I’ve completed my first story of the year. And, at the same time, I managed to surpass, for the first time, the writing goal I set for myself this summer. And by surpass, I mean that I am ahead of where I am supposed to be (wordcount wise) for the first time since I started around 25 days ago. So I’m feeling pretty good.
It’s strange to me, because I’ve done alot of writing this year including some truly gut-wrenching rout-canalish revisions, but they don’t count as new stories because I already marked them as completed stories last year on my spreadsheet (which I think I mentioned earlier).
Writing this summer has taught me alot about the way that I work. For instance, I’ve learned that having some sort of outline is absolutely necessary. I started this story intending to try a method I’ve heard from many published authors, where they just sit down and see where the story takes them. And the story was going alright, I guess. I even had a planned ending in mind. But it was just flat, and kind of crap. I got 3000 words into it, before despairing and wondering whether I should just scrap it and try something new. But when you haven’t written a new story in seven months, you start to wonder if you’ve forgotten how to write. And I was convinced that I needed to complete this story if I was going to have any sort of mojo this summer.
So I completely went back to the drawing board, rethought everything, wrote down a basic outline that covered every scene, and restarted the story. I ended up using only maybe 500 words of that old 3000, and I think that this story is much, much stronger. And it clocked in at 7300 (my second longest ever). And it was written over the course of about 5 days, though the previous version had taken about 30 days to get to 3000. This one just clicked much better. I’m not saying it’s the total shit or anything, but it’s better. So all in all it took me 10,000 words to write this story. Moral of the story, outlines are good for me.
Second lesson learned…I cannot write within 5 hours of waking up. If you know me at all, you’ve notice that it’s 8 AM right now…and if I am awake at 8 AM, it either means that I have a test/interview in fifteen minutes or I’ve stayed up the whole night. In this case the latter is true. Every day I wake up intending to get started on writing right away. And I do not. And then I get started, and as the night progresses, I get more and more caught up in things and go to bed a few hours later than the night before. Which leads me to the fact that I woke up at 7 PM yesterday. It’s gotten so bad that any writing I do before 8 AM I count as being yesterday’s writing. Which means that everything I just did I tallied up under yesterday, and I still have all of today’s writing to do.