Lately writing feels more and more like a job. I get up, get my coffee, and sit down to do my job that I know how to do. It feels weird. It's new. I used to just wake up and start writing. You know, gleefully banging at the keys, hoping I know what I'm doing. Now it's different.
I plot every scene ahead of time, I read a chapter from a book on plotting, I decide on the conflict, on the scene goal, on the scene conflict, on the scene disaster, then I read my notes from the previous day, then I read an example of prose I like to emulate, then I plan out the scene (and all its turns and emotional shifts) in an Excel spreadsheet, and only after all of this do I begin writing. Which doesn't quite look like writing anymore, either. It's mostly thinking and speaking aloud one line until I get it right. It can take up to 30 times for me to repeat it. With dialogue it can take up to 50. So at the end of my new writing day I end up with 300-800 words, tops. On rare days (like today) I can get to 1,200. But the number of words no longer matters. What matters is, did I stay on track? Did the scene question get answered? Did every character play their role? Did the scene and the way the characters behaved fit into the act and into the overall story? So it's really like math, or like engineering.Read More