovering secret underground lair, nearly getting killed by unknown sinister vehicle)
Instances of breaking and entering: 4
Internet searches on lockpicking kits: 2
Number of years I've secretly wanted a lockpicking kit: 15

My biggest problem--the reason I'm so slow at writing--is that it's nearly impossible for me to shut off my internal editor. I've suspected for a while now that I'm a better editor than writer; taking something raw and shaping it into something cohesive, coherent and elegant is thrilling. Pulling words out of my brain from scratch usually feels like pulling taffy--slow and tedious. And when I write two or three sentences, I immediately go back over them and change a comma here, a word choice there, until I'm satisfied and move on. It's no wonder I'm an excruciatingly slow writer. Even writing articles for my newspaper job is easier, because I already have the raw material to work with--the interviews, the research. I get to piece it all together like a puzzle and polish it until it shines.

I have a notebook full of everything I need for my novel: character lists, maps, plot points, motivations, research, etc. I was looking through my original plot point list a few days ago and realized my novel now only bears a basic resemblence to the one I originally envisioned. I rediscovered ideas that I'd forgotten--good ideas that I'm not sure I'll be able to use now.

I'm in the middle of adding a scene I'd forgotten to include: my heroine and her guyfriend/future-love-interest are breaking into the secret underground HQ of the sinister secret society. Thus the need for a lockpicking kit. I did find out that kits aren't actually that expensive (future Christmas present, anyone?). I'm planning to check YouTube for lockpicking how-to videos. I want my writing to be realistic, after all. And there's the added benefit of indulging my inner 10-year-old Nancy Drew wannabe.

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