Saturday, August 20, 2011

Revelations & Deadlines

This week, I had two revelations.

Firstly, I make my stories too complicated. I get bogged down with a lot of cool little details, and when they are just too much to remember and research I am put off the story entirely. As I look back now, I can see the destruction my complications have wrought, strewn behind me like body parts behind a zombie hunter.

Complications have been bogging down Project V for me, and for the first time since I started this project I have begun to lose interest. And worse, I began to brainstorm a really interesting new book! This is a death sentence for any story with me. (Luckily the new story died due to complications. See? It's a disease with me.)

So my solution? Streamlining. I have determined that I do not, in fact, need most of the little details I had planned on. I am going to cut them back until I have only the bare minimum of what is needed, and then run with it from there. If I decide the little details are needed in later drafts, then I have permission to put them in. But for now, simplicity is to my ally.

But that wasn't my only revelation this week. I have been working on Project V for a month or two now, and I have come to the conclusion that time is also a factor against me. When I do NaNoWriMo, I always finish. I believe this is because I am forced get the story out in a month. Sure, I still lose interest halfway through, but then I just tell myself it's only a few weeks more and to suck it up. I haven't lost NaNo yet.

So a short timeframe seems a must. Unfortunately, writing deadlines scare the hell out of me. But I am determined to say "I must finish Project V by November 1st." And I say it here so I shall be kept to it, or suffer the shame of admitting I couldn't pull it off. Because I totally can - I just put off my writing until "I feel like it." We all know the death trap that is.

And just like NaNo, I need a "destination." So given my current word count and story position, I am going to set the bar at 100,000 words. If the story isn't finished at that point I'll deal with it when I get there.

So to recap, Project V: Streamline. Deadline--November 1st. Word Count--100,000 words.

Keep your fingers crossed - mine should be busy writing. Feel free to poke me on Twitter to make sure I'm on track. It is my current vice.

You know, if I keep having revelations like this, my story may get written yet!


  1. Your disease is a common affliction among writers, but you have the treatment!

    I'm infected with a purulent inner critic that spouts her foul opinion once my fingers hit the keyboard. I hate her.

  2. Oh I have a horribly picky inner critic too, but after five years of Nanowrimo I've learned how to turn down the volume. Somewhat. Most days.

  3. Ah, a fellow NaNo veteran. ^^ I started when I was like twelve, and failed miserably, but for the past three or four years I've won. Lately I've been rocking it. This past year I wrote two novels at once. XD One is crap. The other is currently up on another window, waiting for me to get back to revising.

    I love little details, too, and it really can be hard to keep track of it all. I keep a seperate word document (or notebook) where I jot down those thoughts as they come, along with any other random inspiration that comes as I write.

    I find that makes it easier to keep track of all my little plot tidbits. Not to mention, if you stall, reading back over the document might help you remember whatever it was you were going for. ^^

  4. @Silent Pages: For my current project I have a legal pad notebook thing. Said legal pad is quite full with notes and lists, mostly on categorized pages. I flip through it here and there to remind myself of stuff (and enjoy marveling at how far the story/world has come). Then all my character profiles and schedules and research are stuffed in the folder part, with post-it note reminders/lists plastered all over the top.

    Whenever I try to organize it better by typing stuff up and making folders on my computer it just gets too complicated and discourages me. So this time I'm leaving that until I attack my second draft.