Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gear Shifting Time

I started writing this novel years ago, and I have a lot of material I've already written.

When I started this dare, I intentionally did NOT go back and read the old material. I wanted to capture what was in my head now. Let whatever is fresh and new and exciting come out.

But the fresh and new and exciting are not coming out as fast as they were, so I figured it was time to go back and read some of the old material. So that's what I did this evening. I read through all the clips and notes and manuscript fragments.

And I found it good. In some cases I wrote an equally good but different version of a scene now - but I really can take both and meld a better scene out of them. I found some good stuff to plug holes I was struggling with, and a few stinkers that make me glad I started a new.

I think I will keep working on new material for a while, but I think at some point soon, I will put the current dare on pause while I do a different dare - one where I tear everything apart and then knit all the existing material together. (But sometimes when you do that, you need a short break from the material first. I might do a short rewrite dare for another novel.)

One thing I haven't mentioned - I don't really like dares. (Odd, I know, for someone who kind of lives by them.) I think the point shouldn't be to write an unrealistic amount of verbiage in a month. I think the really best way to use a dare is to to create a sustainable pace of writing for life. Something you never really quit. And in that sense I may be better off setting shorter ongoing projects.

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