NEW STORY, ROUGH DRAFT
For the last few months I’ve been writing the rough draft of a novel I’m calling All Got to Climb Some Mountain, about a preacher in the deep South at the turn of the 20th century. I’ve never written a novel before, and the longest thing I’ve written before this is a story I started in 7th grade about a character I made up that lived in the Star Wars universe. It ended up being around 40 pages, but I never finished the story. That’s pretty typical of most of the projects I’ve started and I’m ready to crush that bad habit once again with this rough draft.
Today’s word count brings me to 106, 868, which is pretty close to what I’ve planned for. If I’m able to meet my daily writing goals for the next two weeks, I’ll have a completed, 120,000 word rough draft of a novel, ready to be torn apart in editing. It can be rough writing sometimes, when I know the writing itself isn’t so great, and that things are dragging a little in the story, and that there’s a lot I’ll have to cut out or perform a series of surgeries on. The last few weeks of writing were filled with days like this, until I sat down and took a good, honest look at my story outline and noticed where my characters and plot were supposed to be, as opposed to where they were. While I liked the tangents I had taken, it was obvious that what I needed most was to stick to my plan.
So, I revised my outline. Tightened it up. Clarified scenes. It also helped that my wife got me to read Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, and I was able to read something written in a very straightforward way that helped me see again the lines connecting my characters and story to each other. I’ve learned that taking some sort of break for one or two minutes after each page of writing helps my focus and attention stay sharp and ready, and I’m able to keep the energy I need for each page.
It’s exciting to write. It’s fun again. I feel like I’m getting the hang of the way I write. I feel like I’m finally starting to understand what it really means to write and ways that it can actually work, and ways that I can notice what I’m doing wrong and what I’m doing right, and how I can improve. Of course, I’m writing all of this before I’ve even finished the rough draft.
I guess I just wanted to let you know. I’ve been working on something new. Something different. and the rough draft is 90 % finished.