Last autumn, I wrote a draft for a novel called Trollbooth. It’s a starting point for my Enchanted Forest State Forest character Joe Keester. In fact, this novel is the story of Joe’s first day on the job.
I think I should be excited about what I wrote, but to tell the honest truth, this is one of those stories that just wrote itself. I wasn’t even sure if it was going to get long enough for the term novel until I’d been at it a couple weeks straight and saw no end in sight. I know that part of the process went well, but beyond that I can’t yet say what shape the story is in.
See, I made myself do an experiment with Trollbooth. I haven’t even peeked at it since I wrote the last words of the tale back in November. I wanted a fresh look at it as I do my second draft, and never in the 8 or so books I’ve had a go at have I really let something go for a while. This will be a journey of discovery for me – and I think it’ll help me make my work more memorable to a greater audience.
In part because I want to talk about it, and in part because I hope readers and writers will help me remain accountable to myself, I’m going to write a weekly column here where I’ll describe my thoughts, successes, and challenges for the past week’s writing. I think it’s worth keeping a journal of the process; how else do we learn but by seeing how others put their fears and triumphs into words? How does somebody else see the private part of writing, where it’s just a guy/gal and a laptop/pen & paper?
The point I’m rambling around like I always do is that when I was in writing school, I spent a lot of my time learning from the writing that writers do…to get to the writing you read, like, and call memorable. I do it a lot myself. This time, I’d like to share the process in the hope that somebody can find something which will help enable their own writing. It’s how I can give back to this art that makes my life better by empowering my imagination.
I’ll be posting each Monday to the Imaginary Playground. I don’t know what it’ll sound like yet, and I won’t know until I’m in the thick of it. I’m going to do it anyway, even if I sound like a raving dork. It’s gonna be fun.