You’d think that by deciding to participate at CampNano, and a goal of 30k, I would have been consistent and on time and totally up to this, but you’d think wrong. The funny thing is, I don’t mind.
The past 10 days I’ve only written 5k words on the draft I’m currently working, the one I’ve been hoping to finish in the summer. I’d like to say I know what I’m doing and I’ll catch up, but I’m a responsible adult who own their fails and I’m not gonna say this. Firstly, because I didn’t expect to reach that goal to begin with. Summer in Greece is brutal and vacation is in sight, so my goal was an ambitious one to begin with. Secondly, because for three days now I’ve been struggling to put words onto paper with no avail and I decided to cut my self some slack, enough to find out what the fuck is wrong.
And I found it while washing the dishes today; an epiphany of a kind.
Because this is my first draft, I’ve started writing with a generic outline which described the story arcs and pointed out the important scenes on each arc but not what was happening in those scenes exactly. So, every time I’d start to write, I’d spent my time over wondering what discussions are to be held on that point and what is the conflict in each scene, without really knowing. Looking at a blanks sheet of paper, writing and erasing words (because handwriting) when you have no idea what you wanna say takes a lot of time.
A lot of time.
Earlier this year I read 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron . The book offers very good advice on what changes one can do to up their word count daily, and the author gives a good insight on how she tracked down the changes on her writing and found out the optimal way for her to write more and more every day. The second part has some writing advice, and I, overall, generally enjoyed reading it.
There is a great advice in that book that stayed with me (and I’m not quoting here): Spend full ten minutes before working on each scene scribbling on a paper roughly what happens, and then start to write. Knowing what is going to happen, saves time from wondering around clueless about discussions and actions, and lets you focus on the writing part.
Meaningless to say that I wasn’t doing that. I mean, since this was a first draft, I thought I was doing that, or maybe, I thought I didn’t need it? I don’t know. But as my cat was meowing persistently while I was washing the dishes, disappointed about another day of zero word count, I kept thinking that I had no idea what I wanted to do in that scene because… I had no idea what I wanted to do in that scene.
And then it hit me. I could have an idea, if I actually prepared the scene before trying to write it. Ha! Take that wordless days! Here I come!
At least, now I know what’s wrong. And I know how to fix it. Too bad tomorrow I’m leaving for a three-day vacay!