I worked a bit more on my novelette this weekend, The Cliffs of Oakenrah. The wordcount is now up to 5,600. I’m still on scene 5 of 21 though, but it’s a rather long scene. Perhaps it is because I am out of practice, and I haven’t been forcing myself to write everyday whether I feel like it or not (as some writers do), but I am finding the process to be mentally exhausting. Some of it is because of the actual writing; trying to find the right words, trying to describe things as simply as possible, trying to make sentences flow easily together. But some of it also has to do with the internal imagining of the world. If I were just going to sit and daydream, it wouldn’t be very hard; I could probably go through scenes in my head as if they were parts of a movie. But when I have to write down everything that happens, I have to always slow it down, play it over again and again (and of course it’s always a bit different each time), and pay attention to the details. Not that my writing is overly detailed, but it’s easier to imagine travelling through a mysterious cave than it is to describe it in words. It’s easy to imagine the look and movements of fantastical non-existent creatures than it is to describe them in words. I find that process to be very mentally exhausting.
Dialogue can also be annoying, because as the author I know what I want the characters to talk about, but if they’re talking about something completely different, I have to find a way for them to flow into the desired topic, without it seeming completely forced. And I have to continually change world-view perspectives in my mind. The story might be from the point-of-view of one character, but I have to know the world-view and motivation for every character that says something important to write his or her dialogue believably.
And then of course there’s always the balance of info-giving. Especially since this is a fantasy novelette, there’s a lot of other-worldly stuff I could spend time describing. But I don’t want to “info-dump,” which might bore readers. On the other hand, I don’t want to leave too much out, which would confuse readers. Finding the balance is tricky, especially since it’s something I don’t really think about directly while writing; it’s more an element I just have to get a feel for through feedback I think, since my world is always completely clear to me, the writer.
OK, that’s enough blather isn’t it?