Progress

15219 / 50000 words. 30% done!

For all you NaNoWriMo fanatics, here’s code for this bar, which I found thanks to a fellow writer who has a lovely blog at http://storiesworthsharing.net/november-7-at-the-27-mark-yay/

I’m doing pretty well with this challenge. There has been some discussion on the internet about the purpose of writing so much so fast. Here’s what I had to say on the topic today, in a discussion about how to avoid getting hung up in edits:

If I stop and start editing, I lose the continuity of the story. That’s one of the great reasons to write a first draft fast. You can keep it all in your head, and you’re in a different mental space (your right brain) than when you edit. Tell yourself to stay with the thread. My mantra is “don’t look back, keep weaving the thread.” So what if my piano player used to do a solo jazz gig on Thursday and now he has a whole band playing with him, I can fix that later. So what if I forgot to have my main character say golly and gee whiz for half of what I’ve written, I’m going forward. SO what if I hate my sentence structure? That can get fixed once the whole story is in place. Scrivener is great that way; it makes it easy to add notes on the side to fix things, but other programs do, too.

If I spend a bunch of time fixing details in a chapter, then decide to chuck that chapter because it doesn’t fit the overall arc of the novel, I’ve just wasted a lot of time and energy.

Anyway, every time I feel the urge to go back and edit, I remember my mantra and move forward. Also, I have plot points already in my head which I’m nudging the story towards. I’ve never done that before, but, so far, it seems really helpful.

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  1. #1 by Liz Main on November 9, 2013 - 8:51 am

    I’m impressed, but not surprised. You strike me as someone who does what you set out to do. Keep up the good work.

    • #2 by annstanleywriting on November 9, 2013 - 9:09 am

      I tend to initiate, by which I mean the first draft is easy, the second not too bad, then by the final stages I get bored or frustrated and never finish. I suspect you’re different, Liz, with four published books to your credit.

      • #3 by Liz Main on November 9, 2013 - 9:18 am

        You’re right. I find writing the first draft torture and the second draft only marginally better, but I love the editing process once I get to the final stages some umpteen drafts later. Clearly, a hybrid personality would be useful for each of us.

      • #4 by annstanleywriting on November 9, 2013 - 9:42 am

        I like that idea!

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