Write the first draft… check

There are a million ways to write a book. You only need to find one Delilah S. Dawson

Out of the million ways to write a book, I found one for the second novel. And the first draft is finished. Last sentence was typed at 4:07 this morning.

Just a little short on sleep, but long on ambition.

There’s still a ton of shit to do. Revisions, editing, feedback, book cover design, make sure the Spanish I use in the book is more than adequate. Oh yeah, I gotta come up with a title for the book. It’s something I don’t think about while I’m writing but now I have to burn some brain cells in order to figure it out. I suck at titles. But I gotta do it.

It’s Tuesday late afternoon and it still hasn’t really sunk in yet that I finished writing the first draft for my second book. It’s kind of weird. I’ve been through it before. I don’t recall feeling mildly disbelieving that I finished it with the first book. Maybe it has something to do with my characters for this book. My attachment to them, my connection to them is vastly stronger than with the ones in the first book.

Maybe that’s normal. Maybe it’s not. Does it matter? Nope.

I suppose I should celebrate this milestone. I’m not particularly fussy about what I do. Feeling low key right now. My plans for tonight is to do some food prep for the rest of the week. Bake some banana bread, make egg muffins and poach some chicken. Yeah, I know. Scintillating evening. It’s not all food prep though.

I’m trying to take a break from working on the story tonight. But it’s kind of hard when I know there are a few things things I already want to look at and revise. But there are a boatload of movies on Netflix and in my collection that I would like to watch. So, it is food prep and Netflix tonight.

Keeping this post short. Got stuff to do. But a little decompression is in order.

Laterz.

Embracing the voices

People have always heard voices. Sometimes they’re called shamans, sometimes they’re called mad, and sometimes they’re called fiction writers. I always feel lucky that I live in a culture where fiction writing is legal and not seen as pathologyRuth Ozeki

I am a fiction writer.

Yes, I have heard voices — or specifically, I hear the words. Once in awhile, they come to me in my dreams. But that form of communication is rarely used with me. They prefer to come to me in images. Sometimes, the imagery is scattered or disjointed but never random. Most of the time, the imagery is specific and words usually accompany them. But it isn’t uncommon for the imagery or the words to appear without each other. But I always know where they go.

Am I crazy? Give me your definition of ‘crazy’ and I will tell you if you are correct. Normal is so boring. Normal is something everyone is told be so every individual will be easier to handle. Easier to control. That’s why laws exist. That’s why religion exists. I think you need to be brave and a little crazy to be the person you could to be, the person you should be, the person you need to be.

Am I a shaman? Technically, I’m not. But I could be. If I am, does that frighten you? If it does, would knowing that I only access the supernatural and the other-worldly to tell stories, make you feel better? If it still doesn’t, then I’m sorry… we can’t be friends.

Whereas some folks may be riddled with angst and a little fear as a result of hearing voices, I embrace them. It’s easy to play with them. It’s easy to be around them. Sometimes, it’s far more comfortable to be in their presence than being in the presence of actual living breathing human beings.

Let’s be honest, humans are a weird lot. Yeah, we have a brain (sometimes that can be contested), we claim to be intelligent (that’s definitely debatable) and because of that, we have the ability to communicate better than species in the animal kingdom (that’s kinda laughable, to be honest). And we have the ability to access all of our emotions, but we don’t. Okay, some members of humanity seem to issues with that, especially when we’re told to repress them for the sake of not embarrassing others. Yeah, fuck that shit. And now you know one of the reasons I’m more comfortable with the voices or the words I hear in my head than with people.

So, yeah. I’m a fiction writer. It’s the skin I’m most comfortable in, right now. It’s the skin I can call my own. It’s the skin I’m meant to wear. Anybody who says otherwise will get a swift kick in the arse.

Treasure trove of revelations

It usually helps me write by reading – somehow the reading gear in your head turns the writing gear — Steven Wright

Last Monday, my research material for the short-story-turned-novel arrived. I can’t remember if there was ever a time I was this excited to do research. Each book, each item I took out of the cardboard box I deemed a treasure trove of revelations waiting to be discovered.

I can tell you my two main characters were excited, too. They’re reading the research along with me. I don’t notice them until I come across an interesting tidbit that intrigues them and one or both of them immediately enact an idea for me. No warning whatsoever. Just — BOOM. It’s so easy for them to tear me away from whatever I’m doing.

Fortunately, any moment/idea they play out for me lasts roughly a minute. And I take another minute to absorb their idea. Then I give them the side-eye and ask if that’s something they want to explore. They give me one of two responses — shrug and say it wouldn’t hurt to see if the idea has merit to the narrative, or they give me an enthusiastic ‘Hell yes!” They know I have final veto on an idea but we hash it out and make sure we’re all in agreement on any given idea/concept.

Since receiving the research material, I have made it a point to set aside a minimum of a hour a day to go through it. It’s kinda nice to purposefully set aside time to read. The book worm in me had missed it. The subject matter is beyond interesting. I admit I haven’t made time to read for the pure pleasure of it. But this is a start. I’m also thinking that reading non-fiction might be the only way for me to make time to read. There are certain genres of fiction I undoubtedly make time to read. But beyond those genres, I’m hard-pressed to make a concerted commitment to read for pleasure’s sake.

There was a time I would read anything. I was much younger back then, had fewer responsibilities and fewer distractions. Maybe I’m picky. Maybe I just have more interests vying for my attention.

All this research is going to be a boon for the short-story-turned-novel. Already there are little details I want to change, include and/or consider. I am genuinely excited about this. There is much that will influence how the story will evolve. This will give my characters a more rounded portrait of who they are at the beginning of the story and where they will end up at its conclusion. I have a couple of different endings in mind for them. But as I go through all the research material, I believe a new idea or two on ways to end the story may reveal themselves to me.

A treasure trove of revelations. I love it.