On Writing Part I – Prometheus Rising
“If Prometheus was worthy of the wrath of heaven for kindling the first fire upon earth, how ought all the gods honor the men who make it their professional business to put it out?” – John Godfrey Saxe
Prometheus. A myth. A tale. A symbol.
He rebelled against the gods and brought fire to humankind. His punishment was everlasting agony.
„Prometheus Rising“ is the current novel I am writing on, and I invite you to be part of the exciting journey. Why? For inspiration, for the anticipation of the exciting story, and to share the agony of writing a novel. Writing a book is a two-edged sword: you love, and you hate it at the same time (if you by some chance feel the same way, please share in the comment section).
Without boring you with the common struggle, let me tell you what I learned so far (1/4 on the way to a first draft):
Author’s block. We all know this excuse – a mysterious stepping stone in our way. We just gave it a name because we cannot figure out the reasons behind it. There could be many: fear, doubt, laziness. But mostly it means that something is wrong with our story. Being no Steven King, my cure was outlining. Building my story, block by block, step by step. My favorite book on that is Structuring You Novel by K.M. Weiland.
Step one is the rough outline. This helps to fix your story on every point: so see the missing pieces, you know the wrong turns. You start loving your plot when you’re done. Some can take their writing from here, but for me, it was not enough.
Step two of my writing were the sketches. Those are painting every bit of a scene as if you would tell it to a friend. For me, this was insanely helpful to get my writing into a flow, and also see where I needed to do more research to be able to write these scenes. This leads me to revelation number two.
2. Research is everything
A dystopian novel, set in the near future – what would I need to research about? If you think research is only for those writing on science or history, you are wrong. Research is what will make your creative juices flow. Future technologies, Scottish mythology and Gaelic customs, labor camps in the Soviet Union – only some of the topics I had to dive into. Research is time-consuming, but trust me on this: It will open up a world of possibilities. Whenever you feel stuck with your story – do research.
3. Quantity goes before quality
Weird, right? But as for the first draft, this should be your sworn maxim. Your aim is to bring words on paper. To forward the story, whatever the cost. You are allowed to write like an amateur. You just need to finish this damn first draft. This seems like the hardest task for writers, as we always tend to correct our writing over and over again. Reread, rewrite. Stop it. Just write and go on until you finish your story. Only then, give yourself permission to rewrite. Because this time, you definitely should.
4. Slap yourself every day
The best revelation ever is: keep yourself motivated, every single day. You need to write, at least for thirty minutes, even if you are tired, even if you are hungry, lazy, sick, not in the mood. This means slapping yourself on the cheek because it will hurt. Getting over yourself and writing despite all the things life throws at you will hurt. But this is the only way.
Another way to stay motivated is also – read books. Either novels you admire or books on writing. Even a daily chapter will give you a slight push to start writing yourself.
More on writing habits and outlining is to come soon, but now I need to start writing my novel again.
„Prometheus Rising“ deals with a possible future, that in so many realms are already similar to the present day. This film is an insight into the complex human soul concerning the politics and society it lives in, where some people are destroyed, some are manipulated, and some are able to rise. But how can we rise, and how will we fall? We need to follow Adama into the cities, into the depths of the outer areas and into the battles to find out where every single one of us stands.