I’m a writer. People know this about me, though I haven’t published very much, and nothing outside of this blog for a while now. It’s not entirely for lack of trying, although that is certainly part of it. The reason I’m not trying to get published right now is because I have, for the time being, given up on short fiction and am trying my hand at a novel. After two years of work, I’m on chapter three. From that statement you can learn that I’ve successfully passed the major “first chapter” hurdle, and that my biggest problem is maintaining momentum. Thank God I’ve only planned on a total of ten chapters. Even when my momentum is at its best I work quite slowly.
I don’t bring this up because I want congratulations or criticism. I bring this up because I want to start posting about the process, about the act of writing, the preparation and the decision making. I bring my novel up because writing about the process may appear suspect when one has published very little, and I thought it would be a good idea to let you folks know where I’m coming from in my observations and ruminations. Who knows? It may help me with my own work, with the momentum, to make my thinking so public. It certainly couldn’t hurt. I won’t be keeping a running word count or anything like that, as I write all my first drafts in long-hand, nor will I discuss the specifics of plot or character. I’m not interested in opening a discussion about my novel-in-progress. I want to talk about writing. Think of it like this: just as I’d rather ask an author a question like “why did you choose the stream of consciousness form instead of a standard ‘realist’ form?” than “where do you get your ideas from?”, I’d also rather talk about why I chose to use an elaborate syntax than where I got the idea to make my protagonist’s second cousin a circus clown (that’s not actually in my book, it’s just an example). I will post when I have passed major(ish) milestones, like completing a chapter or a complete draft or something, but otherwise I will write about more abstract concerns. And hopefully with more clarity and organization than displayed in this post. Oh, I will tell you that the working title for my novel is A Temporary Life, although that is subject to change once the project is finished.