So I know I’ve been talking a lot about writing on this blog recently, but honestly I have no regrets. To have the thing that I had been so fearful of be something I now find myself being dedicated to is incredible.
The most important thing that got me back into writing was the idea of writing a first draft in three months, not looking at it for at least a month, and being able to revise and rewrite later.
The first idea came from Stephen King “The first draft of a book — even a long one — should take no more than three months, the length of a season,” I thought about all the authors I knew that had books that took years for them to write and then others that also wrote fast first drafts. It forced me to choose what kind of writer I wanted to be. So I choose the three month draft.
I figured that there is no reason for me to spend months and months at a time just thinking and dreaming about the ideas for stories I wanted to write. In fact that did a whole lot of nothing for me. (Except that I know have a huge list of ideas that has over twenty ideas in great detail. While more come all the time).
I wanted to be the kind of writer that writes everyday without fail. The kind that puts out book after book and they are all unique yet give meaning of their own. So making that deadline and telling myself with no BS that I’m going to write a first draft in 3 months was huge. I wasn’t sure I believed I could commit to it until last night. Last night I reached 19,000 words. More then I had ever written for any novel before (and with so much story left to tell). I wasn’t sure if I would ever get past 10,000 words for any novel. Plus it was at 19,000 words that I finally felt like I had the true beginnings of a novel shaped thing and a real and mostly solid story to tell.
The point of not looking at a draft for at least a month came from another author I had been watching on YouTube Kim Chance. She would talk about just getting words out and leaving them alone for a while till you could come back to them with a fresh set of eyes.
In truth, I took these pieces of advice and transformed them into the best ways I felt I could use them, by giving myself a chance to stagger the books I wanted to write and making it so that I’m never not drafting or editing (which so far is going great for me!). Combining these things there is no reason for me not to have a first draft available every three months. Plus my first draft gets written while only writing 30 min. To an hour everyday and it makes it so I can manage other projects simultaneously. Both pieces of advice have become one to create my new way of writing.
The last piece of advice came from many authors all over the place. The idea that the first draft is just the bones of the story. It doesn’t have to be perfect because your figuring things out. This was a huge change in perspective because I was always editing and reworking as I went and I wanted everything perfect immediately, but honestly I never got anywhere that way. Learning that it’s ok to write badly so that you can make it stronger later gave me a sense of happiness and writing my first draft of my first novel now has become a much easier and better process for it.
Because of all this my fantasy novel that once read like a contemporary has found its world. I finally figured out what tense I wanted to write in after switching between first person past and present like someone flicking lights rapidly and not stopping. I added a second p.o.v. that I absolutely adore! I figured out for sure how magic works in my story. Plus a much better sense of what direction I want the story to go. Of course it needs work and even by the end I will have something even more different from what I have now, but I am happy because I have a process. Plus enough story to tell to truly make a novel.
Thanks for reading! What is your writing process like? I’m curious to see what all the other writers out there have to say about their own writing Journey’s.
–Till next time!