Saturday, July 03, 2010

on beginnings, and my own personal NaNoWriMo

So I'm back to work on my YA (young adult) novel--a project I started briefly in April on a whim, and then set it aside, as most of my time and energy was going into finishing The Rising.  I wanted to flesh the idea out enough that I wouldn't forget it, but put it aside to resume work on TR.

Things are going well.  I already had about 2.5k words done, and now I'm working on pushing that up, slow and steady.  At my high points while working on TR, I was writing 4-5k words/day.  I would love to get back into a groove like that with this YA project (as yet untitled), but I've forgotten one thing . . .


For the most part, I'm a discovery writer.  That means that, although I'll do some world-building and some very vague and sparse outlining, I really just start with an idea and run with it.  I generally have an idea of where I want things to end up, but more often than not that idea gets blown out of the water by other, bigger, better ideas as I'm writing.  Its a very organic process, and I love it.  But it also makes beginnings very difficult.  I can write a first chapter, no problem, but then I am strongly tempted to go back and revise that chapter, change it, make it better, or whatever.  Sometimes I even completely re-write the first chapter(s).  And then go back again and revise, change it, make it better, whatever.  And then rewrite them again . . .

It can be a very tedious and, more importantly, a futile process.  It doesn't get me anywhere.

So my biggest challenge in starting a new project is to just keep going.  I can't allow myself to go back and worry about whatever crap (and, for the most part, it is usually crap) that I write in the beginning.  I just have to persist and push myself forward until I start getting to the really good stuff (or, at least, the better-than-crap stuff).

Then, when I finish the whole project, I go back and start revisions.  (Anything [almost] can be fixed in post.)

Of course, I could dedicate an entire blog-post to my writing process and quirks--and perhaps I will--but right now I won't.  I just want to let everyone know that I am working on a new novel, and so far its going well.  I'm really excited about the crisis I have to start the thing out, and then, well . . . we'll see where it goes from there.

Also, in order to motivate me to press forward in the process and not worry too much about what I've already done (and, probably, screwed up), I'm declaring the month of July my own personal NaNoWriMo.  NaNoWriMo = National Novel Writing Month.  Its a challenge and/or contest held in November, where writers all over the US attempt to write (the first draft of) an entire novel in one month (here's the official website).  50,000 words is the general word count consensus, which aligns quite nicely with the word count goal I have for my YA project.

So . . . I'm taking the challenge!  50,000 words in a month!

Think I can do it?  Thats quite a few words to write in one month, if you aren't aware.  About 1.6k words/day (although I'm planning on writing only 5-6 days a week, so it closer to 2k/day for me).  Nothing I can't do, as I've demonstrated with TR, but I just have to get into the groove.

So here goes NaNoWriMo, July edition.  Wish me luck.

No comments:

Post a Comment