Friday 5 November 2010

Contrasts – Writing Fiction / Non-fiction

I have fixed myself another writing-routine in order to ensure enough I actually do some writing whilst holding a demanding day job albeit one that is very related to writing. Now I do my two hours writing first. And I’m alternating working on my novel and some academic writing. I have a list of academic projects and that does actually include some competition entries etc. It’s a good variety.
Yesterday was an academic writing day and I managed more than my 2,000 words in under two hours. I was actually preparing a short article about point of view for the Virtual Learning Environment, Blackboard. I find that my students – and other inexperienced writers - make more mistakes with point of view than almost anything else. The article was almost written and I’d actually got to the easy final couple of paragraphs.
On Wednesday I’d worked on my novel Peace Child. Now that I am spending some time every other day on it it is flowing better. However, I only managed 1657 words in the time. This is because I also had to digest and respond to some editorial comment to its prequel, Babel.
I generally do find non-fiction, apart from very intellectual academic papers, easier to write. It requires less concentration and I can listen to music while I write. When I’m writing fiction, even the birds singing in the garden can become annoying. On the other hand, I have little trouble planning fiction: I have story theory down to a fine art. Non-fiction I find difficult to marshal. A collection of given facts can be arranged in so many different ways. But once I know what I’m doing, the writing just flows.
I do actually enjoy the contrast, though.
Today is fiction: I’m anticipating editing Babel.

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