Wednesday, November 3, 2010

SSWriMo Day 3

2093 words written (target: 2000)

It's day three of my SSWriMo challenge, and I feel like I've already learned some things. I've started with a hard SF story, about the first expedition to see a neutron star up close. The 'crew' of this mission are a bunch of uploaded astrophysicists, their brains running on the computer hardware crammed into an otherwise fully-automated coke can-sized probe. When they get to their goal, they're in for a surprise.

I picked this one because it's the idea closest to the oft-repeated piece of advice: write what you know. I haven't had a whole lot of time to sit in front of the keyboard over the last few days, but I've had no difficulty reaching the target number of words (666 a day). The quality of the words, sadly, is pretty low. It's not that they're all that bad, they're just meandering. Laser-focused this story is not.

The folks on the Writing Excuses podcast split writers into two (non-exclusive) categories. Outliners write detailed story outlines. Discovery writers start with characters, a situation, and maybe an idea about the ending, and just start writing. I figured I was probably from the first category, so I thought I'd start by trying to discovery-write a story.

On the one hand, I think the meandering suggests that I was right; I should be spending some time coming up with story outlines. On the other hand, I'm actually quite excited by the idea of revising. It feels like by the time I've written the whole wandering mess out, I'll be much clearer on what the story is about, and I can get down to tearing it apart and making it better.

For now, though, I'm just going to push through. This whole SSWriMo thing is about turning off my internal editor for a little while, and getting something down on paper. Onward!

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