Fiction Writing

It’s happening

After outlining, and vacillating, and everything other than writing, I breathed, took the intro in my head, and began writing my rewrite of Fratricide.

And it went all right!

Words written/total: 1367/1367

Looking at what I have and what I’m thinking about, there are two very key issues to be resolved. First, I need to make sure that I can return to this from Pennsic with something resembling momentum…in some ways starting this before a vacation was a terrible idea. That said, it’s recoverable, especially if I continue to have ideas.

Speaking of ideas, the second key issue is I need to disabuse myself of the “writing this all in order” notion. Especially since this is a rewrite. I know roughly who the characters are, and the exposition moments are in some cases less important. If I have ideas for scenes, it’s more important to write them the fuck down than to worry about when they occur in the story.

The outline I have is roughly divided into five sections, named for the chronological events happening around the story: Orientation, Rush, Pledging, Initiation, and Brotherhood. Any member of a fraternity will note that those five things take up very different quantities of time, but the point is to have cardinal areas in the story around which things happen. Orientation is fairly well-outlined as the exposition, the rest need a bit more detail. The other good thing is with five segments, I can aim for 10-15,000 words in each segment, and then figure out whether that makes the segment thin (I’m struggling to hit 10k) or fat (I’m struggling to fit the events I want in 15k). It may seem like overplanning when I don’t have many details to put into three of these so far, but it’s going to make my life easier when I finish this draft and find out how much I want/need to change. It also changes the calculus a bit: Planning how the first 10,000 words is going to look becomes much more interesting when you’ve already written nearly 1400 of them.

Oddly enough, starting to write makes outlining look easier. I’ve written several outlines, scrapped several outlines, and written more, but now that I have a bit of writing that tells me how long these scenes are going to run, it makes things easier on me. It still means writing 30-45 of these scenes, but if I can figure out what they are I’m much less likely to get stuck.

Now, to make this happen. I’m going to try to write and outline more, but the whole thing is going to go fallow (for the most part) until after my vacation. Let’s hope I can get back to it and give this story a legitimate shot.


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