Oz Whiston writing as Oz Drummond (birdhousefrog) wrote,
Oz Whiston writing as Oz Drummond

Process Post

I'm not posting much about process these days. I think it's something that mostly interests process hounds like myself. And I think readers would like to see photos and hear about Walkabout Farm and things like that. But today I'm going to post about process.

I've been working on a story called "Ditchrider." It was supposed to be finished in July. Early July. Because I was supposed to finish another story by early August. This did not happen. Instead I got stuck on Dtich. And then other things came up and I had no good block of time to figure out what was going on with Ditch and why I was stuck. I wrote the initial raw mess for a NaNoWriMo (coming up in about two weeks, yanno) three years ago. Three years can be a lifetime. So the draft was a mess and I had progressed as a writer and that made it difficult to work with. But I ripped apart the draft in May and June and got the story set and researched some things. All fine and good. I wrote bits and pieces of later scenes, of things I wanted to add. All fine and good. But about three scenes into a full, decent draft, I got stuck. The scene is all about some water, about measuring it. That's all. And I couldn't write it. Grrrr.

Months later, I'm on the plane coming home from horse camp and I started to noodle the notes i had with me, just in case. And a thought came out of nowhere. Water goes somewhere. It has to. It has to flow into a river somewhere, go downstream. See, Weatherdude had warned me that I was setting up a world that wouldn't work and I thought I had fixed that. Until I got stuck, that is. And once my brain had focused on the fact that water flows downstream, my idea got turned on its head and I saw the solution to the problem. Which, oddly, will also address a problem Weatherdude voiced. He had said he didn't see how I could do what I was doing convincingly. And apparently my subconscious agreed with him.

I know, I know. You're going "duh." But see, it has to do with how I do my worldbuilding. From scratch. Over a period of years. I don't just grab something familiar and work with it. No, I work to see the place wider than what I need for the story and sometimes that won't happen right away. It takes time. Where Weatherdude eats, sleeps, and breathes physics, I don't. I have to feel my way into a world and have to become aware of its physics. I can feel when something isn't working, apparently, but can't always figure it out right away.

So the question is, now that it's all been turned on its head and now that the physical situation makes sense, will i be able to finish a draft of Ditch after I submit my last three tax returns this weekend? Inquiring minds want to know.
Tags: ditchrider, horse camp, process, writing

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