It’s only a few days now until NaNoWriMo begins. I’m not starting a new novel. I’m hoping to get the one I’m working on to a nice round number before I start so it’s easier to keep track of how much I write. I’m sitting on 27000 words so if I get it to 30000 by Monday night, I might even have a chance to finish the story by the end of November (or mid-December). My final target is 85000 words.
I have no idea if I’m on target to reach that. I tend to write in layers. Firstly, I write the action with some description. Then I layer in more description and some emotion. After that, I check the characters’ goal, motivation and conflict, and add whatever action needs to be added and change the rest so it fits. Then comes more description and emotion. A check of goal, motivation and conflict follows, along with tying up any loose ends. That’s at least five passes on the book to get it to what I call first draft stage. The final draft could be shorter or longer.
If I’m writing a novella, usually that’s enough and it’s ready to submit. If it’s a novel, the plot is much more involved and it takes longer, and more passes, to make sure each plot arc is sufficient and complete.
I know other writers can write a complete novel in one pass and then just tighten and edit, but my brain doesn’t work that way. I can’t keep all the convolutions in my head at the same time; that’s why I layer things in. It’s time consuming and sometimes I miss basic things because I’m focused on something else at the time, but it seems to work well enough most of the time.
I’d better get back to it. I’ve left Fisher and Artemis wandering through a coastal jungle, under threat by pirates and norrgel (see Warrior Pledge). So far they’ve survived arrest, incarceration, attempted drowning, poisoning, kidnap, being drugged, and nearly drowning again. I need to work out what the next bad thing is that happens to them.
E E Montgomery
About writing, life, and random thoughts.
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