Momentum vs. Volume

I’m happy to report that I have rounded that initial hump with The Curse Merchant, and my sails are full of wind! Any time I begin drafting a new project, there is the get-to-know-you period where I have to find my characters voices (often different than I planned it in pre-writing), find the narrative style, and just plain get the words flowing.

I mentioned previously that I tend to require a great deal of silence and solitude during this lag period. But when I find my momentum, I find it easier to tune out surrounding noises and input. The words come, and I feel confident in them. I usually have to at least achieve the Inciting Event, that point at which the plot has begun in earnest, and the protagonist has been thrust into the ordeals I lay before him or her. Introduction of characters has been achieved, as well as the super-setting.

That done, it’s time to get to the business of the plot, which is where I find the joy in writing lies.

This morning, I took a look back on the last few projects, and I recalled how my output flowed. Omnipotence was slow and steady, perhaps one to two thousand words per day. My project previous to that was far more sporadic, relying on individual spurts of massive output between gulfs of desert. Perhaps this reflects a maturing of my writing discipline? I’d like to think so!

I far prefer the steady stream, honestly. I find I am kept within the world that way. Real life has less impact on the story itself. The pace of writing doesn’t feel as hard when it’s just a handful of pages per day. But in the long run, the manuscript is completed quicker than waiting for the muse to unload chapter after chapter. Because the muse? She is a strange creature, and often schedules long vacations without warning you.

Not that I wouldn’t welcome a spate of words, but if given the choice, give me momentum!

As of this weekend, The Curse Merchant has just over 10,000 words. Here’s to today’s 12,000!

One response to “Momentum vs. Volume

  1. This is why I love and hate NaNoWriMo. It really gets you going and pushes volume. You have to get the words out, but you end up trading quality for quantity. I’m with you, I’ll take momentum over volume any day. Momentum drives a story forward; volume only fills it up.

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