by Shelt Garner
Something I see a lot on Twitter from the so-called “writing community” on the service is a lot of preening about how many words someone has written. I don’t think in terms of words written, but rather scene count. Each scene is usually, on average, 1,000 words so I still have some sense of how much I’ve written.
Because I’m not getting any younger and writing these six (!) novels is very existential to me, I’ve decided to pause writing until the end of August. I’m going to shift back to development. I really want to improve my storytelling before I get back to writing.
I’ve been feeling a little burnt out. I’ve been running hot, if you will. I have been so focused on this first novel for so long, and it’s changed so much since I began working on it, that I’ve decided to chill out for a little bit. I keep telling myself I’m going to stop writing about the novels altogether, but I can’t help myself. Sometimes, like now, I want to write something, anything, and the novels continue to dominate the focus of my attention.
So, what I hope to do is, focus on developing characters and to make my storytelling more cohesive and compelling. I’m old enough that I just don’t want to waste my time producing crap. Or, if I’m going to produce crap in the process of writing something better, I want to at least start from the best point in the process than I can.
I keep thinking about Stieg Larsson and how he dropped dead of a heart attack just as he sold three novels. I think about this so much that if I should happen to sell my six novels, I may turn into something of a hypochondriac. I just have to stop screwing around and focusing on just the first novel. I need to begin to bounce around the different novels so I don’t get so wrapped up in just one story.
I also keep thinking to myself that one day my life is going to change in a rather dramatic fashion because of things out of my control and I might find myself pivoting to something like fashion photography because I will be able, at last, to afford the equipment.