Monday, May 13, 2013

SWC: Day 6 - Fiction v. Non-fiction

Oh. My. God. What. Have. I. Done?!?!?!

Non-fiction and fiction are not two sides of the same coin. They are different animals that must be kept in separate cages as far from one another as possible or they will TEAR EACH OTHER APART.

Or maybe that's just my brain. Yes. Must be my brain.

I started with my ART book yesterday and ended at 4536. In order to reach my writing goal today I needed to get to 9,036. Thankfully, and after much pain, moaning, and gazing longingly around the room I finished my daily writing at 9,055. Phew! THANK GOD!

I discovered today, in no uncertain terms, that my process for writing fiction and non-fiction is drastically different. It is easy for me to write fiction. I can sit down where I left off, and just let my mind (and fingers) go for hours. I write fiction faster than I write anything (which is saying something because I tend to blog pretty quickly).

Non-fiction requires me to think, recall, and reframe. I have to come up with a kind of narrative to frame the knowledge I'm trying to impart. It's a hassle. It's stressful. It makes me want to bang my head against the wall, at least when I'm working on something in book length (for some reason articles and blog posts are easy to fire off - don't try to understand. I sure as hell don't). I can't seem to think of the narrative fast enough and so I have to jump around my chapters while I'm thinking of something relevant. The result is my time is not used as efficiently as if I was writing fiction.

I also have to do research. Don't get me wrong, I love researching. I research for my fiction pieces all the time! I just feel like my sources need to be a step above when writing non-fiction, which is added stress.

In short, these non-fiction pieces are going to be on the short side, or at least, that's what I expect. I could surprise myself and go back into each chapter and triple their lengths, but I doubt it. Although, who knows?

The benefit of working on this is it is so incredibly different than my fiction projects, I can't get confused. It's impossible. LILITH AND AMMON is just so different, utilizing completely different sectors of my brain, I feel like there are two different people working on these projects.

Maybe there are.

Before I get weirdly philosophically writer on you, let me leave you with this thought. While this is a difficult exercise, it is stretching me. I feel that happening. I feel my writer chops growing as I force myself through this head-banging stress inducing project. I know when I get to the end, I will feel amazing, the same way it feels when I finish a really tough work-out. Satisfaction through the roof and the most absolute gloating rights you ever saw.

Oh yeah. I'm totally going to gloat if I turn this into something fantastic (and I will). Just watch.

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