That’s right, I’m back! Today marked my first day writing in almost six months. The last time I wrote any significant amount was in January when I tacked on a lame ending to my last NaNoWriMo project. I thought it sucked, but it kind of wrapped up the story and I was getting tired of writing. I needed a break.
So the most I have been doing for the last several months was editing. I was tearing into the first draft of that project and I ended up editing the first seven chapters. By the time I got that far, though, I was feeling like the whole thing was going to need to be rewritten, and I just didn’t feel like working on it anymore. So I decided to stop editing too.
Of course, that meant I needed a new project. If I didn’t, I would feel like a waste of space at our weekly writer’s group. It was getting to be pretty pathetic telling my friends that I still didn’t have anything new to bring to the group. So I decided to buckle down and start working on something new. But I was also getting sick of getting a half-baked idea and running with it. It just wasn’t working out for me. So I had to do something about that as well.
Enter the outline! I decided that I was going to take the month of June to outline my next book. I still was going into it with a half-baked idea, but I thought that if I tried to use some of the outlining tips from the writing books on my shelf I might just be able to turn that glimmer of an inkling of a possibility of a story into a real, honest to goodness, viable plot. And lo and behold… it worked!
It didn’t quite turn out the way I planned. I had thought that I would follow the step by step plan for outlining that was laid out in one of my books, but by the end of the first week I found out that the author’s plan just wasn’t going to work for me. I needed to come up with something different. I’m not sure if my process is going to work for me in the future, but it seemed to pan out for me for this book, so I’ll probably try it again. I have been blogging about my efforts over the last month, so feel free to read back a few posts if you are interested in what it was that I did.
The end result, of course, is that I have a several short character sketches and a basic outline that will take me from the beginning of my book all the way through to the end. It just covers the main plot, and only gives me a general idea of what each scene will be, but I think that should be enough. The sparse nature of the outline will let me expand on anything that comes to me as I write, while still giving me a defined course along the way. The limited character sketches will also let me get to know the main characters (all four of them) as I go, and somewhere in there I’ll figure out how they can grow and learn by the end of the book.
I started writing today, July 1, and I wrote 733 words on my first day. I am participating in ROW80 again, and I am going to try to have the book finished by the end of the round. I’m not setting a daily goal for myself, just that I want to finish my first draft by the end of September. I’m looking forward to writing this book, and if I like how it turns out I may actually send it off to an editor when I’m done.
So I guess the moral for this post, kiddies, is that it’s okay to take a break once in a while. Just as long as you make sure to start writing again when the break is over!
Thanks for sticking with me, and I’ll see you later!