Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hello . . Again

As someone recently pointed out, it's been forever since I updated my blog. It's not for lack of material - trust me, current society provides plenty of material for rants . . . but more for a lack of time on my part to put words to my rants and find the time to post them.

Picture it - August 1, 2006. I decide to write a rough draft of a manuscript in 30 days. My goal: 50,000 words. I met the goal in 14 days - rough draft, beginning to end, and more than 50,000 words. I knew it was possible to do this in 30 days since I did it last November. I did not realize I could do it in 14 days. The words on this project have flowed from Day 1. The clarity of vision is unbelievable. I cannot remember a time when the words flowed so easily, or when a project consumed me so completely. I think about this project all the time. Hell, I dream about this project. I keep a pad of paper in the car with me and a journal next to me in bed. I jot down notes at stop signs and red lights, and in the parking lot before coming into the office. I wake up in the middle of the night, reach for the journal, and more notes. It is incredible.

August 15, 2006 - I begin the 'first' draft of the project. I start to revise the chapters, make sure things flow, omit needless sections, and make additions if needed. My original goal: a chapter per day. The problem: the story wasn't finished, or at least it was, but there was another story waiting to be told as well . . . a sequel, perhaps, but from different perspectives. Now those words consume me as well, the notes in the car, in the middle of night, a quick email to myself, and pieces of paper scattered everywhere. I revise a chapter in the first manuscript and then work on the new manuscript.

This project is different. This project is everything. This project is what I know, fact and fiction melded together. Where is the fact? Hidden in the fiction. Where is the fiction? Woven over the fact.

Some might say, and others might not, why start a new project before finishing the first? Because the second project is only an extension of the first project, but from a different perspective. Two ideas: the first 50,000 words was Part 1, and the second 50,000 (or more) would be Part 2. Then, it made more sense just to separate into two manuscripts. It makes sense. It does not diminish what I accomplished in two weeks time. Writing is a process. A rough draft is just the bones of the finished project. It changes. Characters are created. Characters are eliminated. What I first imagined for a character sometimes changes totally by the end of the rough draft, the first draft, the second draft, and how many ever drafts come into existence before the end. Part 1 (aka Book 1) told one story. Part 2 (aka Book 2) tells another story, filling in some gaps, but showing things from a different perspective.

All I know, is this project consumes me like no other. It is the breath I breathe day after day. It is the last thing I think about at night and the first thing I think about in the morning. The project gives me goosebumps.

So, my rants may suffer, I may not post for a long time to come, but it is not because I do not care, it is not because my subject matter has diminished - like that will ever happen, it is because right now there is nothing but the project that flows through my mind almost every second of every day. It is a good feeling.