Yesterday is a haze of words and writing and tapping away merrily. Obviously that doesn’t include creating a blog post, but I’ve declared my efforts yesterday a rousing success!
I don’t like the idea of measuring things too much. If I wrote this amount of words, or kept at it for that amount of time. We all know there are days when you slave away for hours, and your pour out thousands of words, then find out that they are part of a scene you scrap entirely. That’s okay! Those hours and those thousands of words were just part of the practice that turns us into better writers. They aren’t a waste! They aren’t really lost! But it puts the achievement scale into a different perspective to me.
Other days, you might jot out a handful of lines, and that be your only writing work for the day. Or the whole week! But those words might be a pivotal point in your story, and the enormity of it all has to stew for a while before you can really put it together.
So instead of making measurements (don’t worry, I still glance at the “words added today” bar when I’ve saving and closing down for the night!), I just celebrate the effort. I’ve been thinking and thinking and thinking about these stories. I tried to plan them a little more thoroughly, but it got to the point where I just needed to get them out from sheer excitement. So I’m back to my usual, “I know where this is going, but how we get there is a bit murky for now”. I guess this is just how I write!
I also happened upon the relieving success of finding the right name for a character. It had been evading me since the beginning, but I have something going here that seems to be pretty awesome. Now I can just charge through the rest of the story with a carefree demeanour, and see how we arrive at our destination!
2 thoughts on “I didn’t write, because I was writing!”
I don’t look at my word count, but I do look at my outline (to measure how many objectives I’ve accomplished) and my page count (since I write scripts, I need to have a rough idea of what the current running time of the work is).
Character names come pretty easily to me, in various different ways. Sometimes the names are based on puns or song lyrics with some relation/inclusion in the script; sometimes they’re subtle references to other works; sometimes they’re based on other people’s names (e.g. Hayfever’s girlfriend’s first name is a certain actress’s nickname, while her last name is the same actress’s surname translated into English).
Sometimes, names just arise: the villain-protagonist of a script I need to start got his name (and, in fact, the entire plot came from) a random sentence I blurted out when I was alone & bored one day, “I’m dead, Jim. Remember? You killed me.” I can’t for the life of me remember why I said that, but within 10 minutes, I had a full plot & 4 characters names.
And sometimes, a character is just A Guy Named Steve. (In fact, EVERY time, somebody ends up being named Steve.)
That’s really awesome! Sometimes plot points come to me from funny little things like your experience, though I don’t think it’s ever been as neat as a whole story from one key sentence. 😉
Fun fact: I’ve never named anyone Steve.
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