It’s All In The Back Story
BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN. No, I’m not imagining that I’m Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, or any of the countless other singing cowboys of my youth. I’m strictly feeling the approaching rut of doing the same things every day until I get run over by a train or shot by an unemployed mortician.
Even though I took my computer with me to Ireland and I did keep up with this blog I didn’t get much done as far as writing some new fiction is concerned. I had hoped to get off to a good start on a novel.
I got nothing.
Not one word.
I barely got any thinking about it done. I spent more time eating and shivering. I was really good at those things while there.
Now that we are back home (For about ten days before taking off for Texas) I must get my brain in gear. Those 70 thousand word manuscripts don’t write themselves – or rewrite themselves down to 60 thousand – or back to 70 thousand in subsequent drafts.
I really can be a strict disciplinarian with myself when I need it. I even grounded myself once.
I have several plotline ideas in mind, but I think that my fiction is more Character Driven than by Plot. I just find it more interesting that way and I have to keep up my level of interest. If I don’t the novel whimpers to an end in chapter three and finds its way into a file drawer.
If I build my characters properly they will tell me where the story is going to go and what is going to happen. At that point I just hold on and go along for the ride. I find it easier too. In a Character Driven story there are not so many technical details to remember.
“Were there six gun-toting henchmen or seven?”
Who knows? Who cares? Not me. It’s not important.
Part of what I do for my principal Characters is to write a “back story” for each of them. This tells me where the Character has come from and where they are at the start of the story. These back stories rarely get into the manuscript itself. They are there to help me point the Character in the right direction and send them on their way.
I’m back on familiar turf and I need to get to work on some new fiction or I may have to turn in my membership card in the “American Association of Literary Procrastinators.” I’ve never met a writer who didn’t belong to AALP. This Summer we are getting together for our 2012 Annual Meeting.
Trying to write a full length novel is a commitment of time, energy, and liquid refreshment. I am willing to make the sacrifice to bring yet another unread novel into the world.
This six-day-a-week blog serves several purposes. It keeps me occupied and off the streets. It keeps my brain from rotting away and turning into a video gamer, and it keeps my writing chops from getting rusty. So…I will keep spewing out these daily posts while I work quietly in the background on a novel.
Hang in there. If I can do it, so can you.