Working Vacation: An Oxymoron

I’m on vacation this week.  But only from the day job.  I had time to use or lose, so why not?

I don’t think that I’m abnormal because I looked forward to 10 days away from the office.  Who doesn’t love a nice break?  However, the real reason I was looking forward to the time off was so I could WORK on my writing.  Who does that?  Who voluntarily works on a vacation?

Apparently, my recent declaration that “I am a writer” knocked something loose in my brain.  I am now officially insane (if you have to ask yourself if you’re nuts, as I’ve done for years, that should be a clue that you are).

I’m reading a book called “Writing Fiction for Dummies”, by Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy.  It’s really quite good and was on my laundry list of books to read about the craft of writing.  It provides clear instruction on how to create a logline and a synopsis, how to create a three-act structure and a scene list.  These are all invaluable tools necessary for writing a solid novel.  This book also talks about four methodologies for writing:

  1. Seat-of-the-pants (just write willy-nilly with only the creative idea driving the organic process)
  2. Edit as you go (write a chapter or a scene, then go back and clean it up)
  3. Snowflake (a high level outlining method)
  4. Outlining (a very detailed outline)

During NaNoWriMo, I wrote using the seat-of-the-pants method.  I didn’t have a choice if I wanted to attain the 50,000 word goal.  I got lucky and came up with a decent romance.  Sure, it needs a lot of work, but the bone structure is there.

Then I start reading up on craft and scared the shit out of myself.  But I’m not letting that stop me.  Writing willy-nilly is a viable method.  I created a rough draft, now I need to work backwards to define the structure.  It’s hard going but oddly satisfying.

This is changing the novel in ways I hadn’t expected, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.