Research and writing

The pace of writing has slowed down but not the pace of the process. To continue writing with a flow I need to sort out theme and symbolism to carry through the piece, and to give myself a heads-up for clarity moving forward. It’s not that every little part of the novel has to be planned in advance, but I do need a clear direction to head in.

Writing with a flow again is in sight but I’m not quite there yet. I’m keen to get back to it but each time I sit to write I think about another ‘bit’ that I need to research because it directly relates from where I’m at and to where I’m going. When I have a clear view of what I’m writing I do it calmly and get a lot done, when I have a vague idea I get muddled and can’t focus because my mind gets lost in the what ifs and what abouts that I might work in later. I work better moving forward with as clear a vision as I can get sorted in my mind.

The thought of cycling back over the story forever adding little bits and pieces, and inspecting my work retrospectively feels incongruous to any progress so I have baulked at moving forward until I get some things straight in my mind. Yes, I’ll have to go back over my work continuously as I keep writing but I want to do it in such a way that I’m present with where I’m at in the story telling. Chunking together bits and pieces out of sync with their place in the narrative has felt disjointed when I’ve tried that approach before. Writing as I am now chronologically with the bones of the narrative at my side to refer to as a map feels right. I feel like I’m on an adventure because there’s a large unknown element in the writing of it, but I also feel like I know the way.

Pausing to go over my research and add to has opened up the structure creating a narrative that moves through the story in parts much better than I had roughed out to begin with. Revisiting my research with fresh eyes has introduced a new depth to the protagonist who has gone from being a sketchy character in parts to a complex individual who I hope to do justice to by documenting their struggle with the human condition.

I’m learning a lot. I have notes to write in the chapter outlines, story points to add, and new layers of dimension to add to my protagonist. The time researching has been very helpful.

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