Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Free Writing Exercise

It began as a dual-purpose exercise.

Purpose #1 - Examine the backstory of one of my supporting characters, so I could better understand her current motivations. I knew a few things, but not enough. I hadn't dug deeply yet, and I was eager to play.

Purpose #2 - Word war with a friend, to keep encouraging her personal word count. For anyone not sure, Word War is something that folks do during NaNoWriMo to challenge each other. You set a period of time (half hour, hour, etc...) and you both write. Whoever writes the most wins.

So dual purposes. We started the one-hour word war at 6:45. I didn't stop writing until almost 1:30 am (minus a break for "24", although I did peck away during commercials). What I ended up with was 9553 words of backstory in about seven hours.

Talk about exhilarating. I didn't want to stop, but my eyes were about to fall out, so I picked up again this morning. The word count's jumped to around 12.5k and it's reached a point where I could stop. There's more story to tell, but it was the earliest history I needed to figure out. It lays the groundwork for this character's psychology. I haven't done this sort of free-writing in a long time. Maybe no one will ever read it, but I told her story and I'm glad it's told. I can look now at Book Two, which utilizes this character a great deal, and make her a little more three-dimensional. Add layers, now that I'm aware of them.

I love me some strong female characters, and this chick has got strength to spare.

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