Twenty-two thousand words later, I’m fairly certain I will complete my goal. My first draft is well underway with a story that’s at least going somewhere. I’d consider the plot points “ham-fisted,” as I’m just trying to get the words out. There’s a million more things I could be doing to delve deeper into these characters, their interactions, and the motifs I’m working with, but there’s just not enough time. And that’s okay, it’s only my first draft after all.
I’ve been making more time to do these words. It’s become its own sort of obsession, as I can’t go to sleep until I’ve fulfilled the quota for the day. Part of my job is now creating a night note with important news stories and soundbites to use, and I still make sure I get these words done. I didn’t get to sleep until 7:00AM Saturday as I zonked out writing on the couch multiple times. I knew I wasn’t going to climb into bed, write my nightly journal page, say my prayers and go to sleep until all 1,700 words made it out. And so far, I’ve done it every time. I have no qualms about my ability to set a goal and fulfill it for myself anymore. I can do it once my mind is set on it. When it’s not, that’s a little trickier.
There’s clear conflicts in the story. I’m like a gardener, planting a seed and hoping I can find the sprout later on. I believe I’ve got some of that down, but I’m sure I’ve left plenty of plot holes begging to be tilled and filled. I’m hoping I can pick them up along the way, as I’m still not entirely sure how this story is going to end. I want it to be happy, as I don’t need to dump a bunch of 1984 depression on everyone. All will get figured out. Someone may die. But I do have a lot more scene-work to get through before I kill off any characters.
Considering I’m delving into male-female dynamics, as this is a world where women dominate the social structure, I’m finding the main relationship a bit shallow. It’s like these two just like each other and that’s all. There’s nothing deep they’re discussing, they’re motivated solely by intrigue. It feels very undeserved and underwritten, but I’m not too concerned about it. Sometimes it’s okay to just like another person at first. You think they’re cool and want to hang out with them a little more. It sucks seeing just how much of a cop-out that is, but I figure they have room to grow, as long as both characters develop outside of each other first.
As far as dialogue, I’m finding that to be both the most rewarding and most tedious parts. I’ve always had a good ear for dialogue, as my screenwriting professors told me in college. So I’ve been thinking perhaps I should turn this story into a screenplay once it’s completed. That art form has always been something I’d like to explore, as I love visual storytelling and how a character’s words enhance it. It may not be a bad idea, but one thing at a time.
There are some days I absolutely hate what I’ve written and think it’s amateur trash. I can’t stand how I get from one place to another. I’m all, “He said, she said, he went, she thought, [Character Name] asked, [Character Name] shrugged.” It’s a very bare bones operation, but I’m still putting my heart into it. I do that for all the stories I write. So it hurts to feel like someone doesn’t appreciate what I’ve written. Nonetheless, that shouldn’t be the focus right now. I’m doing this for me. I’m getting the words out. And one day, I’ll find a way to let the whole world know what I’ve created. All it takes is the willingness to start, and the mind set to love what you do, no matter what.