M.A. Wohl

Writer on a Quest

This week word count goal: 55 000 words

Day 64 – New world, new novel ideas
Word count so far: 38 635 words

It was supposed to be a great writing day. Yes, day.

I had a short meeting and then, 4 hours to myself before picking up kiddo.

Of course, the short meeting turned out to take more time, as my client and I brainstormed away many blog posts ideas and newsletter content. I do have fun with the « how on earth will I be able to make this rather complicated notion understandable » stage with a new client, a new world to explore and to get novel ideas from.

But the best source of novel ideas, for me, was working in retail stores. Especially bookstores.

It was the perfect place, surrounded by book titles, upcoming novels, and of course, other human beings.

I met people from all around the world; poor, rich, immigrants, locals, lovers of things, haters of everything.
With some clients, you end up talking more. And you more than often ended up with a great plot twist, or a character, or an idea for a novel.
I use to take notes, fold them and forget them in my pockets.
So many great novels are washed away before they could reach the rough draft stage!

Now, I don’t go out much anymore. Since I had a kid, I morphed into an even stranger human person.
I avoid every big human gathering; I avoid malls, big loud grocery stores.
I have no small talk left in me.
I rely a lot on past experiences, friends, family, neighbors and the not so crowded streets of the small town where I live to feed the creativity.

Passing by kids waiting for their buses gave a really fun idea for the next writing project too.

A whole bunch of curiosity, patience, spying on people… it seems it’s all I need to get a new idea for a novel!

Day 65 – Day off with Hercule Poirot
Word count: 38 767 words

When it comes to writing, I face many challenges, one of them being a tendency to use too many words, whole paragraphs even, to express a simple feeling, a very little gesture.
I also tend to go either extra-full-details or white-room-extravaganza.

I would love to find a balance to put a end to the extra long revisions sessions preceding the even thougher editing sessions.

I know, I know, the novels we read are the polished versions of crappy first drafts.
I know.
I should try Agatha Christie’s writing technique: brainstorm a ton, write the thing in two months, take another month to revise and voilà : you’ve got « The Murder of Roger Ackroyd », « Murder on the Orient Express » and « Hercule Poirot Christmas’s » – not a famous one, but one of my favorite nevertheless.

No sense in wanting to be like a famous author though… It will NOT help my writing get better, or help me write faster, or write cleaner draft (this writing project is the messiest draft I’ve ever written) it would just make be better at copying others instead.

I did write a tiny bit during the evening but, I ended up reading a Agatha Christie’s novel.
This time, I took some notes…!

Until next time, dear writer friends !

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