Status Update on my WIP (or ME! ME! ME! Look at me!)

As you can see by my title, I might be a little excited about my current work in progress. Usually, I write a little, read it again, write a little more, read it again, fix some mistakes, read it again, write a little more, read it again, etc., etc. You get the point. It took me six months to write my rough draft for I Have No Name, and then months and months, and months of editing. I think it took me almost 18 months to complete that novel. I know some writers are faster, some slower, but that is a huge chunk of time to devote to a project that ultimately hasn’t attracted an agent yet. It’s not a loss, but I decided I needed to find a faster way to write.

So I’m going with the NaNo approach of not stopping. I might re-read a few paragraphs, just to get back into what I wrote the day before, but I’m not stopping. Not for research, not when I know there’s a mistake, not when I know that what I just wrote was complete crap. I push on.

The result is a rough, really rough, first draft, but it will be done. And really, all my first drafts need a ton of work, so I’m banking on the fact that the edits won’t be any longer than any other novel I write. At the same time, I’m keeping a list of things I need to fix as I think of them. For example, I realized I gave my MC a wound in chapter 3, and didn’t mention it for the next 10 chapters! And I need to name the alien races, the planet, the creatures and a whole lot of other things, but I put in a placeholder and highlight it yellow so I remember it needs some work.

This whole process is so foreign to me it feels strange. I am a perfectionist. So much so that I find it difficult to move on when I have things that need fixing. Hence why it takes so long to write. Because nothing is ever perfect. Ever! Especially not for me.

Working this way and forcing myself to let go of those perfectionist tendencies (for now) I’ve managed to write 24k in 15 days. For me this is nothing short of a miracle and I am so excited. Here’s a graphic of my daily numbers:

Word Count Graphic

And I’m reasonably happy with how things are working out. The story is taking shape and characters are forming. Sub plots are sprouting up (though some have to be written in edits because I only realized what they should be after I wrote a chapter.) There’s a lot of work to be done, but I am excited and confident I’m getting this where it needs to be. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take me another year and half to finish this one!

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