Nope! I mean I did some work on the story that I'm actually supposed to be working on! Surprising, right? It's the same novel I've been working on the last five years, and is the novel I decided to commit to writing, start to finish. I got most of the way there with NaNoWriMo in 2009, and ended up finishing the story at...oh, somewhere around either March or May. For the first draft. I've been writing the second draft ever since then.
Now, mind you. I didn't actually get to write that much. It couldn't have been more than a couple of pages. But dang, did it feel good. Particularly since what I'm mainly doing isn't so much writing right now as it is editing. (Trust me, I'll need to do a lot of writing later to add in things that weren't there originally, but right now for the current section of the book it's mainly editing what's there for the second draft to be better.)
Why is the editing so thrilling? Because I'm reading what I'm writing, referencing both past writing and future writing, and realizing...it's good. Oh, it's far from perfect. Perfect is unattainable, and even so, it can be better than it is. I'll need a third draft to fix the mistakes my second draft is creating. (Inconsistent writing among them. On-again, off-again writing for five years tends to have that effect.) But while it's far from being in publishing condition...oh, is it good.
I'd link to it, but, well, y'know. I have an aversion to that sort of thing. (Especially since publishers hate it when you have your work online, even if it's an older draft.) So you'll just have to take my word for it that my writing doesn't suck and that it is actually really, really powerful at times. (Granted, it has its weaknesses, being that it's right now a conglomeration of various stuff over the years and could use some refining, but still...I think that if I can pull it off, people will love my book.)
One particular reason that I'm writing about it today, though, is that I realized something. See, I started the current draft before I started my current quarter at college. One of the goals of the current draft was to prevent walls of dialog. You know,
"Response to response."
And so on and so forth. Just characters talking. I had a bit of a problem with that. Especially since I wanted to keep the sections I was having that in "unbiased": third person past tense, with neutral wording. Actions being done, without a mindset behind them to give perspective. To keep a long story short (ha), I don't think I've succeeded for the current draft, yet I don't think I mind all too much--a little bias here and there is okay.
Especially since the ways I've been breaking up dialog is mainly by giving descriptions of how the dialog is happening: the tone of voice that the person is using, the quickness or slowness in their reply, and also their body language when they are speaking. These are little details that add a whole lot of realism to the dialogs, something of a specialty of mine. Yet it was only yesterday that I thought about something. I've been doing this for months and even years. Yet only yesterday did I make the connection to my college class on Interpersonal Communications (that I've taken for the last ten or so weeks) that what I was doing above is mainly adding nonverbal communicators to my dialog. I'm actually learning useful stuff from my class!
Put a huge smile on my face when I realized it. My writing's not likely to get stronger as a result of the class itself, but my mindset behind the writing will have had its appreciation increased. For instance, one of the HUGE things my book relies on is perspective. (There's even a chapter titled, "Rashomone Perspective": first told in a neutral third-person present tense, then retold multiple times in first person past tense throughout the book, with the descriptors changed to match the new characters.)
I had plenty enough appreciation for the idea, given how much of my book weaves these perspectives on the events, but it's only now, thinking about it from my class, that I have the full degree of appreciation for it, since my book covered much the same: perspective is in the eye of the beholder, with each person picking up different things. (There's basically huge sections of our textbook on it, and the lecture was very memorable: our teacher used a clip from Everyone Loves Ray about the "can opener". We never see the third person unbiased view, but see both of the biased first person views, illustrating the concept I'm more or less aiming for in my book perfectly.)
Understandably, my urge to continue writing has been reinvigorated by this new high. Probably won't, at least not for a while, since I'm busy with other stuff, but I certainly have the desire to!