You know, someday I’ll actually keep up with this blogging thing again.
Yes, I’m still getting that first draft done, BUT I have figured out what was stopping me, been working on that and it’s coming along. I have about 9 chapters left to go, give or take, and when that’s done I am rewarding myself with a subscription to Ancestry.com. An odd reward? Maybe, but I’ve inherited my parents’ desire to keep up on the genealogy, especially now that I have a son of my own. Perhaps my recent addiction to Who Do You Think You Are and Finding Your Roots also has something to do with it 🙂
Anyway, the end is approaching and I am getting excited!
I avoid thinking about all the editing and worldbuilding I have to do after this first draft is complete. Must focus on one huge step at a time, right?
My first draft is *this close* to being finished.
I have about 9 chapters left. I know, that’s still sounds like a lot–and it is in some ways–but that’s the closest I’ve been to finishing a draft in years.
My writing sprints during the Winter Writing Festival are solely the cause of this. It’s just so much easier to write when I’m “sprinting” with others. I know I can’t always rely on that, but if that is how I get this draft done, so be it!
I’m fighting the urge to go back and edit. So much has changed throughout the course of the draft it’s going to be difficult to make it consistent. I’ve been doing my best to keep notes on it but I’m sure there’s something I’ll miss. Let me tell you, as much as I look forward to editing this thing, I’m dreading it equally.
And the world building. Oy, the world building. I have so much to do on that front I’m already overwhelmed thinking about it 😛 The curse of creating your own world from scratch I suppose.
I have found that I am the most productive writing-wise during NaNo. Not sure why–probably because there’s an external goal I have to reach and a deadline, set by a source other than myself. I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo three times and each time I’ve reached my goal of 50K over the month.
And then November ends I have a difficult time keeping that same level of productivity–or any productivity.
Well, today, I read my good friend Jeannie Lin’s blog (like I do everyday :)) She posted about Fast Draft. Essentially, it’s completing a novel in half the time of NaNo. Each writer sets a goal for the amount of words per day they will write. Fast Draft recommends 5000, although I don’t think I’m quite capable of that many as my brain shuts down right around the 2500-3000 mark. So, I’m going to set the goal for myself to be in that range–preferably 3K each day.
I am going to start on Monday, April 12th, and go two weeks from there to Monday, April 26th. I am desperately hoping I’ll be close to the end of this draft.
During this time, I probably won’t post much except I will try to put a daily update so you know if you should get on my case or not 😛 I will try and keep up with everyone’s blogs, although my evenings are going to be taken up with writing (as that’s the best time for me).
If you are curious about Fast Draft, check out this simple article about it. And if you want to participate, great! The more the merrier!
Finally, my “new” Chapter 1 for Scarlet Daughter is done. It’s rough and needs a lot of editing, but it’s done. And close enough to being reviewed by critique group (though not in time for my spot next week…oops).
Perhaps I need to lament about being a poor writer more often. It seems I was able to write almost 3K more after that little woe-is-me diatribe.
I also think I need to spend time writing the “old fashioned” way. You know, with pen and paper. 😛 And I think it’s time for me to go through my old portfolio of stories and read them. Then it will show me how far I’ve come…and that I started writing at an early age (first novel was completed at age 11). Maybe it will help me rediscover my writerly side.
Anyway, just wanted to thank everyone for all the encouraging comments a few posts back. I think the support aspect of writing is what actually keeps me going much of the time.
You may have noticed my word count widget changed. It says “second draft” although technically it’s my second time through the story.
The story essentially went in a completely different direction than what I wrote during NaNo, complete with new supernatural creatures and a different setup. The first draft hardly had any cohesion as the story veered in all sorts of directions from chapter to chapter as I changed my mind. It was too convoluted for me to actually go back and edit since most of the stuff was irrelevant to the new direction. I didn’t scrap it entirely; there’s parts I’ll probably use in this new “first draft” “(for all purposes, my second draft), but I have to start nearly from the beginning, with a fresh look and scope for the book.
It slightly pains me to see that I have to do this, but sometimes that’s what happens. Stories evolve and take different roads from what you initially planned. It’s never easy but it’s necessary.
Such is life. 😛
I did it. I typed as fast as my fingers could carry me and put in more words today than I have all November. And I passed the 50K mark 🙂 Now to finish the rest of the first draft by January 1st! Can I do it??
Every first draft has common errors, like telling instead of showing, too many adverbs and adjectives, pacing issues, etc.
While we as writers know we must avoid these, I find that during NaNo, they are my constant companions 😛 Much of what I’ve written falls under the massive error of telling instead of showing–and I know it even as I’m writing it–but in order for me to get the story out, I don’t bother myself with sitting there and trying to word it correctly.
A mark of an amateur?Maybe, maybe not. At this point I don’t really care. I know I’m going to have to edit it, and I recognize where there are places of clarification/research/overall crafting that needs done. But I’ve shut the inner editor off, for the time being, and told myself NOT to concern myself with such issues. Sure, it’s taken until week three of NaNo to have finally silenced temporarily the inner editor, but it normally takes this long for me 😛
I’m hoping come December my inner editor doesn’t decide to pout and stay silent…
When you’re writing your first draft, are there any writing rules that you ignore–at least temporarily?
Well, the first chapter of my rough draft anyway 🙂 I’ve submitted it for critique with my online critique group as well as my local group. I’ve already gotten two back and made some changes–mainly with the passive voice issue. For some reason, I tend to slip into writing with passive voice, which is a big no-no. It’s definitely my weakness and I’m need to be vigilant in watching how I write. It’s what I call the lazy writer’s way out 😛
Now I need to go and develop my character bios more and figure out the rest of the storyline. I have a general summary done; I just need to fine tune some of it. I think I know how my next chapter’s going to start too.
And I’m going to need to do a lot more research…especially on the lives of an average person in a Japanese village in the 1400s. Not exactly easy info to find 😛
Ok, so that “quick edit” that I mentioned in the last entry took longer than I thought 😛
I should’ve finished it shortly after that entry and then I realized I had another obligation that was on a deadline. So that took precedence until yesterday afternoon and then family came over in the evening, so I really didn’t get to “edit” it until about 11 p.m. last night.
And then I re-read it over and felt uneasy about a huge section of it. It didn’t seem to fit the culture; it actually seemed a little exaggerated. I brought it up to my hubby and he agreed with me. So then I was up until nearly 1 in the morning trying to fix it. I didn’t get it fixed well enough until this morning (while I had slow time). Even now, it could stand to use more editing but I think that will have to wait until I’m going through the novel.
It’s funny how easily I can get sidetracked. Such is the story of my life 😛
I just wrote over 2000 words for my first draft.
Not the best 2000 words by far, but it’s something nonetheless.
A new chapter too (although it’s a chapter that’s earlier in the book, one that’s being added). Now, to do a quick edit tomorrow before submitting it for critique next week.