The process

Since November, I’ve been writing a serial novel for a blog, The OtherLand Chronicles, which I’ve written about here several times.  After two months, I have some observations.

I began on November 1, for NaNoWriMo, a lark.  Or so I thought.  The truth is, this story has been rattling around in my head for more than three years, gathering bits and pieces to itself.  Every so often, it came to me with a new shiny something, like a child who wants to play, and I would say, “Oh, that really is clever, but I don’t really have time right now to do anything with it.  Hang on to it, okay?”  The book-child wold nod and amble away, admiring her little treasure.

Over and over and over this happened, until I realized that I had a LOT of material.  Like an entire world and backstory and a story arc long enough for a trilogy.  It was all born from my walks in the parkways around Briargate, and that’s a lot of walking.  Every day, year in, year out, me and my dog and the story brewing.

Any writer knows that sooner or later, that work has to be done.  It will force its way into your schedule no matter what else you’ve got going on, and it will make itself so very attractive that you will have no choice. You’ll be seduced.

I was seduced. Now I find myself writing an entire book in public, which is not the most comfortable thing in the world. It forces me to find more time to write than I usually would, and for the first time in years, I’m really a hermit.  I don’t want to go anywhere.  I have work to do. So much work, all of it so different, and so much fun in its own ways.

I also discovered that as much as I’d like to do a “serial draft” where I don’t change anything, that was just not possible.  I had to go back and do some revisions for the sake of the story. I had to rewrite a couple of scenes pretty substantially and move a couple of them around, and until I did it, the book stubbornly wasn’t going to let me move forward.

But here’s the thing: this is my play project, so I get to make the rules.  My promise to the readers of the material is that I will finish.  I will not quit until I have a complete story.  Turns out my promise to the story is that I have to serve it first.  Which is always the way.

For the record, I am having a blast. This is as entertaining as anything I’ve done.

If you haven’t been reading along and wish to begin, start at the beginning.

If you have been reading, I finally got new material up after the long Christmas break.  Start at Chapter Eleven, Scene 4

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7 thoughts on “The process

  1. You’re a brave woman, Barbara! But then, I knew that…. I’m loving the story, and seeing your “process” is fascinating. I always assume there’s got to be an easier way than how I do it, but perhaps not. 😉 Can’t wait for the story to continue.

  2. Deborah Blake

    This is SO cool. I will have to go back and catch up.

  3. Gita Escovedo

    Why did you join the student blogging challenge?

  4. Jen

    Good for you! I will have to get caught up and keep up with this.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Ralph Mandap

    I like your blog! I just joined Groupskie to help promote my blog. I think they would love to have your site in their network too. Check it out — it’s free!

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