Friday, May 30, 2014

Don't Quit Now...You're Almost There!

It’s a 90,000 word mountain. You’ll probably die on it. It’s going to be a looong climb and probably by the
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time you get to the top, you’ll be convinced that you hate this book and why did you spend so much time working on it, when you could have been eating ice cream and rollerblading in the park? (because we all know that is what a writer dreams of while doing the fast draft)

Yes, that’s probably the most melodramatic overview of writing the fast draft that you’ll probably ever read. *wink* But don’t we all have that feeling when we’re in the middle of a fast draft?

10,000 words is so much fun to hit. 20,000 is pretty awesome. But 30-40,000 is getting tougher. The burn is being felt in the back of your legs as you’re climbing up that mountain, grabbing at all the scrub brush you can get your hands on.

This is not the time to quit! Trust me! You’re almost half way through the book and yes the peak of the mountain is coming, but so are the doubts. Don’t believe those lies for a minute that you can’t write. You don’t know if you can write until you’ve finished this book and think of that accomplishment you’re aiming for.

So what are some suggestions for keeping that word count flowing?

Jumping jacks.

#1k1Hr on Facebook or Twitter.

Ice cream and a brownie.

Tall glass of water.

Timer to writer as much as you can in 15 minutes without one break to check anything on the internet.

Change of scenery.

Talk with a friend—writer or otherwise.

Stand up. Move away from the computer. Think about something else.

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Make a quick list of one or two reasons why you like to write.

Celebrate the word count you HAVE reached instead of bemoaning the count that you still need to make.
Lessen the word count load for just one day. Write half of your goal to give yourself a mental break.

THEN think about how awesome it’s going to feel that you’ve written another thousand words. That you’ve got yourself closer to saying you’ve finished another book.

It’s so hard to keep that momentum working on your behalf. It’s easy to put the book aside at that point when you’re just ready to be done. But this is not the time to quit!

And remember: you’re going to have the chance to go back through the book and laugh at all the fun lines you wrote on the spur on the moment or discover something new about your character you didn’t know before. This is the part called discovery.  So go discover your story. You can fix it all later. But this a time to have FUN. Play with the words. No one cares. No one else is going to see it. Jump in. Make a mess. 
You’re putting words on the page. Words that aren’t going to be written unless you put fingers to keyboard.

Are in the process of writing a new book? How far are you? 

Casey Herringshaw is a homeschool graduate and has been writing since high school. She lives in rural Eastern Oregon in a town more densely populated with cows than people. 



Preslaysa Williams said...

I am in the process of writing a new new. And I am set to finish the first draft tomorrow. I have one more scene to draft out. So I am definitely happy. This is a big deal for me because it took a year for me to crank out the first draft of the first novel I had written. This one only took 8 weeks. (Hint: I plotted this time around!)

Glynis said...

Perfect, perfect, perfect timing for this post! I'm working on my first project of any real length and I'm in that 20,000+ portion. Wondering whether it's worth it to continue. So thank you for your wise words!

Casey said...

WOW, way to go Preslaysa! That is truly fantastic that you have turned out a book that quickly. Cheering for you from Colorado! That last scene is always so much fun to write. (I think so anyway). The editing always takes me the longest amount of time--so cheering you on!

Casey said...

Glynis, it definitely gets to feeling like that at the 20-40k mark doesn't it? That is my hardest part of the story because the ending just feels like forever and a day away. But you CAN make it. And you'll be so glad you did when you're done. :)

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Loved this, Casey. Good words here. :) I'm plotting out the next book I want to write. I'm eager to jump in. Call me crazy, but I love the fast draft! It's the revising that's harder for me. So, I'll take your advice and stick with it. :)

Casey said...

I LOVE the first draft!! I'm so glad I have finally found someone who has the same problem as me. I can write a novel in three months and then take a year to edit it. Sheesh. Hate that part. And it's not because I don't want to part with my words, but because I don't know what to do with them. LOL! Encouraged by you today, Jeanne. :)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Inspiring! I am definitely itching to get back to daily writing. A few sporatic days have equated to roughly 10-12 k on my newest WIP. If only I was done editing the others I could get back to exploring the blank page. Soon. Sighs. Hopefully soon.

Casey said...

You are a fast writer, Amy! Another reason to envy you. ;-)) JK. Kinda. Keep pushing out those great novels! One of them is bound to catch fire and blaze a trail for all the rest. :)

Dana Black said...

I needed this today, Casey! I'm sitting at the 65k mark, and I've been feeling at times like I'm walking through knee-deep mud. Moving forward isn't impossible, but it sure takes a lot out of me! Here's to getting the rest of the way up the mountain. :)

Casey said...

Go, Dana, Go! Hey, email and I'll keep you going. Because, girl, I know and BELIEVE you can do this! Cheerleader right here. Give yourself a small goal today and tomorrow and the next day. Those words will build on each other to make a full length novel!

Dana Black said...

Thanks, Casey! I think I will have to take you up on that. :) A good cheerleader is an important person to have around! It's always hard to focus on the small goals when the big one seems so overwhelming, but you're right. It's about the baby steps.