Monday, January 17, 2011

The Puzzle is Coming Together, a writing post

I’m still chugging along on my current writing project. As of this writing, I’m at 41,408 words, all hand written. I’m setting monthly goals, and so far have been able to make them. For the current writing project, it amounts to writing at least 400 words per day. Some days I make it, some days I don’t. Friday, I didn’t write anything, but have gone over my daily goal most other days this month.

Why am I writing it all out longhand? I don’t know if there’s one really good reason. It started that way, as most of my writing projects tend to. There was something that seemed to work about writing it all on blue paper, folded into quarters and carried around in a pocket or book bag. It made me really think about the story. And I didn’t have to rely on being able to get to the computer, which I don’t always have access to since we have one for the household.

I’m nearing the end of the story, and as things come together, I’m seeing that the picture I originally thought was there is very different from the picture I see now. I have lots of sections written in red pen that completely change some of the story that has come before it and will call for major rewrites later. This is where I’m kind of kicking myself in the butt, because if I had been typing this from the get go, I could easily put those notes in the proper places or even do a little revising now to make the process easier later. As it stands, I have a lot of rewriting and expansion to do during round two. But even that isn’t bothering me too much.

The original word count goal for the first draft was 80,000 words. But I’m thinking that it will really be more like 50,000 with a lot added in later. I know in On Writing Stephen King said that the second draft = first draft - 10%, but that never seems to be the way it works out for me. Usually the first draft is quick and dirty, I’m getting the story down so I don’t forget it and adding the details later.

After this first draft is done, I think I’ll be revisiting my NaNovel from 2009 and writing some short stories. It’s time to get serious about the writing life if I want to see my name in print (outside of when I was on someone’s payroll doing magazine work that is). I think I’m headed in the right direction, but only time will tell.

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