Thursday, December 08, 2011

In Process (first drafts): November 2011

“Fairfax”. Started month with about about 36,000 words, in the midst of Chapter 14. Ended with about 43,000 and having started Chapter 17.

Have I mentioned my process? When I start a novel, I always feel like everything is going to be great this time. I have a brilliant idea, and I just can’t wait to start RIGHT NOW!!!!!!! I write about 15,000 words, and then I realize that I don’t know what happens next. I have a general idea of how things need to end (giant robots!) but I don’t know how I’m going to get from here (burned house in the woods and water wheel and witch hunter) to making the giant robots and having the battle. So I write an outline of the next 75 things that are going to happen between here and the ending (that’s one thing for every thousand words I have left to write).

I do not write the outline from now to the end, I start with the end, and then fill in backwards, and then frontwards, and then I fill in the middle. And then I largely ignore the outline and write another 20,000 words. Then I get stuck again and I go and look at the outline, and try to cross things off that I’ve covered.

This is not pretty. I have covered more than 30 of these things. I do not know who the bad guy is, or some other essential piece of information. I write another outline, this time with 55 things in it, trying to get back on track to the same ending. I write some more.

That’s where I am now.

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