Monday, November 18, 2013

NaNoWriMo day 18

Wind/Water/Salt looks on schedule -- barely -- to be finished typing on the end of the month, though that may fall apart because of SFContario on the last two days. I have 20 chapters to go, and 13 days, and 265 pages.

Regardless of whether it gets done, this has been a really worthwhile exercise, because I've learned something about my first drafts.

To understand the problem, you need to know how I produce most of my drafts. Every morning after I put on some clothes and brush my teeth, before I go to work I write a page. This is about 250-300 words, and each day continues from the day before. The problem is, sometimes page after page I kind of cover the same material. Over and over, I rehash the same thing rather than moving forward. And then, I wind up with a draft that's probably going to be 140,000 words, so I'll want to cut about a third of that.

So in future, starting now, I need to actually remember to move the story forward. I know where it's going, really I do. I start without an outline, sure, but I do have an ending in mind. And each scene or chapter does have a point to it, they aren't marking time. So neither should the words I'm putting down. Maybe the night before I should read what I wrote the previous morning, and that way I can put the next words in my head, rather than having to come up with something starting from nowhere.

I mean, it's a draft it can suck, true. But that doesn't mean it should suck more than necessary.

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