today was my last day of school for the year, and I am preparing myself for the re-emergence of my novel. I am looking at three months of full-time writing, and I could cry from happiness.
The timing is…good.
I am coming back around to writing what I love first, and applying technique later (the Write Out Loud thing). So for the last few weeks I have been feeling my novel shyly emerging from the husk of Draft Zero. It’s a different beast – more complex and compelling and with much more at stake.
It’s a bit like an alien bursting out of the belly – mine or the manuscript’s…not quite sure.
I’m not a big one for writing up character sheets and interviews and biographies, or doing the same for plots and worlds. I tend to create as I write, from the back of my brain. But with this emerging second-life/alien-baby novel, the time is ripe.
I have begun to write my first ever truly comprehensive character sketches, and I’m loving it. I love the freedom to ramble however I like, I love the ridiculous, gorgeous lengths I can push them to without fear of retribution, and most of all I love the world of details that are emerging.
I don’t think this work always has to be done first. For me, these characters didn’t exist until I had met them through the first draft. But I am discovering the real joy and benefit of doing character work.
And lastly, Donald Maass has written a beautiful post about the importance of detail.