I’m 2,000 words into my ghostwriting assignment, and just short of completing the first chapter. I’m overwriting, but that’s standard operational procedure for a first draft. The hack and slash of editing will eventually knock it into shape.
My first session saw me trying too hard – trying to impress, if truth be told. That’s a common trap with this sort of gig. It’s a competitive pitch, so naturally I want to wow the judging panel. Unfortunately, that’s the kind of mindset that can make the writing overthought and overwrought. By session two I’d managed to put that urge aside and write fast and loose. It was much more enjoyable that way, and the results are better.
As well as bringing the outline to life, I’m also enjoying a little worldbuilding. Part of the brief with this fantasy novel is to elaborate on the mythical realm in which the story takes place. When it comes to one of the magic-wielding characters, for example, I’ve had some fun considering his attitude to the magic he weaves, and the particular way in which it manifests itself. Magic isn’t about muttered spells and flashing lights, you know. It’s about what motivates a character to wield it, and the cost to his soul.
For some reason, this character works his wonders using a way of thinking you wouldn’t normally associate with magic. It’s not in the outline – it just came to me out of the blue, and I’ve no idea why he does it. If I find out, I may let you know. Or I might just keep it under my hat (you know, the one that’s covered in little silver stars and has a lingering aroma of rabbit droppings).