Nov 26, 2012

one step forward. two steps back.

The title of this post is what it has felt like trying to get out the rough draft of my current WIP.

I am a word-count ho. This means that I measure a lot of my writing productivity on how many words I type out in a day, a week, a month, etc. Sometimes this is a good thing, because it forces me to write when I would rather slouch across the couch and watch TV. Other times it is bad.

How can writing lots of words be bad? You might ask. Isn't that your job?

Good point. And yes it is. But my job as an author isn't just writing out a bunch of words. It's writing out a bunch of good words that tie together into a cohesive and hopefully emotionally significant story.

Whenever I get too focused on words, I sometimes forget to stop and make sure they're good. I don't take the time I really need to go back and read what I wrote and reflect on where the story needs to go.

When I started out on Book 2 (ALL THAT GLOWS's sequel), I was determined to write straight through. I wouldn't take time to revise or rewrite. I would get the bulk of the writing out of the way and revise later.

This did not happen.

Around page 75 or so I realized that in order for me to figure out the end of the story, I needed to fix up the beginning (ie revise and figure out what the heck is going on). I tried to follow an outline. I really did. But I will always be a pantser (organic plot finder) when it comes down to it.

As of now, I have about 120 pages in my sequel word document. And 40 pages of scenes I've deleted. It's taken me about two months to work up to this point. I got really upset when I compared my speeds to writing the rough draft of ALL THAT GLOWS (which only took me about four months, and I was working full time). But then husband reminded me that I didn't go back and revise. So I'm guessing this only means good things. It's showing my growth as a writer, that I'm going back and finding my story at the very roots and growing it from there. Something I didn't do the first time around with ALL THAT GLOWS. Hopefully this will cut back the amount of revision I have to do post fact.


But right now I can't worry about that. I can only focus on making my words count. Each and every one of them.

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