Day 25

Writing a novel is kind of like chipping away a block of marble to reveal the sculpture within, except in reverse.

What we start out is usually a blank piece of paper or a blank document, then we start to fill in words that attempt to convey the ideas and thoughts and characters and stories in our mind. Every word is equivalent to every chisel, but instead of subtracting, we're adding. In the past, every chisel had to be precise; it had to reflect the exact creation process or else the entire block would have to be thrown out. I can't say I envy the discipline and frustration writers must have had as they wrote on their typewriters. Modern writers are truly spoiled by computers and the ease to copy, paste, cut and edit.

Even so, storytelling remains a daunting task to do well. There's an art to the whole thing that no amount of technological advancement can replace. It's called creativity. And I'm glad to be living in a culture that promotes and encourages creativity, and provides ever-improving tools to help lift that creativity.

My favorite computer platform now is the Mac, and my favorite writer's tool is iWork/Pages. I love the simplicity and the compactness of the software. It allows me to focus on my writing. And yet it also provides me with the bells and whistles to edit and rewrite, or to collaborate with others. Tools should not hinder; they should enhance the creative process. And I have find it absolutely true with the slew of utilities and applications available on the Mac.

So, every day I'm chipping away the block, adding the black marks into my virtual pages called a document. 500 words every day. Sometimes I slack. Sometimes I do more than I've allotted for the day. But the incredible thing is, I am writing. So far I've added 10,000 words to the WIP, more than I've done in the past three months. And that's the important thing, that I keep chipping away.

Chip. Chip. Chip.

500 word, 10500 words total
340 days and 175000 words to go


cygnetbrown said…
I've been reading through your adventure with writing your novel and I can really relate. There is nothing more frustrating or more rewarding that writing a novel. I'm participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Lori Witt inspired me to see if I can write 50,000 words in one month. Maybe it's like going on a crash diet. It might work for Lori but will it work for me? Anyway, I'm doing a blog similar to yours in that I'm working on getting ready to do the 2009 NaNoWriMo then using the blog to keep my progress honest. Feel free to check it out. I'm looking forward to reading your current book.
Ray Wong said…
Good luck with Nano. I don't think I can ever do that -- too much pressure. That's like 2000 words a day for the entire month. I guess if I had the novel all figured out and if I were writing a contemporary novel, it could work for me. I'm just not as prolific as other writers, but I admire people who do that. So good luck and looking forward to seeing your results.
cygnetbrown said…
Thanks for the encouragement. My novel isn't a contemporary novel. It's historical fiction and I do have the outline pretty much figured out. Originally I thought it would be two separate books but the way things just seemed to fall together by combining the two ideas, it was amazing. I'm really looking forward to writing A Coward's Solace.

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