Building Things: Evolution, Both Expected and Unforeseen

As my practice continues, I feel myself getting pulled toward different work.

(Not that I'm going to stop publishing here. I'm going to keep doing this project as it exists now for the rest of the spring. The rules might get amended come summertime. We'll see.)

A bigger picture is beginning to emerge. Themes and connections between different pieces get clearer day by day. I keep insisting that This Is Not a Blog, and I've got a good sense now of exactly what I mean.

And my novels are calling to me, louder every day, crying out from the shelf where the printed drafts sit. "Finish us," they're saying. I hear that call and can say to myself in return, "I am now a person who finishes things."

And, goodness, the new techniques I've been developing here. In my experience, writing fiction is much harder than writing non-fiction. Seeing a scene clearly enough to describe it vividly is difficult enough, and the work of setting a scene into the whole is more challenging still. But I've been wondering: what happens when I bring zero-drafting into fiction writing? What happens if I plunge ahead and allow and even invite mistakes into process? I recognize that I can't start-to-finish zero-draft a whole novel and then expect it to work--an uncaught plot or characterization mistake early on could create a faulty foundation that ultimately brings the whole thing down. But perhaps there is a way to practice draft-and-iterate such that I can find a new freedom in the work by releasing control, which is what zero-drafting demands. Take a risk, plunge ahead, see if it works. If so, keep it. If not, throw it out.

I'm excited to try.

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