My first draft writing muscles have apparently atrophied during the Year of the Revision. Instead of first draft fun, I’m getting first draft slog. Where’s the wild wonder of unfettered storytelling? After forcing the daily 500 words on to the page, I’m relieved to be done–and more than happy to enjoy Avatar: The Last Airbender guilt-free.
I have so much anxiety about this book. It’s all tying me up in knots. I’ve planned and outlined and mindmapped and brainstormed, but too much is hidden from me still. I’m afraid to write badly, afraid to write anything less than exquisite prose, delightful description, or brilliant characterization After having gone through the work of salvaging a wrecked first draft, I’m afraid of having another mess on my hands. Hence, the slow, over-cautious, pessimistic and perfectionist attitude I’m suffering from.
I’m hoping the daily 500 habit will break that. If not, I may have to up my target to a 1,000 words. Take that, Inner Editor! Let’s see you maintain that stranglehold on my creativity with those kinds of writing speeds. Right Brain, take back the story, or no more Avatar for you.
How’re your writing projects coming along?
Jo Anderton says
It’s hard, I know, but if you can let go of all that pressure you’re putting on yourself to be perfect, then the words will flow and the story will be great! 🙂
Easier said than done. 😀
Trying, though! I just need to switch off my revising brain. Where’s that darn button?
A novel is like a pearl. It starts off as an irritant, a tiny piece of grit. Over time, layer upon layer upon layer is added to the grit and eventually a pearl begins to form and then grow. Each one different. Each one fashioned over time.
Of course, what I want to do is open a secret chest in my mind and fish out a handful of pearls all ready made; no effort, no sweat 😀
Hang on in there Rabia. 500 words a day sounds do-able. I’ll join you in that goal because I need to get back to writing too.
I’d love to have a writing buddy in the 500 or bust! daily challenge. 😀
I like your pearl analogy. I need to remind myself that a story is created a layer at a time. Complexity and depth don’t have to be there from the get-go. I can go over the story, adding, sharpening, deepening, decluttering… later.
Yes, I needed to hear that. Thanks, Prue. 🙂
I’ll join you in that 500 or bust. I’m about to start my first hour at the computer – 10:30am GMT.
Admittedly I’m picking up the write-in for Mystery in Morocco, so only some of the words will be squeeky-clean new. Well, a lot of them will be, as there are a lot of new scenes to write. I feel good about getting going on this project again.
The pressure is off because I will take it through HTRYN again. There are so many new scenes and the original stuff may not fit perfectly…and who knows? There may be some even better ideas waiting to be discovered in those new scenes 🙂
P.S. I’m setting up a ‘Word Bank’.
I don’t have much time on Tuesdays and Fridays, so if I do extra words on other days, I’ll ‘bank’ them for use on Tuesdays and Fridays, if that’s ok. 😀
Good for you! And, yes, I know Holly does only one pass, but you have to give yourself permission to do things your way, too. 🙂 Anything to get you jumpstarted.
I got 600+ last night. Going to see if I can hit my word goal this afternoon.
One of the things that helped me turn off my editor’s hat (no small thing for a girl that edits as she goes naturally) was to sketch in the things I wanted to write and only flow back into standard drafting when it was flowing like reading.
So I’d write in
• an opening paragraph
• then all the dialogue without anything else (not even tags) except maybe a gesture or two that was necessary to the dialogue (like when someone nods or looks away instead of answering)
• and put in ellipses wherever I knew there was something to be filled in later.
After writing like this whenever it was tough going, I found not only could I get the bare bones of something down, but eventually my brain got sick of it, and started writing in flow an entire scene and how it should be and I didn’t even think of editing unless it was to go back and fill in those ellipses.
Don’t know if the method will help you, but it’s done wonders for me.
*nod* Sometimes I sketch in some quick skeletal scenes just to give me the forward momentum. That way I get to the stuff I want to write faster, and I can go back and make the other scenes sparklier later.
As for projects:
• In This Wood is about half-way done.
• I wrote a short story, “Paraphernalia,” in a period of six days and three sessions (about 3ish hours) to the tune of 3400 words. 😀
• Otherwise inconsistent mild progress on various fronts.
Those projects aren’t coming. Mostly. Of late, though, I have had some late night (early morning?) musings about TTD of all things. :-/
Yeah, those early mornings are great for musings that you can’t act upon promptly or easily. 😛
I liked TTD! If your RB doesn’t want to give up on it, that’s fine. It’s a good story.
600! Good work 🙂