I’m doing it! Zero distractions and a butt load of motivation clearly makes a difference to my productivity. At the moment I’m at 11,000 words. I’m writing a 2000 word per day schedule. Some days I’m done by 11am others I’m sat here until 5pm. It just depends on how I’m feeling.
I do have a slight problem. I thought that 20,000 words would be sufficient. And I still do think it’s a pretty good length for this story but my fingers don’t feel that way. I’m writing double what I planned. It still means that I’ll hit 20,000 words when I said I would but I won’t be done with the first draft. And to be honest I’m not sure what to do about it because I want to take part in NaNoWriMo.
I already took a huge break from this story in September and I think if I take another one it might hurt the story.
In terms of actual story because this is a writing blog, not a complaining blog! I’m learning a lot about the differences between screenwriting and novel writing.
Here are a few of the things that I’m learning:
- Short sentences are not your friend! There will be no camera to fix it. The words are the camera.
- Writing dialogue punctuation is a big hassle and I don’t understand.
- Adverbs are not the enemy. They’re only sometimes the enemy.
- Switching from present tense to past tense is the worst.
- Counting words instead of pages is a lot more satisfying. But maybe I shouldn’t be counting at all?
- You can feel a book being made in front of you. And people might read it! Nobody reads screenplays not for fun anyway.
After years of only writing screenplays, I feel like the switch has really made me a better writer. But they work two different writing muscles so I’m going to have to keep writing in both forms to keep growing.
I don’t have the same dread attached to writing books as I do when I write screenplays. My internal critic is really mean, I used to get an overwhelming sense of ‘why bother’ with screenplays, ‘no one will want it anyway.’ I wrote screenplays just for me.
With this book, I can see my potential audience. I guess that’s because I used to work in a bookshop so I’ve literally seen my audience buying other similar books. But they feel like a tangible audience. And I don’t have to do a million summersaults to get someone to even take my business card in the hope that they’ll reply to emails and possibly ask for my scripts. The film world is such a beautiful place… I’m crying. I can still see this one guy’s face as I introduce myself and say that I’ve got a kids fantasy script. If it’s possible, I think he wanted to run away from me more than I wanted to run away from him!
Having said all that, I’ll always write screenplays, try to get them made and work on films. I love the form. I love the end product. I love watching stories change and grow as they go through the many stages of production. Sigh…
In conclusion: Writing books makes me feel real and valuable as a writer. But writing films make me feel tingly inside.
Thanks for reading!
ps. I did some world-dressing yesterday. I went to this castle last month and it was so amazing and inspiring that I’ve put it in my book! Thanks, Wales!