I’m still working through the Holly Lisle character book/class. I’ve started reading the plotting class, too. I am really liking the new ideas that are springing up!
I am having to remind myself that slow is fine and I don’t need to know all the changes and additions I need for my revisions right now. And I don’t have to do it all this week. My impatience is trying to make me feel like I’m not doing enough, but I am.
I’m getting a better feel for my characters and my story world. I’m getting interested in it again. And I’m right on schedule to start the actual revisions the weekend of the 20th. It’s a little sooner than the six weeks I’ve seen recommended, but I’ve also seen just one month recommended, and this will be just over a month. I feel like I’ll have enough distance from the story at that point.
We’re back to writing at ROW80. Right now, I’m not actually writing a lot, at least not story writing. I’m doing character building work right now, mostly from Holly Lisle’s character clinic, but also from a few other sources I’ve gathered over my years of obessively collecting articles and books on writing.
I’m about a third of the way through the book/class, and I’m really liking the work I’ve been doing. I like the questions she uses and the methods, but the best part has been that as I’m reading it’s been sparking ideas for my characters. I realized my characters are younger than I thought, and I know what’s important to them and why, and I know enough about their personalities to know where they’ll clash. And all of this has sparked ideas for additions and changes I want to make when I dive into my rewrites.
I’ve decided that I’m going to at least read Holly Lisle’s plot clinic before I start those rewrites. I’m getting so much out of the character work that I feel like the plot information might spark even more good ideas for the story.
I was kind of worried in December that my story was too shallow and really didn’t have anything to grab hold of and work with, but that’s starting to change. Looking forward to more ideas that will help me shape it into something readable.
I really intended to write a few posts during NaNo, but somehow it didn’t happen. So here’s a wrap-up instead.
I got my win last night, and it feels weird. This year, I have been using Habitica to get tasks done (you should check it out–it’s so fun and useful, too!). So, I joined a writing guild that had a NaNo challenge going. Because of this, I actually wrote every single day. I did have two days (the day before Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving itself) that I didn’t hit the daily goal, but I wrote. Then I caught up over the weekend, so I didn’t have to do any crazy, 10K days, or even 5K days to catch up. This is the first time I wrote every single day of NaNo (yes, I’m writing a bit on my story today so I can really say that).
I learned something this NaNo. I am not an every day writer, at least not a comfortable every day writer. My best writing schedule for stories is to write three or four days a week. Maybe some writing practice on the other days. Trying to work on my story every single day left me feeling oddly rushed and pressured even though I wasn’t behind on my word count, and I’m pretty sure the days I struggled the most (and wrote the worst drivel) happened because I needed a break from the story. This is good. Knowing my best rhythm is important, so I’m glad I did this experiment.
Now comes the fun part of trying to grab hold of this story and bring it together and finish it. I ended up re-plotting it two different times during November. I think the new direction I found myself going in over the past three days is actually the right way to go, so now I need to figure out what parts of what I’ve written work with this and what needs to change and what needs to be added. For today, though, I’m mostly going to celebrate.