I’ve had one major writing goal since the beginning of the year: Complete a full rewrite of my YA contemporary novel (SHARING HUNTER).
This would actually be my third draft of the novel, and I have changed POVs, tenses, and subplots as I went. I have gotten feedback from beta readers, deep edited, made a timeline, and replotted. I swore last week that I would kick into gear with Fast Draft, a writing process promoted by author Candace Havens, and complete this novel. I had great intentions and high expectations!
On Monday, I spent hours writing and ended up with about 100 new words.
Feeling completely and utterly defeated as well as frustrated by my inability to get on the page what I know is a wonderful story that I can tell, I shut down that file on my computer and booted up a plot bunny that had held my attention a few months ago.
To my surprise, I had already written several chapters. I reread them straight through and thought, “Hey, this isn’t bad. I like this.” I found myself engaged by the characters, enjoying the protagonist’s voice, and excited about where this could go. I breathed deep and shut off any thoughts of returning to the YA contemporary for the moment. Then I started typing.
Still feeling a desire to Fast Draft–so that I could have an actual completed novel sometime this year and to test the process for myself–I made myself write for hours. I churned out 4856 words on the first day.
The second, I logged 5051 words. The third, I got down 4231 words. By day three, I was in a groove. A Big Time Groove.
Because I was writing so fast, I didn’t open up my manuscript and have to re-read a chapter or two to get my bearings before starting. A line or two would do it. In fact, I applied a tip from James Scott Bell’s The Art of War for Writers. He advises that you start the next chapter and write a few lines there. Indeed, that practice helped me to keep the flow going when I could see where I was intending to go when I had stopped the day before.
On that third day, I also read Kristen Lamb’s fabulous post on her experience with Fast Drafting. While I don’t personally have big battles with my “Internal Editor,” I agree with Kristen that something seems to take over when you’re enveloped by your story. Call it Subconscious Mind or Happy Muse or Fairy Dust or Flow. Whatever it is, I feel like
Stella this writer has got her groove back.
I’m sad that Sharing Hunter is sitting on a shelf for a while longer. I still want to write that story. I still think it wants to be written. But for the time being, I had lost the flow on that project and needed to move on.
After all, my single word inspiration for 2013 was to be the word FORWARD. “No looking back. No standing still. Keep moving forward.”
That’s exactly what I plan to do.
Complete full rewrite of SHARING HUNTER. DOA.
- Fast Draft new project – YA mystery with no real title, but I’m called it PK Mystery #1. 19,584 words written this week. BAM!
- Edit first short story. Deep-edited the story before. According to my plan, I let it sit last week and will polish it up this week.
- Write second short story. First draft finished. I’ll edit this one in the next round.
- Write blog posts for Sundays (including ROW80 updates) and Wednesdays. Posted What an Edited Page Looks Like on Sunday and Where to Check Your Words on Wednesday.
- Complete weekly lessons for Writing Body Language course. Completed Lesson 5, but nothing more happened this week because Margie Lawson is a grandmother! Big congratulations to her and her daughter Tiffany Lawson Inman. I hope they can take some time to study their precious baby’s body language.
- Read and work through The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell. Done.
- Read at least ten fiction books. Read 10 books and now just adding to the list. #12: Shrilugh by Myndi Shafer (YA contemporary/fantasy?) and #13: The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After by Elizabeth Kantor – started
- Exercise twice a week. Yoga on Wednesday. And for some reason, I’ve been incredibly sore all week long.
- Take a true Sabbath–no working and time with God and family one day a week. Done.
How have your goals changed since the beginning of the year? Have you failed in one area but succeeded in another? Have you ever tried Fast Draft? And do you know what a “PK” is?