Faith seeking understanding, my personal journey towards a deeper knowledge of and intimacy with God, the cosmos, humanity and myself through thoughts, words and (occasionally) images, is a series of [hopefully] daily reflections I’m writing with the purpose of publishing something on a regular basis for others to read, either here, at joncarllewis.com or among my writings at Medium.com.
I spent hours in storycraft land today. Most of that time was well spent, although I didn’t advance my word count (and probably decided to lose more pages than I will keep).
You see, I am writing a novel. A week ago, I would have said that I am stuck writing a novel, but I am moving again. I find myself in an odd position, however. Having written 72,000 words of what I like to call a “discovery draft,” I find that I have a lot of key fragments which suggest a story arc but leave huge gaps in between them to be filled in. furthermore, I’m unclear about the plot: what needs to happen and when.
Therefore, I have taken a break from writing, rolling up my sleeves and doing the hard-slogging work of storycraft. In addition to rereading what I have written so far, I am creating a scene outline. I am taking the fragments of story I’ve created and padding them with the logical events that need to be in place to allow them to happen and the natural outcomes of the scenes I have written.
I like doing the work, but it is totally unglamorous. There is no progress to be seen, only loss and reconstruction. I must content myself with the fact that something strong is being rebuilt. Having sketched the outlines of a structure to see what possibilities I could imagine, I am now going back and putting in place the pillars, beams and girders that will make the whole appear to be light but strong. I am still playing with materials, but I am making more decisions for the long haul rather than trying things out just for fun.
This is a different phase of creativity, one I’ve not read much about. I’m not really doing a revision, although I’ve got lots of material to revise. I’m not quite doing a first draft either, even though I am starting at the beginning and building towards the end.
I am in new territory—for me at least.
I wonder if it is time to ask for help. Or, if I just need to keep doing the unglamorous stuff for a while until I have something more solid to show for my efforts.
I think I will keep plugging along for now.
Thanks for listening to my rambling about my process. Someday soon, if I am faithful, I will have fruit to show. And then will come another creative cycle. But I don’t need to think about that now. I only need to plug along where I am.
Wish me perseverance!
Thank you for your time and attention.
I’d love to know your thoughts on what you’ve read.
Please comment, below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May God richly bless you on your journey.