No audio today, I’m afraid. I’m all little on the tired side after a busy week and my voice is a little more croaky than usual. My voice recognition software can understand me — just — but I’m not about to take any chances when it comes to you understanding me, especially with such fantastic questions!
So, continuing where I left off in the previous podcast… the next questions comes from Stephie:
Hi Gary, what keeps you focused and confident about your writing? How does it stay fresh in your mind if you are constantly rereading and checking your work?
I suppose I have a very tried and tested way of working, now. It’s something I’ve been doing for a very long time and I’ve developed a pattern and attitude to my writing that feels very natural — so natural, in fact, that I actually feel very strange when I’m not writing.
Focus and confidence is something that comes with time. I can still very easily be distracted but it is much easier for me to pick up where I left off, these days. Planning thoroughly beforehand helps, of course. I’m much more confident when I have a solid outline to work from.
As for keeping it fresh — well, I try not to reread and check too much whilst I’m actually writing the novel. I write a thousand words, read through and make possibly minor changes, read through the week’s work over the weekend and then tend not to look at it again until I around the halfway mark when I quite often do a thorough readthrough (though not a major edit at this stage.) I never do any major anything until the first draft is complete — and I always allow enough room in the outline for improvisation and unexpected developments.
And that’s it for today. Thanks to Stephie for her questions and watch out for more of my replies a very shortly.
The most important factor in keeping it fresh, I’d have to say, though, is love of character. If the characters interest and fascinate me, that’s half the battle. If I like hanging around with them, the freshness comes naturally.
A sample chapter of If I Never can be read here.
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© 2009 Gary William Murning