Well. It’s finally started.
Every large piece of writing I’ve ever finished has been terrible. I mean both in terms of quality and writing experience. I love writing but have somehow turned long fiction into a massive drama and go through week after week of agonising struggle to get through it.
Actually I seem to have made my entire life more of a struggle than it needs to be. But I’ve recently discovered the power of planning, realised that it doesn’t have to be confined to academic essays. Who knew that when you aimed at something and make a map of how to get there it was easier?!
Seriously though, it’s been a bit revolutionary. I’ve stopped drifting along wondering what to do next and made a plan for something. It almost doesn’t matter if it’s not quite right because you learn more about what might be right for you that way than by sitting at home letting the sofa suck your soul away. Anyway. That’s a roundabout way of saying I decided to actually plan my novel.
That took a good 2 weeks, although it isn’t really finished yet. I had intended to work harder and have it done in a week, but when you get to certain stages your brain needs to let things simmer and settle a bit, so I allowed myself a break. And I wanted to go to the beach… How long this stage takes depends very much on how much research you do, but once you get to the point of sorting and shaping the information, it’s a day or two of intense work.
Then, according to the Nail Your Novel method I’m using, you flesh out your outline then leave it again to settle. What I did was flesh out the first section then get inspired to write it! It does mean I need to go back and do another couple of days’ work on the outline before continuing, but having spent so long avoiding writing it seemed silly not to make the most of inspiration and get it started.
And I loved it! I’m still not fully in the swing of it, but it’s started and I know where it’s going, which is unusual. I now have around 3 days to get the outline completed and write some more before I take off for another week of travel. I wanted to be writing 1,000 words every day by now, so let’s see if we can reach 5,000 by the time I go.
We’ve decided to do a not-very-official 3 Month Challenge in the Writers’ Playground. I’m aiming to finish the first draft by then. Want to join?