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A Good Writing Day

August 13, 2013

It’s now been a whole 44 days since I started my latest attempt at a novel. Honestly, the days have really flown by so far. Last week notwithstanding, the attempt has been going well so far and I’m confident that I will finish it.  After today, I’m just over the 34k mark; this makes for an average a little bit lower than I had hoped, but it’s still hardly bad.

Today was a particularly good way for writing, though not in the way I had originally anticipated. As I recently explained, I was hoping to start writing short stories again, or at least something besides the big WIP. I flitted between a couple of smaller projects for some time and got nowhere on either. I then went “sod it” and went back to the WIP for the day, and ended up producing nearly 2000 words by the time I was done. Needless to say, I’m feeling a little bit pleased with myself. As for the other projects…well, there’s always tomorrow.

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Certain parts of the plot are unfolding faster than I expected. My protagonist has turned out to be a bit too naive and childish for a severe parasitic infestation to completely knock it out of them, which is speeding things along a little. That said, even this protagonist has their limits; they’re about to get shaken up pretty badly, and in the process they’re going to learn yet more things about the “pet” they thought they had known so well. Sounds exciting, no? I’m looking forward to writing it, at any rate.

How much detail do you tend to use when planning your writing projects? Ever had those plans derail when the time came to get them onto the page? Feel free to post your experiences below.

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From → Blogging, Writing

14 Comments
  1. If you want to get a little picture into this writing process… I’ll try to paint it for you.

    I’ve been playing with this idea for years, it st started as a comedic comic between fiances and secret children. Now, the only similarity is that it has the same caste system and the heroine is still a princess… At college, I wrote a whole outline of the novel, how they would be traveling, how it would end. Then, all the sudden, came up with a better idea, so now, as I’m actually writing it for this course I’m taking, I’ve completely thrown out the old outline… just some of the past memories are similar…

    I change my mind on ideas all the time. Once I actually start it, it’s already been flipped, char-broiled and unorganized.

    Cheers to you friend, and good luck. 🙂

    • Sounds like we’ve had pretty similar experiences, actually. I’ve tried to outline the novel I’m writing now at least three or four times, the first of which was nearly two years ago. By now, the central concept is pretty much the only thing that remains of the original. I’m hoping that it will take less attempts to get my outlines “right” as I become more experienced at writing.

      Good luck to you too :). How much time do you have to write your novel in, out of interest?

      • In theactual writing process, I’m not all too slow, though I’ve taken most of the summer for this one because of it’s length. I’m at 40,000 words at the moment, and it will end up being longer so I probably will be spending more time editing this one than usual.

        and thank you. 🙂

  2. Once upon a time every word I wrote was a surprise and I never had a plan, but these days I do fairly extensive world building. My main project at the moment started off as a stand alone novel, but blossomed into a 4-part series once I got into planning things. The biggest change has been my protagonist. He started out as a cold, hard to get along with guy who I assumed would change for the better throughout the story. Now I know that any changes will be for the worst. He’ll be the main antagonist by the last book.

    • I used to try writing novels without plans too; never ended well, really. There’s a reason I like to outline nowadays 🙂

      I must say that I like the sound of your protagonist. Fallen heroes are always fun to read about.

      • Planning is definitely the better option for me now as well.

        I really hope I can carry out my plans for him well. I keep stopping and starting on my novel trying to work out how best to present his story.

  3. I tend to go into a story with an idea or an image and a general idea, and let things happen. Details come in as I think about the particular scene, or later, during the edit, when I go, “Ugh, that’s a little thin.”

    When I do have plans, they don’t tend to derail– they tend to auger in from 10,000 feet and leave a big, smoking crater.

    • I always love it when details just suddenly come up in the middle of a session. That actually happened to me last night: just as the scene I was working on seemed to have derailed into nothingness, I realized that I had an ideal opportunity to make an important reveal concerning one of my characters. That reveal, in turn, is going to necessitate that the next scene be restructured a bit from what I originally had planned.

      I consider planning to be an important part of writing a novel – outright pantsing only seems to work when I try shorter things – but I guess that having those plans change a bit is just part of the fun.

      Thanks for commenting!

  4. 2000 words. That’s pretty impressive. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t go far into the planning process, but when I do, it usually is only enough to get the ideas in my head onto paper—and then I usually don’t follow it very well.

    Hehe, it’s funny you should say that, because one of my protagonists is very naive and clueless. I’m not sure she’s really that “childish” (though, I suppose she does have her moments), but definitely naive. She’s one of my favorites, though. 🙂

    • Thanks :). I often wish I could write a novel without excessive planning, but I just can’t see it happening. It’s still fun to see how the plan changes when I try to commit it to paper, though.

      There’s something oddly fun about writing naive characters. Granted, my protagonist is starting to think a bit more analytically now, but the naivety is still very much there.

      • Yes, it’s interesting to see how the writing process seems to take ideas in a different direction than you initially planned…

        Yep. My character’s starting to grow up a little, too, I think, but she’s definitely naive…. and it is really fun to write, for whatever reason. 🙂

  5. I wrote about a quarter of my book (although without meaning too I had already created most of the story in my head from a general overflow of ideas streaming in) but then after that I wrote down a basic summary for each of the chapters. And after this learning process, as my series is going to be involving about 6 books I will probably plan each one, although from those idea streams that I sometimes get at awkward times I do have a general idea of the plot of each book, apart for the ending of the series.
    So I think I will be planning quite heavily but I don’t want it to get to the point where the actual writing process is no longer creative, I don’t want it to lose its fun…. 😀

    • Plot summaries really are a great way to learn, aren’t there? I learnt an absolute ton about creating good plots when I started trying to outline properly; it’s probably the best thing that came out of the whole exercise. If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably end up making a few more changes after you start turning your summaries into whole chapters. Whether or not this happens, I wish you the best of luck in completing your series 🙂

      Good point about keeping things fun, too. Quite a few people have said that my preferred planning method, the Snowflake, drains the pleasure out of the writing process. I’ve actually come to agree to a certain extent, which is why I’ll be planning a little more loosely the next time around.

      • Yeah I like to plan but keep it to a minimal, and they once its done just accept that it could completely change before the end.

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