The title of this post is the number of words that I have written since I first signed up for my 750words.com account. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are many, many moons that went by that I didn’t write. What drives me batty is that the number of words there could be the equivalent of 2 – 5 novels, depending on genre and length.
There are also many years that I went without really writing more than a blog post. Don’t get me wrong, writing blog posts can be hard work. Unless it’s a personal blog and you aren’t looking to gain an audience or readership or other forms of publication.
There are also many years that I simply went without writing. I did a lot of reading in that time to keep my sanity. (Did you know that most writers probably aren’t mentally balanced? Keyword: probably.)
I believe, for most people, having some form of artistic hobby is an absolute need. You must have some form of artistic outlet, whether it be something like writing or painting, or something a bit more extreme like … I don’t know, carving sculptures of the monsters in the shadows of your mind from giant blocks of concrete.
I know that I haven’t been posting much here, but I have been working a lot offline. I had someone in the AkroNaNo group turn the PDF version of Writer’s Digest NaNoWriMo’s character sheet into a Word document. I was then able to copy and paste it into Scrivener. While it is nowhere near as pretty as the paper version (removing some table design elements takes away the pretty) it is definitely preferable.
I’ve also been working on the third installment of the Supervisor Sexcapades saga: Caught Supervisor. I haven’t even begun the editing process. It’s already twice as long as the other two. My goal is to lengthen it while giving more background on the characters. The first two are basically porn… But hey, I haven’t had any complaints.
I also know that I do not promote myself as much as I should. Mainly because right now it doesn’t feel good to do so with so little out there. The two short stories are just that, short stories. Very little background. Lots of naughty going on. I’d like the next installment to be just as naughty with more going on with the individual characters.
There is also a novel in the works. My mind tends to explode with an idea and I have to start writing. I have to start jotting down notes. I have to start doing some form of basic research. I create bare-minimum character profiles (name, age, description, profession, goal, secret) and then write scenes about them doing something mundane. I actually wrote a scene about a woman throwing out mail. The mail wasn’t hers, which became a source of conflict. The conflict wasn’t included in the scene about her though because it was only about her. Throwing a piece of mail out was a benefit to herself. Yeah, she’s a selfish bitch. The point of that scene was getting to know the character and her reason for throwing out something that didn’t belong to her.
It’s the only way I seem to get to know my characters. I can play pantser all I like, but where I really feel better about writing is when I know where it’s going. Writing a short scene about a character helps me get to know them. It just helps. I’ve tried interviewing… it just doesn’t feel all that awesome to me.
There are so many facets to characters, just like there are to people. Your coworker next to you who’s been in a horrible mood all day? She may have just found out her husband is cheating. Your sister who is all excited about something you think is worthless? Maybe that’s all she has going for her right now in life and you don’t know about all the bad because you didn’t ask. The cousin who showed up out of the blue that owed you fifty bucks from ten years ago? Pays you back with interest and then buys you a beer, but there’s something he’s not telling you. Do you ask what it is? Do you walk away after the beer? These are the things I write out. What is motivating your character to cross the room and kiss that guy she’s been locking eyes with all night? Obviously, getting to kiss the hot guy is the motivation. However, what happens if he’s dead on the ground by the time she works her way over there, stabbed, in a pool of his own blood? Will she be next? Will she be a detective or rookie right out of police academy or Quantico?
Want to be a writer? You’ve got to do the work.