I began the initial outline of my current WIP in November of 2016 and started writing shortly after that. We are now entering November 2017, and I stand at 70,000 for the first draft. Based on the scenes left to complete, I have around 10,000 words left. Maybe. It’s hard to tell sometimes.
This is just for the first draft. I know there is a lot of work that needs to be done. Some of the first scenes I worked on will need to be completely overhauled for a more cohesive plot, but I am not discouraged. I have tried my best not to think about everything that needs to be re-done while there is still so much that needs to be done.
Every writer’s process is different. I think that is the hardest part about getting writing advice from others because everybody has their own way of doing it, and that is part of the journey–discovering your way or faking it until you make it (and even faking it once you make it).
In the Nanowrimo world that we live in, it appears you should have a first draft in 2-3 months. Which is mind-boggling! I know there is that fear of letting your story go stale. Trust me, I was fighting that fear through most of the spring, but I have discovered I am a slow first drafter. My work, lifestyle, and mental/creative abilities don’t allow for breakneck-paced writing. This could be seen as an excuse. “You should write everyday.” “Find the time.” I get it. If I was writing full-time, I could probably turn out a draft that quickly. If I wrote during the work week instead of going home to watch Real Housewives every evening, I’d probably be more productive. I’m trying not to focus on the ifs right now. I’m trying not to compare myself to other writers.
I moved into an apartment with my boyfriend around June (yeah! for taking the next step and boo! to rent). My WIP sat, abandoned, in farthest corner of my mind it had ever been. My WIP was malnourished. I thought I was losing it like so many story ideas before. But I learned to feed it. Slowly but consistently. I listened to the playlists that once inspired me. I reread scenes, so I could fall back in love. I wrote out notes to plot solutions that were plaguing me from the beginning. I researched topics that I found interesting. I wrote on work nights. (Gasp!) Maybe only 100-200 words at a time. I wrote writing prompts from the POV of my characters, so I could find their voices again. Like I said, everybody is different. I’m not sure how to tell if a story can be resuscitated after a break, but I did it because I have believed in this story from the beginning. More than any other story before it.
Coming back to a story after a break is much like coming back from a break in any relationship. You have to work at. It cannot be forced. Don’t force yourself to be happy with a story you don’t believe in anymore, but remember, if you still feel it, deep down, you can climb out of any hole, like Samara AKA that chick from the Ring movies.
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