Writing fiction novels for a living out of thin air is ridiculous, much like galloping through a field atop what’s essentially an over-sized dog with no natural desire to take you anywhere just because you said you’d like to go and go now. It’s absurd I tell you! Crazy, even! Like, how flight travel is even a thing, crazy. Like, the length of time it took to get the world to precisely where it is today, crazy. Like, how do our bodies being mostly water even make any sense, crazy! And yet, galloping horses through fields I do; quit my job to write fiction novels for the rest of my days, I feel compelled. So, how do I feel about having fallen off of my metaphorical Noveldom steed in 2018? Egotistically bruised, but otherwise feeling quite chipper!
What I didn’t realize, was that I was playing with a serious lover. Every twist and turn of my mind moved like a chainsaw through a box of chocolates, unintentionally ripping through my creation as if it were nothing. It took me 157 days to see it, but now I understand: this is no mere fling I’m playing with…
What. The. SHIT!? My friend showed up at our place on June 12th for an extended visit (a visit I was privy to and thought I’d be able to work through) and ever since then I’ve struggled to write consistently for Snowe Storms, this blog, my social media accounts…et al. It’s day 65 and I’m still only six chapters into my second draft. With a 90-day schedule looming over me, I’m beginning to wonder: have I bit off more than I can chew?
So there I was, staring down an empty document, wondering how my mind would take off into the distance when, suddenly, it dawned on me. YEESSSSS, I murmured into the darkness of 6AM as my fingertips danced across my backlit keyboard, fashioning words into sentences as fast as my mind could deliver. Come to me, precious! Tell me all your tales!
I have an unusual habit of telling my WIP, my main characters, EVEN MYSELF, exactly how my novel should play out, regardless of if anything feels off, sounds weird, doesn’t jive, or otherwise sucks all the mayonnaise. And this habit of mine, well, it’s made it so I just finished a first draft for my second novel…but it’s an absolute nightmare of a first draft that ought’ve been stopped for the sake of my own sanity instead of followed through like a deranged raccoon seeking out all the trash treats.
Dames and dudes, I’m gonna be real up front about this: I’ve got an addiction to perfectionism. And as I made my way past chapter twenty today, I realized it was either going to slow down my progress on finishing this first draft (REFUSE!) or I was going to have to find a way to tame that strange until it could serve a legitimate purpose in the future.
Month one of writing my second novel, Snowe Storms, went much the way a menstrual cycle typically does, and by that I mean, it did not go according to plan. In fact, the more I think about it, so much of May was relatable to a whack-ass period, it was eerie. Gory to look at? Check. Late on deadlines? Check. Uncomfortable and, at times, painful? Check, check.
One of these days, I’ll take heed of my husband’s sage advice when he warns me against biting off more than I can chew, but until then, BRING ON THE PEANUTS, I CAN FIT THEM ALL, I SWEARS IT!
It’s official! I’m in the thick of the Writer’s Trench, throwing down my first draft! A few days ago, I realized I needed to get out of my own head and just do the damn thing. But, if you recall, I still couldn’t get the juices flowing. So on DAY 23, I randomly decided to move my office space around and BAM…flood gates opened.
I’ve been pretty up front about it: I’ve been in a writing funk for the better part of three weeks now. Outline done, rough draft under way, I suddenly found myself stuck after chapter ten. Chapter ten! My novel is resting at thirty chapters in my outline, so getting thrown off my tracks in chapter ten was not a good sign. And while I had lightly worked my way through my slump over the last week or so, I still wasn’t running at full capacity.
What does it look like when you miss a day of marathon writing your rough draft and need (read: want) to play catch up? Like a strung out, wannabe lucha libre wrestler hell-bent on proving a point, but also determined to take a break for tacos sometime between rounds three and four.
This morning, I was sitting on down to two chapters of Snowe Storms, each one having taken me a day to put together and each one no more than a thousand words of trash. But, as I rounded out my evening of writing about my reindeer-hilted knife-wielding heroine, I looked up to see that I was storming into chapter five! CHAPTER FIVE!!!
This happens every time I begin to write one of my fiction concepts: a pestering voice, ever so quiet at first, grows stronger and harsher as I let my fictional characters run rampant in my first draft. “You’re crazy,” it sneers. “In fact, you may even need clinical attention; these ideas, these characters, are that bizarre.” “SHUT UP, YOU,” I scream aloud into my still sleepy, lonely office. “I’m not crazy, you are!” Ahhh. The all too classic feelings of idiocy that fiction writing often lugs to the table.
I don’t like to dawdle, so when I decided to write my first novel I gave myself three months to do it. Rather, I gave myself one month to write it, one month to edit it, and one month to read, re-read, edit and re-edit it a final time. Ready to become a novelist in the next three months?!
I had my outline ready to go and a full day of character and concept development behind me, so I assumed I’d feel revved up this morning with my fiction mojo pumping. I assumed I’d bust out a sloppy five chapters and get this story underway… Three guesses as to what didn’t happen today…
If you’re staring down the barrel of writing your first novel, then there’s a good chance you’re convinced it’s impossible for you to make your way to the Peaks of Draft within two months. + while I can’t prove you wrong (only you can do that), I can give you a freebie calendar to keep you motivated along the way!