I finished my first draft of The Page & The Magician on the evening of Wednesday, February 25, 2015. I felt like I wanted to run outside and shout it from the mountaintops. I'm sure lots of people wouldn't understand and some might have thought I should be taken to a special room with soft walls and ultra bright lights.
It's the first novel I've finished writing, but not the first I have started. One of my other works in progress, Scion, I have been working on for 5 years and I'm still on the first draft. I wrote the first draft of The Page & The Magician in 4 months. I can't even believe it. I learned a lot about writing, researching, and tenacity during it and that will help me when I get back to my other novel, though it'll take me a little bit to get reacquainted with that story.
Right now I feel like I need to sleep for a couple of weeks and do a major house cleaning.
I don't have much time for sleep between roller derby, martial arts, and guitar though. Tomorrow is the season opening bout for the Rideau Valley Roller Girls. It's happening at Jean Marc Lalonde Arena in Rockland, ON. Our B team, The Sirens, is going up against Montreal's B team, The Sexpos.
After that, things calm down for a little bit, which is good because I have a costume to work on for Comiccon. I know that's not until May, but I always leave it too late and don't get enough time to do anything great. That said, I'm torn between asking for suggestions on parts of it and keeping it a secret. I'm making cardboard weapons and I'm kind of winging it, so hopefully it turns out. The challenge with that is my weapons taper, so I've had to "carve" away portions which leave the corrugated portion of the cardboard exposed. I'm thinking I need to cover that with a layer of something like perhaps paper, then paint it to make it look like the material it should be made of if it were real. Perhaps I should look for textured wall paper. That would cut down on the painting need and perhaps be faster...
We're learning scales in guitar and I'm convinced some of the quiz answer options for the major scales were completely wrong, as in there wasn't a correct option to choose. On two of the questions, none of the answer options followed the major scale formula. It could also be that my brain needs a break. I've been feeling like I'm coming down with something.
Last night was the monthly Ottawa Independent Writers meeting and there was a special guest who talked to us about the art of writing. A Canadian author you may or may not know as he goes by two names. Trevor Ferguson, also known as, John Farrow, gave us pertinent tips to improve our scenes. Things like paying attention to the location while putting together natural sounding dialogue. A phone call doesn't have the option of body language, so many senses can't be evoked like they can with a conversation happening on the street. He talked a lot about how authors differ from other artists because there is a greater need to use both sides of the brain. We have to be constantly switching between research and analytical skills to imagination in order to get into a state that allows our characters to write the story rather than us forcing our notes into it.
Some of the things he said made intuitive sense to me, like that everything you do should grab the reader. Instead of a character having a conveniently sudden epiphany, make it so that the reader and the character gradually come to that "Aha!" moment.
He also spoke about the benefits of Third Person Limited Point-of-View in creating tension because not everything is known. I'm generally not a huge fan of third person, but the things he said were interesting and may guide my edits for The Page & The Magician as it is written in third person. I may make it more like the story is in progress rather than already happened. I like the idea that not everything in the story is decided and things could go any way. Keeping the readers on their toes is a good thing.
I'm off to hopefully stop this budding cold before it can take root.
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