Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Word Dump

This morning on the New York City subway Tyler mentioned that he read my October post. He asked: Did you refer to our hike as glorious?

Why, indeed I did. I also used the adjectives: lovely, fabulous (2X), and wonderful. Not my finest word choices but, well, there they went. From the brain to the page in a glorious, fabulous, wonderful word dump.

In one of my writing workshops, one of the writers in my class was really concentrating on voice at the moment we were workshopping. She was worried about the narrative voice and admitted to letting other things slide. I remember the instructor encouraging her: That's fine. I mean, you can't do everything all at once. That really hit me. No, you can't. You can't do everything.

For my first draft, I have concentrated on moving plot forward and developing character and place. This means, I've let a lot of other things slide. I've had some back-story fall to the waste-side, I've practically ignored the concept of time all together, I've severely limited scenes that require in- depth research, and I've let my prose become a virtual word dump. I can't stand the idea of belabouring over one measly word. I just don't have the stamina right now. I also don't have time for dialogue stamps (is there an official name for this?). I'm not interested in bemoaning quietly or anything like that. He said. She said. Works for now.

This means that my sentences are currently adjective-less or they resort to something ridiculous like glorious. I think I've also used the word ridiculous A LOT. In fact, that may be my crutch word. Lots of strange things happen in my novel and there's only so many times you can refer to it as ridiculous without it becoming ridiculous.

It should be noted, I don't like to work this way. I have never word-dumped like this in my life. I used to not be able to move to the next sentence without the previous one being absolutely perfect. And, you know what? When I got to the end, I still had to edit. It was painful. Taking on this novel, I worked like that for the first few chapters, but as things progressed, I realized the entire beginning is going to have to change anyway so I'm not going to sit there and waste time over the perfect word. Not now. Not just yet.

I just have to keep reminding myself, and it does take reminding, (especially after I frown over using the word ridiculous for the millionth time) that you can't do everything.

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