One-Third of the Way

Remember this post? Where I talked about whether or not I wanted to follow along with this little scrap of a story? I’ve now written over 50,000 words…which is approximately 1/3 of the first draft I’ve goaled for myself (about 150,000 words).

This is my first time working on something essentially from scratch since I graduated from school (with all of my accumulated knowledge). Usually, I’ve been working on my older projects, trying to work with a more immature voice and bring it on board with where I am. And this way has been sooo much more freeing.

There’s a few things I’ve learned in the last year that have really helped my writing process and made a huge difference for my productivity.

1) Before you stop writing for the day, make a note of what you want to write next/what comes next to the plot. To someone who makes a very loose plan for my work, this has proved invaluable. That way, even if I feel super unmotivated on a particular day, I at least know what I have to do next so at the very least, I can write one scene for the day. Which often turns into two or three or more…

2) Learning to silence your inner critic. Okay, I know everyone talks about this. But it’s really so important. I used to wonder if the way I was structuring my story was weird. Or if it was weird that I write really short sections. Or if it’s weird how I put my paragraphs together. Whenever my inner critic comes up, I fight it back with these words:

It’s my style.

Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. That’s what revision is for. What matters is getting the story down. Fill in the lines and shadows later.

3) At this point, I have a pretty good idea of how I work. Which goes along with #2. I’m okay with it now. I know that I go in a little slow, lay down all my groundwork, the secrets, and the lies, so that in act 2, everything can start to explode, like a field of mines. Act 3 is for damage control. Boom. My personal writing strategy/style

So that’s where I am. Lighting the fuse and stepping back to watch the fireworks.