by Shelt Garner
I have rested long enough. Today, after I do my usual Sunday morning ruminating, I’m going to sketch out some scenes and get back to writing. This is just a first draft, so I have to give myself permission to write crap.
The issue about writing a first draft is, at least for me, it helps to give later consistency to the story because once it’s done I can print it out, read it through and use the annotations to make a much better second draft. There’s a whole lot I simply don’t know when it comes to the details of all of this — how long is it really going to take to write two drafts? I’d like to wrap up the second draft by Thanksgiving, but that seems like it might be pushing it.
I have a huge amount of reading to do, as well. A lot of the reading I have to do is to flesh out characters. Right now, a number of important characters are paper thin and only by doing a significant amount of reading can I make them far better. My bad guys aren’t really all that bad and my heroes aren’t really all that deep. I have some ideas as to how to fix that issue, but it’s going to take some reading to do.
The thing that is really at the forefront of my mind with this novel is how old I am. In general, conventional wisdom is if you don’t have a career in the arts (showbiz) by your early 30s, then, lulz. So, if I somehow win the lottery with this novel and write a break out novel, my age is going to be the angle that a lot of people use.
I find this very irritating because I can’t help how old I am. I should be judged on the merits of the work, not how old I was when I wrote it. Age is much like gender or race — it’s totally out of your control. Not everyone has the luxury of living a “normal” life and, as such, you shouldn’t be judged if maybe you’re about 20 years older than you’re “supposed to be” to sell your first novel.
I also find — if what they produce on Twitter is any indication — many of my peers writing novels to be insufferable. I don’t care how many words you’ve written. I don’t care who you think should play your MC of your WIP in the movie version. Give me a fucking break.
I’d much rather hear about your personal philosophy on writing than such preening bullshit. Now, I’m the first to admit that I often do similar things on video on Instagram or on this blog, but I feel that the context is different. I’m just talking to myself because I have no friends and no one likes me. I’m operating in a vacuum and all the talking I do about the novel is out of sheer desperation, not some preening need to prove I can write 3,000 words in a day.
Also, I get the sense that a lot of the established writers out there probably wouldn’t take me very seriously, even if I did managed to sell this novel. I’m not snooty or pretentious enough. I don’t take myself very seriously and I’m an extreme extrovert. (Hence all the talking into the void about the novel.)
Anyway. I’m looking forward to getting back to writing.