Sunday, February 21, 2010

Writing Like My Fingers Are On Fire

Well, as you know I'm a big fan of author Kathi Appelt (see previous post.) So today I took to heart her motto, her advice for writers: Write Like Your Fingers Are On Fire. I wrote five chapters.

Usually I don't write so much in a single day. I often write one chapter, and then spend the rest of the day editing it. Or I wake up the next morning and edit what I previously wrote, then ponder for awhile where I will go from here.

But now, I'm on a roll. I'm coming into the home stretch of my new novel. I feel confident where I'm going with it, and I've been trying to figure out how to fit in all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle to tie up all the loose ends, make the events conclude in a believable fashion, and still stay true to my characters.

This novel is a challenge for me. It's told in two separate voices, a thirteen year old girl and a fourteen year old boy. And writing in two voices is definitely like fitting a puzzle together. Each scene must advance the plot, each character must have their own view point and their own story line, and each scene must fit in the right time slot so they do not overlap or backtrack.

I'm getting towards the end of this story now, and I'm totally immersed in it. I forget housework, forget meals, forget what time it is. I wrote some good scenes today- some satisfying, emotional scenes. I wanted to get all this stuff down so that I can write the end - the big climactic finish.

That's what writers live for. The big climactic finish. Of course when all of this gets done, trust me, it's only the end of the first draft, the rough draft, with many more edits and much revisioning to come.

Still, it's very satisfying to finally get to the end of the first draft of a manuscript. It's happening. My fingers are definitely not only on fire, but now sore from all this typing.

Thank you, Kathi, for the words of inspiration. Now, it's time to go soak my fingers, watch some Olympics, sleep on things, and ponder the big finish.

Word Count: 47,253 Probable word count to finish: 55,000 to 60,000


Shelby Bach said...

Hurrah!! I love it when this happens, especially at the end of a manuscript. I call it the writing "vortex," which is - I think - what Louisa May Alcott called it.

Good luck and happy writing for the home stretch! :-D

Monica said...

Um, wow. I'm seriously impressed. Five chapters in one day?? Can you share some finger fire with me?

Linda Benson said...

Thanks, guys!

Shelby - I love that term - the writing "vortex." Hey- congrats on your agent news! Now, is that anybody I know ;-)

Monica - Yeah, if I knew how to get that "fire" I'd use it everyday. It would probably help if I don't blog, don't ever fire up the internet, and just stay right there in the "zone." That's where I'm going right now. Ciao.

Vonna said...

Sounds like you are doing great work, Linda! I'm on the last four chapters of my WIP, and though I have it planned out, I'm get jittery when I'm this close to the end.