Woot! PAR’s 1st draft is done! Got to the end last night and it felt goooood.
I’m also finding it bit cool that what felt like a 120K story idea came in at 110K. Close! (We won’t mention the thousands that didn’t make the cut.) I’m guessing it’ll get bigger in the 2nd draft because – as always – there are a couple of spots that don’t have nearly enough setting. Still, the fact this is a good first draft and not a scratch draft or a draft zero has me a-smiling!
Weirdly, I enjoyed this one right to the end. Yes there were the odd tricky bits and holes to be stepped in, but I was even a little sad today as my brain had no excuse to be in that world. I suspect my protag will be glad it’s over though… my goodness did I do nasty things to the poor guy.
I’ve been off writing – still on the PAR – and it’s progressed well! I’m about to hit 90k of decent words (we won’t talk about what’s been thrown out) and I think I’m about 15K from the end. We’ll see.
What’s been amazing to me and the daemon about all this wordage is that I’ve averaged 7k a week since the start of December(!) and while that’s probably only 5k a week on working weeks, I’m pleased. I’m also still in love with the story which is remarkable. Possibly means I will come to hate it in the editing stage, but that’s fine. It’s nice to still be excited and looking forward to picking up the pen each day.
Weirdly I’m still long-handing most of it too. And is it wrong that I can completely see a movie version in my head? I don’t know.
Okay, with a work in progress nicknamed ‘the PAR’ it was inevitable I would make that joke some time… 🙂
But yes, it is running to form for a novel of mine right now. I’m so far into the story that I’m having trouble remembering what I did in earlier chapters! Which is usually the point at which I start to create a chapter map.
I’m not sure if it’s partly because I’m back to working in a straight word-processor for this, but in reality that can only be a contributing factor; all my novels have reached a stage where it’s too big to fit in my head. Of course, because of my pantser ways, I can never be entirely sure which version of a chapter/scene I ended up doing!
Side note on being a pantser: Apparently Lee Childs is one. This gives me a weird sense of… community. It’s a bit lonely out here on the pure-panter edge, as most of my writer peeps are either pure planners or planner-side-of-the-scale plantsers.
I think the writing daemon and I have got the flood-lights up around this black hole! It’s turned out nothing like I expected from my earlier ideas of how we’d get from this particular A to the upcoming point B, but that’s okay. At least we’re moving again.
Apparently the key to figuring all of this out was to add a plane crash. Who knew? I guess the daemon did seeing as he suggested in, but it was a revelation to me. Suddenly all the characters have reason to be running around doing things they weren’t doing before. Amazing.
I’m at 58K on the PAR. Happy dancing with the writing daemon has been occurring regularly since we hit 50.
Not that I know for sure, but I think that 60 will be the half way mark.
The only downside to all this volume of new words, is that my pen ran out on the train again. Thankfully I was close enough to my stop (and a newsagent) that there was no anguished cry to make my fellow passengers nervous. There are two spare pens in my bag now!
I am also about to start a new notebook, which just goes to show that this project wants to be hand written in the first instance. The original 30K I threw out was all hand written and about 80% of this draft has been. Which means the electronic draft is looking much more like a 1st draft than a draft zero and that’s nice too.
It’s been a slow writing year for me in 2016. Most of the past twelve months were spent editing Blurty and then the first of my novellas. So it was probably a lot more productive than I’m giving it credit for, but editing always feels a bit like running on the spot to me.
Then I felt the call of the PAR and decided to blank-page a new draft.
Obviously the good ol’ writing daemon thought this was super fun, because I’m now going to finish the year with about 40K new words! There has been happy-dancing.
What’s more… I’m happy with these new words. They feel solid and very second draftish.
So, a good finish to the year.
I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m working on some related novellas… well what I’m finding is that the inter-relatedness of them throws up some interesting mental issues. Beyond character development and foreshadowing future events, my brain has been trying to hold onto a whole lot of details from each that it’s convinced I need to have in my head to work productively.
I’m not convinced, but I know my brain well enough to trust it when it bugs me over something. I’ve put my writing demon onto taking down lists for future reference. He’s not convinced this is necessary either…
Overall though, the novellas progress apace!