Friday, 1 February 2008

Writing Spree

As I said in my last post, I have just had two weeks away – away from the farm, away from the usual day-to-day routine and –mostly - away from the internet. We stayed in my brother-in-law’s house in the city, not too far from the beach. I have to admit, though, to having avoided the pleasure of actually going to the beach– I’ve never seen the attraction of sun, sand, seaweed and salty water. The house is in a lovely quiet area and there was plenty for the kids to do, while I got on with what I wanted to do – writing and reading.

My trusty old laptop always goes on holiday with me. This time I had a project I wanted to get finished – a report for an educational reading series that I wanted to try to get into. I’d taken all the research material I needed, so it took very little time to write really. Then I thought I’d have a go at writing a high-level narrative for the same series. That was more difficult. The story came together quickly enough, but the guidelines stated that it had to have a Flesch-Kincaid grade of at least 6.5. I have a very simple writing style, even when I’m writing adult fiction, so I rarely write pieces at more that 5.0. I really had to work at making the style fit what they wanted. It will be interesting to see if it was worth the effort. I've not heard back from them yet. If not, I’ll rewrite it in my usual style and send it somewhere else.

That took care of the first few days. Then that moment happened that I spoke of in another post – that moment when you know where your novel is going and it takes off. I’ve been working on redrafting my fantasy novel “Treespeaker” for a while now, but I’ve been distracted somewhat by a sequel forming in my head. I’d tentatively written the first three chapters over the last few months, but had no idea where it was going or how it would end. All sorts of ideas have mulled around in my brain, but none seemed right. So the incentive to carry on wasn’t there. Then suddenly, while I wasn’t really thinking about it, the ending hit me. Immediately all the other scenes and characters fell into place and I started writing. In a week and a half I wrote six chapters.

The writing itself is absolute garbage, full of adverbs, dialogue tags and ‘saidisms’ and with more passive phrasing than an obituary, but I just wanted to get the ideas down. I’ll tighten them up and make them more readable later, before I let anyone see them for critique. It was a great feeling though, being ‘in the flow’ like that, after struggling with the ideas for so long.

The ironic thing is that I hate the ending I've come up with. I know I’m going to hate writing it – it’s going to be extremely painful. But it just fits, so I’ll have to do it.

More irony – I just checked the Flesch-Kincaid grade level on this posting – 7. 2!


Angela said...

Congrats on all the writing you were able to do. I'm jealous--my kids are off school and I'm getting zero writing done. Unless comments count...*gets all bright eyed*

Yes! They DO count, absolutely!

Kate said...

Yes, they definitely count, Angela. Especially when they're on my blog!
Thank you.

Luc2 said...

Ah, yes, that wave of inspiration. I haven't had one in months. Good for you, Kate. And leave some adverbs for your critters!

Angela said...

Congratulations on your writing spree.

Maybe when it comes time to write the ending you will be ready -you never know, you may just love it.