My first National Novel Writing Month -NaNoWriMo did terrible things to my ego, and I’ve been finding excuses not to write since then.
On the upside, by trying to write a novel in 30 days learned a lot.
Next time around, I need to:
I don’t type as quickly as I thought I could.
The arthritis in my joints and scars on my fingertips make for a great excuse, but the cold hard truth is that my lack of organization and tendency to repeat mistakes slowed me down.
I kept information scattered across Scrivener, notepad++, plain text files, and hand written notes.
Which left me struggling to find anything
My writing style is almost stream-of-consciousness. Which is great for getting the basic premise down on paper, but requires twice as much time to break it down into scenes that I can edit than it did to write it in the first place.
A slow tedious process is okay if you don’t have a deadline, but 50K words in a month is a bitch.
I spent more time than I had allotted researching and trying ideas.
For instance, I wrote about a professional thief and was amazed by how little I know about locks and alarm systems.
For future reference, I’m going to research and make detailed notes, before committing to a project like this.
My protagonist started out as one of those guys who would see a burning building and rush in to save a little girl’s kitten. But, at the end, my stalwart hero would see a burning building and rush out to buy marshmallows.
–I like the second guy better, because, for better or worse, at least he’s not boring.
The bottom line is, I need to Get Organized!
This is something else a writer suggested.
As an exercise, pick a situation and write the first character, then wait a day, and put another personality in the same situation and so-on until I find someone I like.
The others can become sidekicks, bureaucrats, or generic background characters.