I’m starting a new experimental writing project.
Usually a new writing project means I’m full of enthusiasm and excitement, but the “experimental” part of this project means I’m trying to write fiction for ages 6-8, an age group and style I’m not experienced with, am not especially well read in, and that doesn’t really suit my natural voice.
Some call it torture, I call it practice.
Writing in a foreign style means the writing hurts. I’m having to embrace the “am I any good at this? am I just wasting my time?” phase of being a writer. And BTW, I hate that phase.
So, why am I doing it?
Because I’m writing another practice novel. Recently, every time I write, it’s for publication. So this is permission to sit down, shut up and just write for a change.
Writing for children aged 6 to 8 means a short book: I’m thinking ten chapters, maybe 7000 words all-up. This is a very achievable goal. It’s also a reasonable amount of work to do and then desert. I don’t expect this book to be publishable. I certainly don’t expect this book to be read.
I just want to see what happens.
What happens if I forcefully shut up my inner critic and write a mini chapter per writing day? What happens if I forge a story out of words without worrying about how well those words sound (or unwell, as the case may be).
I have a vague idea of what should happen in each chapter, so my plan is to just make those things happen and forget about the rest. I don’t have a voice for the book, I don’t really even have much of a character.
Both of these things are absolutely essential for a marketable, commercially viable early reader.
So what? Maybe, just maybe, these things will develop as I write, and I can go back and edit the first draft. Maybe, nothing will develop but a sense of pride that I have finished a draft, given something new a shot, and can now move back to my comfort zone: lovely, funny, quirky middle grade (sigh :-))
I’m afraid I’m writing a PILE OF RUBBISH.
But I’m writing it anyway.
May 2, 2014 at 1:51 pm
I think you’ll do fine Cristy, your class helped me and I’m now on my first edit with nearly 60000 words and lots of missing places to be filled in but it’s getting there! Thanks so much, your knowledge has helped immensely and good luck on your writing journey into the unknown!
May 2, 2014 at 3:17 pm
Thank you Nicole 🙂 And huge congrats on getting to 60,000 words…that’s a massive effort. I hope you enjoy the editing process…I love it! Let me know how you go 🙂